River record brace stuns Avon anglers

Roger Rance enjoyed the ‘best session of his life’, taking a river-record brace of barbel for 29lb 3oz off the Hampshire Avon, near Ringwood.

The memorable trip saw the 69-year-old retired turf contractor smash his old personal best of 11lb twice in a day as he landed fish weighing 14lb 1oz and 15lb 2oz.

The smaller of the two barbel came within 40 minutes of casting out after it took a piece of legered luncheon meat presented over the back of a large weed bed.

Following a powerful fight, which saw Roger chasing the fish 60yds downstream to prevent it burying itself in the weed, he slipped his huge prize into the waiting net.
The rest of the day then passed without event until his rod-tip hooped over again some time late in the afternoon and another powerful specimen powered off, this time after taking a Sonubaits Monster Crab and Mussel S-Pellet legered over a far-bank strip of gravel.

“I was lost for words when I saw another massive barbel sitting in the bottom of my net,” Roger told Angling Times.

“I’ve been on cloud nine ever since and I’ve still got a huge grin on my face as we speak. I’ve fished this stretch of the Avon for more than 20 years and have even had the pleasure of meeting Chris Yates here in the past.

“It’s usually good for a double-figure fish each season but I’ve never experienced a session quite like this one before,” he added.

The Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire-based rod’s winning set-up consisted of 6lb Maxima mainline straight through to a size 10 Kamasan hook.

Bisterne Fishery is usually only accessible to game anglers targeting salmon, but opens to day-ticket coarse anglers during August and September each year.

For details of how Bisterne is fishing and how to obtain tickets for the venue, as well as supplies of all the specialist tackle you’ll ever need, visit Ringwood Tackle (01425 475155).