Hants Avon produces biggest number of double barbels

Anglers’ prayers for rainfall were answered this week and the river sport that followed didn’t disappoint, as a host of the UK’s best barbel venues produced the best catches of the season so far.

One of the first to take advantage of the nationwide feeding spell was Andy Myers, whose 16lb 8oz personal best from the River Kennet marked the highlight of 40 years targeting the species. The 49-year-old struck gold during a short three-hour evening session on the Berkshire river, where he legered a halibut pellet on an 8lb hooklength cast beneath an overhanging tree.

He said: “I’ve been obsessed with barbel for longer than I can remember and am well aware of how well the species can respond to rainfall, even if it’s just a few showers. The extra water increases the oxygen levels straight away and it can be like the flicking of a switch when it comes to getting fish feeding.”

- Elsewhere, a piece of luncheon meat ‘the size of a golf ball’ was the winning bait for Kenneth Edmunds, who targeted a stretch of the River Thames to take a new best of 14lb during a short evening stint on the waterway near Maidenhead.

- Further north, the River Trent provided the setting for Nottingham’s Stuart Keay’s capture of a cracking 13lb 3oz specimen, which fell to a pellet fished over a bed of hemp and casters.

- Over on the Warwickshire Avon Mark Mole from Birmingham took a thickset fish of 12lb on the tried and tested legered halibut pellet tactic.

- The river producing the biggest number of double-figure fish this week however was the Hants Avon, where no fewer than 18 fish over 10lb were landed from the famous day-ticket Royalty stretch in the space of just seven days.

Nigel Grey, owner of Davis Tackle in Ringwood said:
“I’ve been selling permits on this venue for many years and in my experience rivers always fish better after a little rain. So it pays to check the weather forecast before you plan your next barbel fishing session.”