THIS is the picture of what is believed to be the biggest barbel currently swimming in any river in the UK, all 20lb 7oz of it!
The mighty specimen, which falls just 10oz short of Grahame King’s 21lb 1oz British record, was landed by seasoned specialist Dave Currell when he targeted an undisclosed river stretch.
The Hertfordshire-based rod, who held the British record for the species himself way back in 1998, tempted the new personal best on a feederfished bunch of red maggots.
It is the first barbel over 20lb to be banked from any UK river since the capture of a 20lb 12oz fish from the River Wensum by Mark Rylands in 2008, a barbel which, like Grahame King’s Great Ouse record, is known to have perished at the hands of otters.
“I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this fish doesn’t become a new British record before the end of the year,” Dave told Angling Times.
“After spending the best part of 20 years fishing for specimen barbel, in recent seasons I’ve mainly been concentrating on floatfishing for big roach, but on this particular session I decided to chuck out a feeder as well - and I’m so glad that I did! I was trotting away when I saw the tip on my feeder rod knock a couple of times , so I quickly put my float rod down and grabbed the feeder rod just as it buckled over as the fish hooked itself. It wasn’t clear at first just how big the barbel was until I lifted it out of the water in the net.”
“When I saw the needle on my scales spring past the 20lb mark I started shaking so much that I couldn’t hold the thing still. I just stood there in disbelief until my witnesses turned up!” added Dave, who beat the fish using 12lb mainline, a 10lb braided hooklink and a size 12 Drennan barbel hook.
Britain’s Top 5 biggest barbel
1 21lb 1oz, Grahame King, River Ouse, 2006
2 20lb 12oz, Mark Rylands, River Wensum, 2008
3 20lb 7oz, Dave Currell, undisclosed river, 2013
4 19lb 5oz, Duncan Kellett, River Kennet, 2006
5 19lb 4oz, Steven Short, River Trent, 2007