Second barbel ever - 16lb 15oz

Novice barbel angler Chad Critchley brushed aside his lack of experience when his second ever example of the species turned out to be this 16lb 15oz specimen from the Derbyshire Derwent.

The Nottingham-based rod only began targeting barbel three months ago but became the envy of many seasoned big fish hunters when the impressive fish fell for a halibut pellet hookbait during a short evening session.

Having banked just one smaller barbel of 9lb during his short obsession with the waterway, he was determined to land his first double and headed to a likely looking hotspot just before dark.

A small crease was baited before a running leger rig - made up of 15lb mainline, a coated braid hooklink of the same strength and a size 10 hook - was placed over the top.

His rig had only been in position for less than an hour when he was called into action.

“The fish tore off and it was instantly clear that I was into one of the venue’s big barbel. Once near the net, I got a glimpse of it and it looked huge – I was just praying that the hook would hold in place,” said Chad, who fell just 3oz short of breaking the river record.

“I’m a keen fly angler and I’ve also caught carp to over 40lb but this is by far my greatest angling accomplishment to date.”

Despite having achieved what many experienced specimen anglers could only dream of, he is already planning on increasing his personal best again.

“I have fished a lot of sections on the Derwent and seen some fish that could well have been bigger than this one. I’m gaining more knowledge as I go along and I certainly wouldn’t rule out beating my pb again this season,” he added.