On 42-year-olds David Treadwell's last six sessions at the Royalty Fishery on the Hampshire Avon, he's been fortunate enough to catch a double-figure barbel on each occasion.
However, he took his achievements to another level on his last trip when he slipped the net under this superb 16lb specimen.
The powerful fish ¬ which was caught along with one of 11lb 4oz by Dave in a hectic half-an-hour period at dusk ¬ is the biggest ever taken from the venue in the summer months and falls just 8oz short of the current Avon record.
Targeting a gravel run on the far side of a deep hole where it shallowed up, David kept his loosefeed to a minimum and offered just a single Teme Severn Lamprey hooker pellet in conjunction with a PVA stick of Lamprey Mini-Mix pellets.
“The 11lb 4oz fish put up a hell of a scrap, but the big one just held fast on the bottom after being hooked, before coming to the net quite tamely after about five minutes,” said Dave, whose previous best barbel was a 13lb 9oz fish taken from the Dorset Stour two seasons ago.
“I’ve enjoyed some excellent sport on the river recently, but I certainly wasn’t expecting to catch a 16lb barbel at this time of year. There are probably only half a dozen fish in the area which could beat this, so I think I’ll start my Stour chub campaign soon in the hope that my luck carries over to that venue and I manage to catch my first 8lb’er!” added the Bournemouth-based rod.
Dave beat his new personal best barbel with the help of a 15lb Sufix Kameleon hooklink and a size 12 Drennan Super Specialist Barbel hook.