River records and personal bests have been smashed again as Britain’s barbel continue their autumn feeding spree.
Best of the week fell to Peterborough’s Martin Gray, whose 17lb 8oz fish from the River Nene ended a five-year quest to beat his previous pb of 16lb 10oz.
He introduced a handful of boilies in the central channel and cast a running rig with a home-made 12 mm boilie over the top.
“The bite was really tentative, but then experience told me that I was into something special as the barbel made its way upstream,”said Martin.
“There’s every possibility that the big fish in here could top 20lb this coming winter.”
On the River Derwent, a run of 12 blanks ended for Ray Williamson when he landed a 17lb barbel.
The Derby angler targeted an Earl of Harrington’s AC stretch, snaring the giant fish just 3ft from the bank on a CC Moore Pacific Tuna boilie. His 2oz feeder rig incorporated 4ft of fluoro hooklength and was backed up with loose offerings.
Said Ray: “After all those blanks you start to question your rigs and baits, so I just went back to the same tactic that caught me a 16-pounder from the same river last year – and it worked a treat.”
The second huge barbel from the in-form Derwent is a club record-breaking 16lb 10oz.
Pellets and boilies are what most anglers take with them to catch big barbel these days, but Phil Needham showed that the traditional approach can still pay.
The Derby Angling Federation bailiff fished his own club’s stretch of the river, where he tempted the prized specimen using a small cube of meat after creating a bed of hemp and caster via a bait dropper.
Phil, who set the club’s barbel record with a 15lb 12oz fish last season, used a 1½oz flat lead, 10lb fluoro mainline and a short 8lb hooklength of the same material to catch the specimen.
Most anglers can only dream of catching two 16lb barbel in one week, but that’s exactly what
Matt Hughes managed to achieve with the capture of two specimens weighing 16lb 6oz and 16lb 4oz.
Fishing an unnamed stretch of the River Trent, the Sutton Coldfield angler also netted four other doubles during two arm-aching sessions spent in a swim where he had caught fish to over 16lb last season.
After arriving to find a fairly low and clear river, Matt began his session by feeding three handfuls of boilies.
He then cast out out two rods with 4oz gripper leads on Nash weedclip systems tied to Korda Ntrap semi-stiff hooklengths with size 6 ESP Cryogen hooks.
To keep the fish interested he fed around six chopped and whole boilies every half-hour, presenting a whole version with popped-up sweetcorn on the hair.
Darran Goulder had every reason to smile about his first-ever barbel from the River Thames, a fish that scaled 13lb 10oz.
A carp fishing friends said that he’d been catching barbel, so the Shimano consultant from Kent decided to target them. But he didn’t expect a fish like this during his first evening session.
It was fooled with two 15mm Dynamite Baits Spicy Shrimp & Prawn boilies fished in conjunction with a size 8 hook.