50p worth of bait for huge river brace of barbel and chub

A handful of luncheon meat worth just 50p helped Jack Neale smash his barbel and chub personal bests.

The 24-year-old says that anglers obsessed with pellets and boilies are missing out – instead he slips the supermarket offering on the hook wherever he goes, and it was instrumental in the catch of a lifetime that featured fish weighing 13lb 9oz and 6lb 5oz.

Targeting the popular Earl of Harrington’s stretch of the Derbyshire Derwent, the local specialist swung a piece of meat on leger gear close to a gap in an overhanging tree, and after just 10 minutes had subdued the powerful lunges of his biggest-ever barbel.

 “Nowhere near enough anglers use meat, which is a real shame because they are really missing out. It always works for me,” said Jack.

“My bait had only been in the water for a few minutes when the rod was nearly pulled off the rest.”

After flicking out a few free offerings, it wasn’t long before the tip of his rod wrenched around once more as his size 14 Drennan Barbel hook on a 10lb hooklink was set firmly in the jaws of the big chub.

“Anglers are obsessed with boilies and pellets and often introduce huge beds of bait, which I’m convinced the fish get used to seeing, especially on pressured stretches,” Jack continued.

“I just flick out a few small pieces that sit around the hooklink and fish a bigger piece on the hook, and the barbel and chub can’t get enough of it. Because of its soft texture and the enticing scent trail it creates in the water, there’s no better bait.”

His session also produced smaller barbel to 6lb and chub to 5lb, all of which were beaten with the help of 12lb Fox Soft Steel mainline.