Dave Harrell's biggest float-caught barbel

Perfecting a different way of trotting helped Angling Times columnist Dave Harrell catch his biggest ever float-caught barbel.

Tipping the scales 12lb 2oz, the huge fish fell during a session on the River Wye in Herefordshire, where Dave used an 8g alloy Avon float with a banded 8mm Bait-Tech fishmeal pellet hookbait.

“Instead of trotting with the reel’s bail arm open and letting line be pulled from the spool by the current, I kept the bail arm closed and backwound,” explained Dave, from Rugby, Warwickshire. “This allowed me to really slow the rig down and the difference was amazing. It won’t always work but when the fish are sluggish and don’t want to chase a bait too much, it can make a massive difference.”

In addition to the 12 pounder, the same set-up also tempted one of 8lb and two six pounder to round off a remarkable day on gin-clear river.