Is 19lb River Trent barbel now the UK's biggest?

The River Trent yet again proved why it’s one of the UK’S premier big barbel venues when John Parker banked what could now be the biggest barbel in the country.

Tipping the scales at 19lb, the superb specimen came from John’s favourite stretch of the River Trent and smashed his personal best.

The landscape gardener used a basic leger rig and a hair-rigged piece of luncheon meat with a blade of grass to hold it in place to bank the fish, which has been caught at over 19lb in the past.

And with news of the death of the biggest known barbel in the country – a River Ivel fish that reached a record-shaking 20lb 7oz and was recently killed by an otter –there’s reason to believe that this one could now be the UK’s biggest.

“I have been fishing for more than 40 years, and a 10-pounder was the biggest I’d ever caught,” said John.

“It felt like I’d snagged on the bottom when the tip ripped round after I’d cast my baits 20 yards out into the river. After a 15-minute fight I managed to get it to the surface and I couldn’t believe how big it was.

“It was soon in the net and it was at that point I realised I’d seen this fish before.”

It turned out that John’s big barbel was caught in November last year by 25-year-old Daniel Jamson at 19lb 1oz... on the exact same tactics used by John.

“The distinctive red flashes on the barbel’s tail and flank proves that it is the same fish, and to catch it on a piece of hair-rigged meat with grass as a bait stop is so satisfying,”

John added.