The biggest barbel to be caught from the River Trent this season has been banked in the form of a huge 17lb specimen.
The impressive fish was landed on the final week of the campaign by venue regular Lee Bennett who was targeting a day-ticket stretch of the waterway at Clifton Bridge in Nottinghamshire.
The 35-year-old from Bedworth, whose previous best for the species was a fish of 12lb from the Warwickshire Avon, tempted it using an open-ended feeder filled with groundbait, halibut pellets and hemp, in conjunction with a banded single halibut pellet hookbait.
The Clifton Bridge AC member, who usually prefers to fish the River Severn or Avon, told Angling Times: “I have not long started to fish this area of the Trent but my friend fished the same spot the week before and landed a double-figure barbel so I knew there were decent fish in there.
"Unfortunately I live too far away to pre-bait so had to rely on feeding the fish until they grew in confidence. I only had the one take and that was well into darkness,” added Lee, whose setup consisted of a 4oz feeder, 15lb mono mainline attached to a 12lb hooklink with a size 4 Fox Arma Point hook.
“When I struck into the fish I knew it was big so I played it very carefully. Luckily the swim was pretty much snag free so it didn’t take too long to get it in the net.”
Barbel anglers have enjoyed a productive year on the Trent with this fish topping last week’s capture of a 15lb 15oz specimen caught from a nearby stretch by Richard Easom while last November Wayne Glossop banked an even bigger fish of 16lb 5oz from an undisclosed tidal stretch.