Season's best barbel banked

The biggest barbel of the season has been banked in the form of this 17lb 2oz specimen.

The fish, known as ‘Bullet Hole’, was caught by Alan Cornwell from a Burton Mutual Angling Association controlled stretch of the River Dove in Staffordshire following a month long baiting campaign.

It is the second time Alan has landed the specimen which became his new personal best for the second time having weighed 1oz more than when he first caught it back in February 2012. The capture follows a string of double-figure fish banked by the Stoke-on-Trent-based rod including fish of 13lb 9oz, 13lb 8oz, 11lb 2oz and 11lb 6oz during his last four visits.

After regularly pre-baiting the swim with Cutting Edge mixed particles he fished a weedy shallow run and cast out a feeder filled with homemade paste in conjunction with two hair-rigged 15mm HG Dip boilies. The tip was pulled round shortly afterwards and following a dogged fight he netted the sought-after specimen. This was quickly backed up with a second fish of 11lb 12oz – his 15th double of the season.

“I am so chuffed to have caught this awesome fish again but it’s not without the help of friends like fellow angler John Davey - we all baited and fished the same swim to help keep the fish on the feed and it worked a treat,” he told Angling Times.
Also getting in on the action this week, was Gardner Tackle’s Alan Stagg, who netted a 15lb 8oz barbel on only his second river session of the season.

The Hampshire-based all-rounder targeted a Thames tributary and used a homemade bait dropper to introduce a mixture of hemp, corn and chopped CC Moore Odyssey XXX boilies no more than a rod length from the bank before positioning his rig.

He said: “Initially I thought it was a small fish, but the longer the fight went on, the more promising it looked.”

Alan mounted a trimmed boilie tipped with a piece of Enterprise imitation corn on a size 8 Gardner size 8 Covert Wide Gape Talon Tip hook and a 15lb Trickster Heavy hooklink.

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