Traditional barbel tactics went out of the window during Colin Hebb’s latest session on the River Trent – and a bold move was rewarded with this stunning 18lb specimen.
The East Yorkshire rod had struggled to get among the shoals while using pellets and boilies, so he switched to lobworms in a bid to transform his fortunes.
Kick-starting the session a couple of hours before the light faded, perch and small chub were the first to respond before bites suddenly stopped.
But the tiniest of indications tempted Colin to strike, and that decision proved to be a wise one as the rod-tip hooped over.
He told Angling Times: “At first I thought I had hooked a log as it drifted slowly without doing anything, but then the fish went over to the other side of the river and surfaced, showing its true size straight away.
“That’s when the fight really started. The barbel made eight or nine really powerful runs and at one point I was convinced the hook was going to pull out.
“Everything held in place, though, and once it was in the net I couldn’t believe its size. There’s no doubt it makes up for all those blank sessions.”
Colin wasn’t the only man to record an eye-catching result on the rivers this week – Daniel Best’s debut on the Wye ended with a river record-shaking
13lb 8oz barbel.
Double-figure fish are few and far between on the picturesque waterway, but a slow take ended with the Lancashire angler falling just over 1lb short of the venue best. He said: “We’d been travelling rivers throughout the country during a few days off and had made stops at the Dove, Severn and Warwickshire Avon. I’d had a torrid time, blanking on all three.
“It was a relief just to get a run on the Wye, and for that bite to be something as special as this fish is absolutely incredible and completely unexpected.”
The specimen whisker fell for a legered brace of large Elips pellets hair-rigged on to the back of a size 10 hook.