Prebaiting is key to giant river barbel and chub

Some anglers bait their swim and then wait a couple of hours before fishing it, but Oliver Fisher took it to the extreme when he prebaited the Dorset Stour for over a month before taking a 6lb 12oz chub and a 13lb 10oz barbel in quick succession.
The Dorset angler visited the waterway daily to introduce a carpet of pellets into a number of swims, and within less than a week he noticed signs of specimen fish feeding heavily over the spot.
Rather than wet a line for them straight away, he continued prebaiting for more than a fortnight to gain the confidence of the shoal.
“Every time I went to the swim I could see big barbel and chub moving around, but I was determined to hold off,” said Oliver.
“I knew that the longer I waited, the better my chances were of hooking one of these giants.”
A date was pencilled in for his first ambush of the swim, but the day started badly as he was involved a car crash.
Emerging unscathed from the ordeal, he headed to the venue as planned and within five minutes of casting out he was in action.
“I’d anticipated a wait, but the rod bent round almost straight away. I piled on the pressure and a 6lb 12oz chub was soon in the net,” he said.
“Several others to 5lb 12oz came shortly afterwards and I decided to stay a little longer to see what else I could land.”
Having planned to pack up at midnight, it looked as if the rest of the evening would pass without incident but then, shortly before his revised finish time, his rod was almost ripped off the rest.
“I had to dive at the rod to stop it from going in and I instantly knew that it wasn’t a chub.
“It stripped line from the reel and once on the bank my friend said it was the biggest barbel he had ever seen!” he said.
“This is a stretch of the river that produces a lot of blanks so to catch chub and a barbel this big was very special,” he added.
All the fish fell for a leger rig that Oliver made up from 12lb fluorocarbon mainline, a 15lb Korda Dark Matter braided hooklength and a size 8 hook baited with two Elips pellets.