16lb 4oz barbel landed on 3lb line by schoolboy

A record-shaking barbel has been landed by a schoolboy after an epic hour-long battle on just 3lb line, Angling Times can exclusively reveal.

The 16lb 4oz fish, which is only a single ounce shy of the River Severn best, took Josh Roe’s legered double red maggot during a night session at the 16-year-old’s local Holt Fleet stretch of the West Midlands waterway.

Striking into the fish at around midnight, it took Josh a full hour and 10 minutes to get the historically important barbel to the net, where the teenager was ‘stunned’ to see its size.

“We’d got there around 8pm and I’d only had a few eels when my quivertip dropped back,” Josh told AT. “I hit into it, but thought I’d snagged the bottom. Then it started to move.

“I’ve caught barbel before and they shoot off, but this one just stayed deep and moved slowly. I don’t think it even knew it was hooked for half the fight.” Having cycled to the venue with only a small backpack of tackle and light quivertip rod, Josh landed the second biggest barbel ever to be taken from the Severn on 4lb mainline with a 3lb hooklink to a size 10 hook.

“There were some hairy moments during the scrap. It was a massive relief when I got it on the bank,” said the teenager. “My mate who I was fishing with had never even seen a barbel before, he couldn’t believe how big it was and neither could I.”

Speaking to Angling Times about the capture, the chairman of The Barbel Society, Steve Pope, said: “It’s a brilliant and inspirational fish, so big congratulations to Josh. The story just sums up why we all go fishing. It’s also great to see a fish that can put the Severn in the limelight again as it’s become a little unfashionable in recent times.

“My only concern would be that after an epic hour battle like that he did everything necessary to let the fish recover before it swam away,” he added.