This powerhouse of a near-40lb River Trent fought for 45 minutes before finally succumbing to Ricky Bishop’s net.
The monster river specimen weighed 38lb 9oz and was caught during a 48-hour session on the middle Trent at Nottingham.
Ricky, from nearby Hucknall, had to clear a path through nettles to get to his swim, but was rewarded with a string of barbel bites before the big common arrived.
The 24-year-old said: “I scouted the pegs a couple of days before and noticed a large overhanging tree which looked ‘carpy’ for the river.
“I set two rods up and fished one on a carp rig – a running flat pear lead with a 10lb Sufix Black Stealth hooklength and a size 10 hook. I opted for a new prototype hookbait nicknamed Gravel Grenades from STOTA Baits. I crushed a few Grenades into a PVA stocking and hooked it on to the rig and placed it close to the tree with a few free offerings.”
Ricky’s other rod was fished for barbel, and at 1.30am he managed a new PB for the species at 15lb 2oz before losing two more.
“At 8.30am I was awoken by three bleeps on the alarm and then a burst on the reel. The fish tore off down through the swim, but keeping my rod low I managed to clamber in to my waders and get into the water to control the fight.
“Forty-five minutes and a few close shaves later, the fish surfaced – it was enormous for the Trent!”