Change of heart leads carp angler to a big Kennet barbel

Fate lent a helping hand in Steve Ward’s capture of this personal-best 16lb barbel from the River Kennet in Berkshire.

With a week booked off work, the 49-year-old had originally planned on going for four days’ carp fishing, but after seeing the weather forecast he had a change of heart and decided to do a few short sessions on the local waterway instead.

The first trip passed without event, but on the second day, targeting a weir pool, he hooked into the specimen barbel within 45 minutes of casting out.

“It took me 10 minutes to get the fish off the bottom, and at first I thought it might be a carp as I know there are a few present in the area,” he told AT.

“When I saw it roll and realised it was a huge barbel, I knew it would smash my old pb of 5lb. I’d like to thank a fellow angler called Rich who was fishing close by and took some excellent photos for me.”

The business end of the Thatcham-based body repair shop employee’s rig consisted of a home-made spicy boilie hair-rigged to a size 6 Pallatrax hook and a 12lb Pallatrax braided hooklink and fished in conjunction with shrimp and halibut pellets and a few handfuls of hemp.