70-year quest for barbel comes to an end

Des Taylor made the dreams of an 80-year-old fishing fanatic come true when Bill Hall ended a lifelong quest to catch a barbel.
The Suffolk angler was blown away when his son, Martin, bought him a day out with the Angling Times columnist to celebrate his 80th birthday…and it turned out to be a session he will never forget.
He finally did battle with the species, which had eluded him for over 70 years, when he hooked his first barbel after just half-an-hour of being with Des, who provided him with an action-packed session that produced 12 barbel to 8lb 5oz.
“It’s been my dream to catch a barbel as I’ve had every other coarse fish, game fish and sea fish, but I’ve been all over the country and never had a barbel. They have been my Nemesis,” Bill said.
“When Martin told me he’d got me a day with Des I was blown away and thought if there’s anyone who can get me a barbel, he can. He showed me all of his barbel secrets, and in what felt like just a few minutes my first fish was in the net. It was a special moment and the best day’s fishing I’ve ever had.”
Fishing on the Rowley DAC’s stretch of the River Severn at Coalport, near Ironbridge, Bill fished a straight lead with a hair-rigged boilie over a bed of pellets.
Des has spent hundreds of hours with anglers from all over the UK, but he said that his day with Bill was the most rewarding guiding day he’s ever had.
“It was a true honour to spend a day with Bill, and to see the look on his face when he landed his first barbel is something I’ll always remember,” said Des.
“Bill’s son had bought him a pewter badge of a barbel some years ago and he wouldn’t wear it until he’d caught one.”