Angling: Barbel hunters out-foxed by otters

Chub, carp or skimmers? If it swims and has fins, Leeds top rod Steve Raper can catch it!
Chub, carp or skimmers? If it swims and has fins, Leeds top rod Steve Raper can catch it!
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The largest known barbel in the UK – a fish of 20lb 7oz – has been killed by an otter on a stretch of the River Ivel around Biggleswade, Bedfordshire.

A local angler who had caught the fish at different weights on more than one occasion disturbed the otter in mid-attack but was too late to save the fish.

Only minutes after receiving this news, I took a call from a good pal of mine who, not knowing anything about the Ivel fish, started to tell me of his upsetting day on his favourite River Swale.

Starting at dawn on what was to be one of the hottest days of the year, fishing through the day without a bite and just approaching the point where the brain goes numb, his link ledgered meat was taken with a bang.

And, after a short battle, a barbel that he was confident to be the magical ‘Yorkshire double’ was resting in his landing net.

The fish was weighed and recorded at 9lb 14oz – the true sign of a proper angler, as I know of many so-called specimen anglers who, when fishing alone, would claim a fish less than this weight to be double figures.

After resting and watching the fish swim away strongly into a deeper pool slightly upstream, he told me that a few minutes later the water fizzed and boiled as an otter surfaced holding his barbel and crunching on its tail.

I know he now feels responsible for its death and that if he hadn’t caught it the fish could still be alive!

Without the apex predator the river would probably be hundreds of barbel-sized meals better off, so don’t beat yourself up mate.

Moving to the match scene and river reports, Leeds star Steve Raper proved his versatility last week, winning his lake with over 70lb in Saturday’s Kippax Park Open, and then topping the weekend’s biggest event on the River Calder with over 28lb.

Steve took eight decent chub and four small trout from the new end peg at Sands Lane, fishing waggler and double caster he added the Steve Jackson Memorial Trophy to his impressive list of wins. East End Park’s Bobby Lee won Leeds & District’s Greenwood Cup fished along the Wharfe at Ulleskelf.

Drawn on probably the deepest remaining peg of the tidal, Bob caught three good barbel on his favourite caster feeder for a winning 17-06.

The middle Ouse, though still in need of a flush through, is showing bream form not seen for years.

Starting earlier in the season with Bill Collier’s 70lb catch of slabs from the rough field area of Red House school and continuing with Barnsley’s Dennis White catch of 14 bream for 40lb from the culvert peg below the Nidd mouth, seems proof enough that more than a few shoals of different-year-class fish still exist.

All brilliant news for the future.

It seems this past few weeks any river connected to the Humber has the potential to produce good bream sport in not ideal conditions – and not all of them skimmer size.

Big bream, carp and increasing numbers of barbel are being reported from the bottom reaches of the tidal Aire.

But the big surprise last week was Mick Shaw’s winning catch of big bream from the lowest Calder at Mexborough Estate reporting fish to over 10lb – something just a few years ago would have been thought impossible.

Results

World Angling Feeder Championships 2015, Tenheuzen Canal, Netherlands: Individual: 1, J Evangalista 3 pts 11-045kgs; 2, A Osjpov, Russia 3 pts 6-155kgs; 3, M Vials, Preston Innovations, England 3 pts 5-081kgs. Team Result. 1, Preston Innovations, England 27pts; 2, France 27.5pts; 3, Hungary 39pts; 4, Russia 40pts.

Yarnbury AC, Queens Arms Cup, Holme Marsh: 1, Richard Juniper 35-04; 2, Steve Gilbert 22-03; 3, Fred Prudham 18-06.

Yarnbury AC Junior Open, Weeton Lake: 1, C Pickard 35-4; 2, D Brown 20-8; 3, S Marshall 16-12; 4, D Hobson 14-10.

Steve Jackson Memorial, River Calder: 1, Steve Raper, Leeds 25-02; 2, Steve Newns, K & L Tackle 22-03; 3, Craig Turbitt, Tackle 2 U 13-14; 4, Tony Earnshaw, Mirfield 12-04.

Leeds & District, Greenwood Cup, Ulleskelf: 1, Bobby Lee 17-06; 2, Bernard Nevison 7-11; 3, Kevin Moor 5-01; 4, Jim Jordan 5-0.

Leeds & District, Nidd Mouth Fishery: 1, Dennis White, Barnsley 47-10; 2, Dave Miles, Aireborough 11-05; 3, Stan Haigh, Leeds Anglers World 8-04.

Bradford No 1: Nun Monkton on Nidd: 1, J Vickerman 13-11; 2, A Lewis 7-11; 3, W Wright 5-9.

XGates AA, Aire & Calder Canal, Altofts: 1, M Johnson 7-8; 2, D Uttley 2-6; 3, T Atkinson 1-14.

Robin Hood, Lindholme Oasis: 1, S Fotheringham 160-01; 2, M Herrington 140-4 3, S Simmons 84-06.

Leeds & District, Moor Monkton Pools: 1, Steve Pearson 194-01; 2, Dave Wright 122-05; 3, Martin Dodsworth 115-03; 4 Lee Smith 113-13.

Leeds & District, Moor Monkton, Front Pool: 1, Dave Pollitt 217-03; 2, Martin Dodsworth 164-06; 3, John Kerry 162-13; 4, Paul Gallagher 155-10.

Kippax Park, All Lakes: 1, Paul Cromie 160-01; 2, Neil Rymer 89-10; 3, Steve Raper 76-6.

Kippax Park, Lapwing: 1, Tom Rodgers 118-10; 2, Neil Rymer 82-12; 3, Bob Rymer 69-04.

Peggy Tub, Lodge Farm, Lily Pond: 1, P Brown 230-08; 2, C Thompson 193-04; 3, D Thompson 104-07; 4, B Lindley 75-5.

Shadwell, Poppleton Railway: 1, D Birdsall 60-04; 2, G Fenhill 59-08; 3, K Garside 55-06.

Poppleton, Thursday Eve, Horseshoe: 1, D Pollitt 96-14; 2, J Thirkill 74-04; 3, G Peak 52-08.

Poppleton, Don Watson Memorial, Railway: 1, Steve Lipton 147-04; 2, Dave Harvester 99-12; 3, Kev Garside 91-07.

Yorkshire Post at Raker: 1, D Turner 52-12; 2, A Heaps 47-09; 3, K Gale 46-08; 4, C Dunn 32-10.

Harehills Libs at Raker Horseshoe: 1, P Kirk 60-02; 2, S Larkin 57-11; 3, C Jarrett 51-01. At Redwood Canal: 1, W BArker 25-12; 2, D Welsh 21-14; 3, P Wheelhouse 20-12.

Rodley Nomads at Viking Hawk (Wednesday): 1, D North 67-10; 2, P Mills 66-10; 3, M Bradley 56-12; 4, D Badura 51-14.

Viking Saturday Open (Hawk): 1, ~R Scott 63-10; 2, C Smith 48-08; 3, D Sawyer 41-04.

Ackworth AC (Viking Deer): 1, S Morgan 73-03; 2, T Reeves 63-08; 3, M Williams 43-01; 4, B Newby 42-04.

Harehills WMC (Viking Deer): 1, K Hey 93-12; 2, D Turner 69-14; 3, D Parker 67-08; 4, D Robinson 63-08.

South Leeds Cons Club (Viking Fox): 1, A Mack 91-15; 2, M Jackson 83-04; 3, H Wales 53-09; 4, R Rogers 50-01.

Rodley Barge (Viking Hawk): 1, J Squire 94-08; 2, S Dodsworth 64-08; 3, B Beardoe 61-05; 4, T Hodgson 57-08. Hallcroft – Bridge Island: 1, D Smith 49-08; 2, S Dodworth 44-10; 3, D Lawson 40-14; 4, T Hodgson 30-08.

Armley A C at Poolbridge Normans Lake: 1, S Ellner 42; 2, C Greenwood 36-14; 3, J Cooper 35-08; 4, J Scull 35.

Colton Sports AC at Langwith Emma’s: 1, P Kay 41-03; 2, S Pickard 40-06; 3, L Asquith 38-11; 4, G Sewell 36-13; visitor S Butterhead 44-10.

Match Diary

Saturday

Woodlands: 72 Pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 Pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 Pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Kippax Park: 27 Pegs, tickets £20, contact 07967000746.

Moorfields Farm: 54 Pegs, tickets £16, contact 07710817150.

Fleets Dam: 50 Pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Birkwood Farm: 60 Pegs, tickets £16.00, contact 01132 80609.

Viking, Hawk Pond: 30 Pegs, tickets £16.00, contact 01405 860764.

Tollerton Ponds: Open Match all ages, ( Kingfisher 20 pegs, Coot 18 pegs, Heron 32 pegs) contact 01347 838115.

Listerhills AA, Leeds/Liverpool Rodley: £12 all in contact Eddie 07984597328.

Viking Saturday Open: At Deer Pond, 24 pegs, £16, contact 01405 860764.

Sunday

Leeds Angling Centre: Canal Open Matches (Leeds/Liverpool). Contact Roger Movley 0113 2772215 or Richard Thorne 0113 2639333.

Woodlands: 72 Pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Oaks at Sessay: 50 Pegs, tickets £17, contact 01845 501321.

Langwith Lakes: 60 Pegs, tickets £16, contact 01904 431874.

Oak Tree Leisure: 50 Pegs, tickets £15, contact 01347 810686.

Leeds DASA: Moor Monkton Pools, contact 07967000746.

Poppleton Sunday Open: 50 Pegs draw 11am Cafe, contact 07425 146677.

Monday

Woodlands over-50s: 30 Pegs, tickets £15, contact 01845 520110.

Langwith Lakes over-60s: 30 Pegs, tickets £10, contact 01904 431874.

Tollerton Ponds over-50s: tickets £16 contact 01347 838115.

Tuesday

Kippax Park: 27 Pegs, tickets £10, contact 07967000746.

Wednesday

Woodlands: 72 Pegs, tickets £18, contact 01845 520110.

Fleets Dam: 50 Pegs, tickets £15, contact 01226 292579.

Tollerton Ponds: Open match, all ages, contact 01347 838115.

Glen AC Ouse Thrash: contact D Miles 01133 910570.

Thursday

Kippax Park: 27 Pegs, tickets £12, contact 07967000746.

Poppleton Thursday: Evening draw 5.30 car park, pools £11.

Junior angler, Liam Matley, aged 10. PIC: Steve Fearnley

Angling: Leeds and District initiative puts junior anglers at forefront and challenges other societies to follow its lead