Giant barbel from the Trent

A bait-and wait campaign has accounted for the capture of one of the River Trent’s biggest ever barbel topping the scales at 17lb 9oz.
The popular venue was almost bursting its banks, but that didn’t stop Adrian Garside from beating his personal best with this stunning specimen.
The Stoke rod embarked on an overnighter slightly upstream of a likely-looking area of slack water.
While many anglers would cast out a rig from the off, Adrian remained patient and began to feed his swim with a bed of crushed pellets to draw the barbel into his swim.
“The Trent was up to its peak and flowing steady, but I still had confidence,” Adrian said.
“My swim was around 8ft deep, so I had to use a heavy feeder to ensure the feed was being deposited on the riverbed. I made eight casts and after each one I left the feeder to rest for at least 20 minutes so that the pellets could settle.”
It was a tactic that drew immediate results – within the first three hours of the evening barbel weighing 13lb 12oz, 7lb 1oz and 6lb 12oz, had fallen for Adrian’s 14mm dumbell hookbaits.
An hour later yet another bite resulted in something much heavier.
“I was fishing upstream so the bite only resulted in a couple of taps on the rod, but when I struck I knew this fish was in a different league,” Adrian continued.
“It put up a cracking fight and I had to stop the clutch a few times as it dived hard for a tree – but I soon managed to bully it to the net…all 17lb 9oz of it!”
The new pb smashed Adrian’s previous best of 14lb 11oz – a fish that Adrian had banked just a week prior to his most recent trip.
His set-up consisted of a 1.5lb Kevin Baines Specialist rod complete with a Shimano Baitrunner reel loaded with 40lb braid. This was connected to a 15lb braided hooklink, a size 6 hook and a large swimfeeder fished on a simple running rig.