Bread hooks record barbel on first visit to Hants Avon stretch

A lump of breadflake used as a ‘last resort’ was the key to the capture of this impressive 16lb 7oz barbel – a new record for the Royalty stretch of the Hampshire Avon.

Brian Greed’s first-ever session on the historic fishery wasn’t looking good following a day-and-a-half without so much as a knock on the tip of his rod.

After fruitlessly trying a full range of ‘modern’ baits on the hook, including boilies and pellets, the Swindon-based technical illustrator decided to roll back the years and fold a piece of bread around his size 8 hook in a desperate bid to get on the score sheet.

Incredibly, within just a few minutes the huge fish found his traditional offering too good to resist.

“I’ve been fishing for 35 years and hadn’t cast a line in 2009, so I thought it was about time I caught a big barbel. I knew that the Royalty was the venue, but the Avon is also a very daunting river for a first-timer,” Brian told Angling Times.

“It really felt like I was heading for a two-day blank before I reached for the few slices of bread I had in the bottom of my bag.

“I can’t believe how lucky I’ve been to catch a venue record, and wouldn’t consider myself an expert by any stretch of the imagination. However, I do know how good bread is. This isn’t the first time it has dug me out of a hole…and it probably won’t be the last!”

Brian used a simple running leger rig incorporating a feeder packed with groundbait and pellets to make his memorable capture.

The barbel beats the previous river record by 2oz and was taken from a clear channel among the streamer weed in the section known as the Parlour Pool.