The hunt for his first double-figure barbel ended in spectacular fashion for Ricky Bishop after landing two in the space of a week, including the capture of one of the biggest specimens of the season weighing 15lb 2oz.
The 24-year-old big fish angler from Hucknall, Notts, was testing a new prototype boilie on an undisclosed section of the River Trent near Nottingham. His catch, which also included a barbel of 14lb 2oz, was taken during a two day stint on the prolific waterway in an area which had been avoided by anglers.
He told Angling Times: “I scouted the pegs a couple of days before fishing and noticed a large overhanging tree which looked really inviting. I had to clear yards of nettles to get to the peg as no one had fished the spot this year so the fish must have felt comfortable to feed.”
Upon arrival at the swim Ricky setup a groundbait feeder rig with 12lb mainline and a 2ft, 15lb fluorocarbon hooklink tied to a size 10 Drennan Super Specialist hook. On to this he mounted a STOTA 10mm Gravel Grenade boilie, a new bait he was testing. “I had a boilie on the hook but also had Gravel Grenade krill flavoured pellets in the groundbait mix which are the same flavour as the boilies as well as hemp to give them something to grub around for. I got plenty of bait down before darkness but it wasn’t until the early hours that the fish started to feed,” he said.
“I am new to barbel fishing as I have always been a carp angler but I am really enjoying it and I think the carp knowledge is helping with my barbel fishing” he added.
You can buy the new STOTA baits, which also include a range of pastes and flavourings by visiting the company’s website: www.stotabaits.co.uk