BARBEL anglers across the country have taken advantage of the improving conditions this week and the results have been staggering on a number of popular venues.
The most remarkable catch went to Jim Ufton who slipped the net under this 17lb 3oz fish – the biggest landed anywhere in the country this year.
Incredibly, it is the Burton-upon-Trent angler’s third 17lb plus specimen from the waterway this season, with his latest achievement being taken on boilies.
“I’ve fished the venue for over 30 years and many people don’t know its potential - some stretches are full of fish between 11lb and 14lb,” Jim told Angling Times.
“I’m convinced my homemade boilies have given me an edge over the other anglers.”
Former Olympic athlete Dean Macey refused to let the ongoing floods ruin his latest session and ended up taking a new personal best of 15lb 8oz from a southern river.
Fully aware that the water temperature had risen he employed a bold baiting strategy and introduced seven baitdroppers of hemp.
The daylight hours failed to produce any bites but his patience eventually paid off as the tip wrapped round during darkness and Dean told Angling Times: “A savage fight took place where the fish took line on a very tight clutch. After around 10 minutes I slid the net under her massive frame. Just days before I’d taken my best of the season weighing 13lb 11oz and this was the icing on the cake,” he added.
Last but certainly not least was Adrian Eves whose only bite of the day led to this stunning example coming to the bank from the River Kennet.
The Farnham-based rod targeted a small slack using Dynamite Baits The Crave paste on a Fox Camotex Stiff hooklink and a size 6 Kuro S2 hook.