ONE OF the biggest barbel of the season has been caught by Neill Stephen – this 17lb 5oz specimen from a southern river.
The London-based former Drennan Cup holder found the waterway rising rapidly and while most other anglers had resorted to the comfort of local stillwaters, he embraced the challenge and freelined a piece of homemade paste.
After allowing it to trundle downstream towards a series of tree roots, the tip twitched slightly and seconds later the hook had been set.
The specimen then plodded around slowly on the bottom and minutes later it was in the net.
“I couldn’t see how big it was because of the dark but when I lifted the net out I saw the girth and size of its head and realised I’d landed something very special,” explained Neill, who used 25lb PowerPro braid, a small lump of Plasticine moulded around a float stop and a size 6 Drennan Super Specialist Barbel hook.