River Trent is on fire with huge barbel and bream catches

Anglers are enjoying some truly awesome sport on the River Trent, with huge mixed bags of fish dominated by barbel and bream being reported from numerous stretches on the middle and lower reaches.

Pick of the bunch was an estimated 350lb of fish made up of 22 barbel, including three doubles to 10lb 12oz, at least 36 bream, six zander, 12 eels, half a dozen chub and eight 1lb roach.

The impressive haul was made by river regular, chef Lee Swords during a 36-hour session in which he and friend Dan Stewart-Smith, who put together a 120lb mixed net, fished a variety of methods.

“We were messing about targeting various species at the ideal times of day,” said the Don Valley Specimen Group member.

“I fished light during the day with a 6ft 6lb hooklength and a couple of 4mm pellets Superglued off the back of a size 14 hook, a technique AT columnist Matt Brown used to fluke a 15lb pb barbel out of my favourite swim last year.

“At dusk, we touch-legered half bleak deadbaits on tip rods to tempt a few zander before the eels forced us back on to bigger legered T7 Lamprey boilies and pellets for barbel and bream,” he added.

Further upriver, Scunthorpe rod Richard Tuxford banked no fewer than 18 barbel and 20 chub in a sitting targeting a stretch near Newark, while fellow Scunny resident Steve Bontoff landed 13 barbel and 10 chub as the pair shared a swim on Lady Pitt Farm.

Small bunches of maggots dragged through the swim under dumpy pellet wagglers and heavy feeding of grubs proved the killer method.

Elsewhere, match anglers also filled their boots from the bang in-form river this week, with Robin White and a friend putting together a 180lb catch of bream on groundbait feeder- fished double caster from Crankley Point. Back on the tidal at South Clifton, Graham Mallia fished groundbait feeder to fill his keepnet with bream to 8lb – before emptying it and proceeding to fill it all over again – with maggot and worm hookbaits most effective.

Scunthorpe Tackle Centre owner Graham Frith targeted the same stretch with stick-fished double caster to tempt 15lb of quality roach during a short pleasure session.

“The Trent is currently providing anglers with quality fishing right across the board and stocks are looking really promising for the future,” Graham told AT.