A 30-YEAR love affair with the Derbyshire Derwent was capped off in fine style by Ian Hartley when he landed the UK’s biggest barbel of the season and smashed the river record with this stunning 16lb 12oz fish.
The Earl of Harrington’s AC member has dedicated his angling career to targeting specimen fish on the waterway and gained his biggest reward to date when he obliterated his personal best by over 3lb from a club controlled stretch.
Having fished the venue several times a week since the beginning of the season, he was fully aware of the hotspots and set his stall out in a shallow peg that he had netted a brace of double figure specimens to 11lb 8oz just days before.
A bed of pellets were fed over a gravel bar before his straight lead rig – which comprised of 15lb mainline, a short 12lb braid hooklink and a size 8 hook – was placed over the top.
It took less than an hour for the action to commence, with the silence being disturbed by a screaming take just before midnight as a big barbel fell for his 16mm halibut pellet hookbait.
“It initially felt like a small fish but as soon as it got under the rod tip I gained a glimpse of it and it charged off. It was at this point I knew I was attached to a new personal best,” explained Ian.
“Around 10-minutes later it came to the surface and I quickly netted it. My friend was literally jumping for joy when he saw the size of it and it soon became apparent it was a very special fish which broke the previous river best by 6oz,” he added.
Determined to better the record again, Ian has already made plans for another assault and said: “I’m confident that even bigger fish are present in the venue and I’ll be upping my efforts to make sure I land one.”