Young Asa Povey proved that you don’t have to spend years on the bank or have all the latest tackle to catch big barbel by breaking his duck for the species with this huge 15lb 2oz specimen.
The 11-year-old, from Reading, was fishing a short afternoon session on a club-owned stretch of his local River Kennet with his father Lee when he caught the stunning new personal best on the simplest of tactics.
After baiting his swim at the tail of a weirpool with a few broken pieces of luncheon meat, schoolboy Asa used a hookbait straight out of the tin on a simple leger rig to tempt the only bite of his session.
He struck into the fish just 30 minutes after casting out and beat the barbel single-handedly with the help of a 9ft rod bought for him by his grandfather.
“Before this latest session I’d seen barbel a few times before when walking along the river, but never caught one. My dad had always said how well they fight, so it became a goal of mine to bank a barbel,” said Asa.
“When I first struck into the fish I thought it was only small, but then it took off at a rate of knots. Dad kept offering to take the rod and give me a hand, but I wanted to land it all on my own, which I did after about 10 minutes. The biggest fish of any species I’d caught before this was a 13lb mirror carp, and I’m still giving my dad stick because his personal best barbel is only about 9lb!” he added.
Asa’s dad Lee revealed how it is thanks to his son that he is back fishing again after a break from the sport, and also how a change of bait led to a change in fortunes for the pair.
“I haven’t been fishing for years, but Asa is the one who’s getting me back into it because he’s so enthusiastic and a great little angler,” said Lee.
“We’d been having a few blank sessions of late using pellets and boilies, so we decided to go back to basics with meat straight out of the tin – and it worked like a charm!”