Britain’s first 25lb barbel could be just around the corner – that’s the prediction being made by barbel expert Brian Dowling on the eve of the new river season.
As the curtain closed on Brian’s meticulous maintenance of barbel river records, the species’ historian is foreseeing the capture of a fish that could put present British record holder Grahame King’s capture of The Traveller at 21lb 1oz well and truly in the shade.
With the Adam’s Mill/Kickles Farm era of huge, record-breaking fish having apparently come to an end, the man who has faithfully kept lists of record fish from all the country’s 73 rivers that hold barbel is predicting that some of today’s new, up-and-coming specimens could grow to proportions most anglers would never have believed possible.
“When we’ll see the present British record broken is the big question. Last summer’s floods affected the whole barbel fishing season, but if we have a normal year weather-wise then there are two rivers that could certainly produce a record-breaking fish, namely the River Wensum and the River Trent. But don’t rule out a different stretch of the Great Ouse,” claimed Brian.
“However, I think that we could see the capture of a 25lb barbel in the not-too-distant future,” he added.
Brian last week bowed out of his self-appointed role as barbel historian extraordinaire, handing over his 18 files full of perfectly indexed pages of records to Barbel Specialists group founder Ray Walton and Teme barbel guide Dave Mason.
Ray and Dave will carry on Brian’s work recording record barbel catches throughout the country.
“There is an enormous wealth of historic information in these files which most barbel anglers would have forgotten about, or never seen,” claimed Ray Walton.
“A great thanks must go to Brian Dowling for creating this system of records and for keeping a record of individual river record captures and British records, amongst other interesting barbel facts.
“The Barbel Specialists will continue Brian’s excellent work in keeping the files up to date, together with other valuable information regarding the species”, added Ray.