Adopting a mobile roving approach saw Mark Erdwin bring a welcome end to a seven year wait for a new barbel best with the capture of this 15lb specimen from the River Loddon.
The Reading-based running water enthusiast had fished four different swims on a low-stock stretch of the waterway during the evening with little to show for his efforts. Settling in to his fifth and final spot, the 34-year-old used a small bait dropper so as not to spook the swim and lowered in four droppers of birdseed.
“I left this to settle for 30 minutes before gently placing my hookbait into position along the downstream margin,” Mark told Angling Times. “After a couple of hours the isotope on my rod tip registered the faintest of taps. Any thoughts of crayfish being responsible were cancelled out when the rod hooped over alarmingly and my small reel went into meltdown.
“I knew straight away I was into a different calibre of fish and it was having none of it, keeping low and hard, making powerful lunges towards the weed beds and almost bullying me into submission on more than one occasion.
“Finally I saw her beautiful wide flank break the surface and she slipped into the waiting net, peering into it breathlessly my jaw dropped - she was simply amazing. I can only imagine what weights some of these fish will be later in the season when they’re this size already,” he added.
Mark put his faith in a low-resistance rig which consisted of a trimmed-down boilie wrapped in paste on a size 6 Pallatrax The Hook and a 12lb Drennan Sink Braid hooklink.