Glory days of huge catches return to the River Trent

Fishing on the River Trent is better than it has been for the past 20 years. That is the opinion of a host of the nation’s best-known and most well-respected anglers who have this week said that the famous waterway is now producing its best sport for match, specimen and pleasure anglers for decades.

Five-times world champion Alan Scotthorne has been joined by river fishing legend Wayne Swinscoe and Trent expert Bob Roberts in claiming that not only is sport equalling that of its heyday, but pleasure anglers are also returning to the waterway in their droves.

And it’s not difficult to see why, with 100lb-plus nets of barbel and chub being taken each week, the most recent match-winning net being 110lb 15oz of fish coming from the famous 1A peg at Collingham, and reports that silverfish are making a resurgence with big nets caught at Fiskerton and Stoke Bardolph.

“I’ve been fishing the Trent since I was 14 years old and anglers have always looked at the river through rose-tinted glasses, but it’s now better than ever,” said Alan Scotthorne talking to Angling Times.

“During the river’s most difficult times sport used to be very patchy and match weights were diabolical at times.

“But now good weights of roach and dace can be taken from so many different areas, and I don’t think there’s a better water in the country for big barbel and chub.” Top matchman turned specimen-hunter Bob Roberts has stuck with the river through its toughest times and has proved the big-fish potential of the waterway with unrivalled success.

“People have said the river’s dead and written it off, but it always seems to bounce back and reinvent itself,” said Bob.

“There were times when I could run a float down the river with maggots on the hook and not get a bite, but now there are roach, dace and perch throughout, it’s harder to find stretches that don’t hold chub and barbel rather than ones that do.” The effects of this new lease of life are also being felt by local tackle shops, with more and more anglers taking holidays in Nottingham in order to fish the river.

Tim Aplin, owner of Matchman Supplies tackle shop in Nottingham, admits that the river has seen its fair share of tough times, but is convinced that it’s back to its best.

“The river’s never been healthier. The water clarity’s promoted weed growth that’s led to a huge increase in silverfish.

“Anglers should be very excited about the future of the River Trent,” he added.