Where have our Barbel gone?

The question of our Barbel fish stocks and fish stocks in general is a vex issue here I look at the contoversial debate between predation and habitat.

I can’t really believe this.

At a recent Wensum Working Group meeting, Rob Dryden from the Environment Agency announced that over four thousand juvenile barbel had been stocked in the River Wensum in the four years leading up to 2012. It appeared that after two years a tiny majority could be followed from their electro-tags but by year three, they’d all completely disappeared.

Fishery Scientists

What is it with professional fishery scientists? Why do they only think of habitat, habitat and more habitat? We know that disappearing fish are not down to floods anymore or two water quality. It’s all about predation and in particular, above all else, the proliferation of cormorants. There is nothing good about these birds on our inland waters. We all know, deep down, that cormorants are to blame for the near extinction of any species of fish up to virtually three pounds in weight.


At every fishery meeting I attend, cormorants are the elephant in the room. The professionals just don’t dare tackle this problem head on but will do anything to change the subject and avoid the inevitable conclusions. Until the Environment Agency, Natural England, DEFRA and all the rest face up to their responsibilities and the fact that cormorant populations have risen seventeen-fold in recent years, we will never have our wild fish populations back again.

John Bailey

Big Bream Bash – Getting amongst the fish

The question, of course, is where to put a big amount of bait? If you are going this route for big bream you’ve got to get the pit right, that’s obvious. You’ve also got to

Bream Comeback

I’d never say that bream are right up there amongst my favourite species but over the years, there have been periods of obsession. And I’ve got to say that a really big bream, nine pounds

The Question of Wind Direction

Wind direction can have a significant impact on fish feeding patterns. Here I look at how it can vary between species and have a major impact on catching potential. I have run the carp syndicate

Catch more fish – don’t discard naturals!

With the proliferation of new formulations and flavours of boilees and pellets,plus glugs and dips and more on the scene its easy to get side-tracked from recognising that fish spend the majority of time feeding

Baiting Up

I’ve got to say, on the waters around me where there are good heads of tench to nearly doubles and bream to mid-doubles, you’ve got to get the bait in at this time of the year, if you are going to attract fish and hold fish and make them feed on what you are offering.