“A floatfished mussel caught me this big barbel” – Ricardas Aleksandrovicius

Trent lump takes unusual moving offering

A floatfished mussel caught me this big barbel

by Angling Times |

“Most people fish on the bottom for barbel using a feeder or lead set-up, but in summer floatfishing my favourite way to catch them. It’s incredibly effective and much more enjoyable.

“You can’t beat standing in the river in your chest waders, with the water rushing past. The thrill of seeing your float bury and your rod bent to the butt section is just the best. It’s also an incredibly active way to fish, and as a lure angler in the winter, it suits my style of fishing.

“On a recent evening session on the Trent I landed this 15lb 6oz barbel – and eight others along with seven chub – all on the float between 4pm and 9.30pm.

The superb barbel on the mat
The superb barbel on the mat

“I’d fancied trying somewhere new, so I visited a day-ticket stretch near my home in Newark. After wading out, I began regularly feeding hempseed before reaching for one of my favourite hookbaits – mussels! They’re not your typical barbel bait, but I’ve had great results on them. They’re fairly cheap, you can get them from any supermarket and the river is full of freshwater mussel shells, so they’re also something that they come across naturally. It makes sense that they like them so much!

Mussels are a cheap but deadly barbel bait
Mussels are a cheap but deadly barbel bait

“There’s no point in messing around with light gear when you’re targeting big fish on the float. I use a powerful 15ft Daiwa Powermesh rod, 20lb braided mainline, a 10lb fluorocarbon hooklink and a size 6 Drennan Super Specialist hook.

“These large hooks hold the mussel well and are incredibly strong. You also need a float that will boss the river, and I use a big 10g Sensas Bolo, which I shot with an 8g olivette. This is a no-nonsense set-up, as the last thing you want is to be losing fish in weed and snags.

“On the session in question, I’d had a few early fish on then, after 90 minutes, I connected with a far more powerful barbel that gave me a hell of a fight. It tried to do me in the snags, but the gear held firm and I managed to ease it into the net. When I first saw it, I didn’t think it was that big – a decent double, maybe 12lb – but after resting it for a few minutes and lifting the net out, I realised just how big this barbel was. It was a truly fantastic specimen.

“I’d strongly recommend that you give floatfishing for barbel a go. There’s no better way to catch them at this time of year, and you can really make the most of enjoying our summer rivers. And don’t forget to pack the mussels!”

This 15lb 6oz barbel was part of a multiple catch for Trent rod Ricardas
This 15lb 6oz barbel was part of a multiple catch for Trent rod Ricardas
Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us