Collingham Weir, Flooded Fast and Coloured (But he who dares wins Roders)

With the weather being the worst I can remember for a long time for river fishing, and the rivers constantly being in flood, I decided any break in the weather and I was going to be out, did not care how cold it was going to be, as any serious angler will tell you, if you invest in the right gear you can sit in most low temperatures that this country can throw at you.

The River Trent around Newark and Lincoln were going to be our hunting grounds as I had never blanked on this river in flood or winter, so hopes were high. My good friend and keen Barbel angler Graham Tasker joined myself who has fished these stretches many a time, and if you continue to read this you will realize it’s a good thing he came along. We decided on two days on the bank, first day at Collingham AA stretch at the weir and the second day further downstream at the barge stations were the conveyer best hangs over the water, both well known Barbel holding areas.

We left home at 05:00 to make sure we were on the bank for first light, arriving at the car park for the weir stretch, we were met by a very angry swollen chocolate looking river, never seen it pulling through at such a speed, and the colour looked the like something Augustus Gloop nearly drowned in at the start of Charlie and the chocolate factory. However with big leads and strong rods were undeterred by this sight, as we walked down to the pegs I was delighted to see so good hard standing areas to fish from, but then Graham informed me this was the foot path behind the pegs and we would struggle to get on the gravel, but we gave it a go anyhow.

I myself really struggles to hold bottom at any distance and was snagged more times than I would like to say, Graham on the other hand had some 2.75lb test curve rods with him that handled 8oz of lead with no problems and he managed to get on the gravel. We sat and chatted and fished the day away, consumed coffee and laughed along with some scowling and shouting obscenities at the mass of Cormorants around the weir.  Then Graham notices a strange rattle on his right hand rod, so decided to hit it anyway, and the rod doubled and the bait runner kicked in and just as we thought the day was going to be a wash out, we were on, with shouts of joy from myself Graham looking very shocked the fish made its way into the fast water and the fight was on. Grahams rod was bottoming out and with 8oz of lead Graham thought good fish but the pace of the river and 8oz dangling from the rig was the reason he was having a real battle, then the lead appeared out of the water followed by the biggest meanest looking Barbel we had ever seen, no record breaker but a right brute, 14lb of beautiful raw power on a cold flooded miserable winter day and we were elated as this was a personal best for Graham.

After we slipped the fish back into the water and after hugs and high fives we felt great, and decided not long after that to maybe call it a day and have a look further downstream at tomorrow’s pegs while we still had some light, and on arriving our hearts sank, we could not even get anywhere near the pegs, so with heavy hearts off we went to the pub to have a think. Having fished this area in the past we decided to go further up stream to the non tidal stretches to one of my favorite sections at Musckham, and visit my friend who has a stretch in her front garden which I have never failed to catch on in the past. Using the same tactics and bait we managed two more Barbel, myself taking an 8lb and Graham a 9lb fish. I have fished this stretch and you can see all of the sport it gives us on the other reviews in the Barbel section of the site.

In conclusion, he who dares wins Roders, literally with everything against us we still managed to catch some beautiful fish, and when it comes to Barbel fishing even if you do not catch, just sitting next to a beautiful river is payment enough, we managed to see, Red Kites, Blue and Grey Tits, Robins, Swans and a Kingfisher, we managed to learn plenty about fishing flooded rivers, and about how Barbel feed in these conditions, and if you do not mange to learn something new every time you a fish a river your not doing it right in my opinion. Collingham AA, have a great website making these stretches easy to find and giving you great info and tactics. Fish heavy and use smelly big baits, and be safe, we cannot wait to get down again before the season ends if the weather allows us. Tight lines.

Pegs/Stretches: Day 1 peg 1 at Collingham weir, Day two Musckham Mooring B&B stretch North Musckham.

Tactics: Fishing as far as the leads would hold, over the first crease most of the time, 4-8oz gripper leads from korda, 13-15lb main line, korum running rigs, 10lb Korum expert mono hook length 3-4 foot long, size 10 korum specimen hook, and cubed meat hair rigged covered in garlic salt. We did not feed anything as the flow made it a waste of time, you want the garlic salt smell to pull the fish to your hook bait and watch that rod hoop over and bait runner scream off.


River Trent, Collingham Weir