The River Trent has been in red hot form and early September has been no different – with numerous double-figure barbel banked. Here’s the pick of the bunch from the latest catches...
Ian Potts 17lb 1oz
MACCLESFIELD-based angler Ian Potts couldn’t believe his luck when he banked a new personal best barbel at 16lb 13oz, to only go and catch it again two days later at 17lb 1oz!
The 43-year-old free-lined a chunk of meat into the weir at Gunthorpe and struck when he received two taps on his fifth run through the swim.
He said: “All hell broke out and it was a good seven minutes before I managed to get her to the net. When I lifted her I couldn’t believe it was the same barbel!”
Jay Elliot 14lb barbel
Recasting every 45 minutes was the key to the capture of this exquisite 14lb Trent barbel for Jay Elliot.
The 45-year-old from Nottingham fished a night on a middle stretch of the River and took the fish after he heard a single bleep on his alarm at 2.15am.
Successful hookbait was a Vortex Baits CKO Cocoon.
Michael Coke 17lb 5oz
A large banded halibut pellet proved too irresistible for this chunky 17lb 5oz specimen. It was banked by barbel fanatic Michael Coke who made use of rising river levels on a stretch near Newark to grab a few hours fishing.
A cage feeder loaded with dampened groundbait, micro pellets, 4mm pellets and hemp was the successful tactic
Catching one grass carp from the River Thames is a rare feat so you can imagine Roman Vann’s delight when he banked a brace for a combined weight of 48lb!
The Hampshire-based angler fished double 20mm boilies over the top of a bed of maize, maples and tiger nuts to deter the bream – which certainly paid-off in the early hours of the morning.
He said: “The smaller one came first at 4am and after slipping it into the retainer and recasting the rod i rolled a celebratory cigarette, but didn’t have time to smoke it as the rod was off again!
“A brace of river grassies for 48lb…I was lost for words.”
The nation’s specialists have kicked off what is traditionally the best month for fishing with a flurry of impressive fish banked in a superb week.
Topping them all was Northamptonshire’s Andy West, who netted five stunning rudd over 2lb to a best of 3lb 1oz 8dr.
Fishing a late evening session on a backwater of the River Nene, the Wellingborough specimen-hunter broke his pb twice when he got a small shoal feeding on corn.
He said: “I fed two or three grains of corn every minute or so but after 20 minutes I just had to make my first cast. I waggler-fished three grains of corn 18ins deep and then the bright tip disappeared.
“I connected with a solid fish and after a quick but hard fight, a 2lb 14oz 8dr golden rudd lay in my net – I was over the moon after beating my previous best of 2lb 9oz 8dr.”
The action didn’t end there either, as Andy explained: “I’d had three more 2lb fish as darkness closed in then added a starlight to my float-tip in attempt to get one more bite.”
“Within five minutes I connected with the rudd I was really after – a fish of 3lb 1oz 8dr, which weeded me twice before I brought it in.”
“I stayed the night and retained the fish in deep flowing water until around 7am, when my son in law and wife arrived to photograph the fish.
Big rudd weren’t the only species on the feed in ‘Super September’, either as predator ace Michal Belan proved with the capture of a 4lb 1oz perch.
Targeting a sunken tree on a stretch of the River Wye near Hereford, Michal flicked a 4cm shad mounted onto a 4g jighead tight to the structure and received a powerful hit.
He said: “The bite was visually stunning as all the little bait fish in the swim scattered when this big perch came out of nowhere and engulfed my lure.
“I’ve caught one bigger perch from this river before but this catch was by far the best of my life.”
Anglers just can’t stop catching huge roach and if recent reports are anything to go by, now is as good a time as any to target a new personal best.
Here are three monster redfin catches to help whet your appetite for the weekend ahead…
Michael Broom - 2lb canal roach
A night session in search of big carp on a Midlands Canal produced this surprise 2lb roach for Michael Broom.
The canal boat-owner had already caught five carp whilst fishing into darkness but at around 3am something smaller had picked up his boilie hookbait.
“We were woken by what we thought was a bream on one of my rods but as I played the fish in it felt different,” Michael said.
“We netted it and in the dark we shouted ‘it’s a roach!’ It was a big one at that.”
Richard Jones - 3lb 1oz roach
Carper Richard Jones proved that big boilies are effective for specimen roach when this 3lb 1oz monster devoured a 15mm Sticky Baits Manilla boilie.
Targeting Norfolk’s prolific Highbridge Fisheries with his daughter and friend, Richard received the shock of his life when the large redfin surfaced.
“I thought it was a bream until it came up, after giving a good account for itself considering the heavy tackle we were using.”
Chris Tredway estimated - 3lb-plus roach
Top lure angler Chris Tredway got the surprise of his life when this estimated 3lb-plus roach devoured his lure during the World Predator Classic Kayak qualifier on Grafham Water.
The Berkley and Abu Garcia-backed ace was enjoying sport from big perch over 40cm in length when the massive silverfish struck.
It was a new personal best for Chris who finished fourth overall in the competition.
British zander don’t come much better-looking than this chunky 16lb 2oz specimen which was expertly taken by predator ace Thom Hunt.
Competing in the World Predator Classic at Cambridgeshire’s Grafham Reservoir, Thom and his boat partner Kevin Cox were flying high after day one of the tournament having banked a succession of 3lb-plus perch and zander to just under 9lb, but it was during the morning of day two when a bigger zander struck.
“I was half thinking it was a big pike but I also had a hunch due to the nature of the scrap it could be a big zed, and then it popped up in front of us…It was absolutely massive and the biggest zander I’ve ever seen,” said Thom.
Thom’s new personal best fell to a 6ins Zander Pro Shad. It also helped his team finish third in the competition overall.
The River Trent’s barbel sport is showing no sign of slowing down this week with a glut of big-fish catches topped by a 16lb 12oz specimen.
The fine barbel is one of the largest caught from the waterway this season and was banked by Carl Salisbury during his maiden visit to a tidal stretch of the waterway.
The 49-year-old from Staffordshire decided to settle in a swim that featured deep water in between two shallow runs, and employed regular casting to ensure his swim kept topped-up with bait – which included scolded pellets, crushed boilies and mixed particles.
He said: “To my surprise just before 8 o’clock the downstream rod went into meltdown. I lifted the rod and an unstoppable fish was attached – It went at least 50yds downstream before weeding itself!
“I just couldn’t move her so I decided to walk downstream, level to where she was and managed to get her moving again. I could now see the size of her head and she looked huge.
“I got her to the surface and she glided into the net and left her in the edge for five minutes while we both recovered.
“The Reubens swung round to 16lb 12oz – a new PB beating my previous best of 14lb 14oz from the River Dove!”
Carl’s set-up included Greys barbel rods, Shimano baitrunners loaded with 12lb X-line fluorocarbon 3oz open end feeders.
His hookbait included a fishmeal boilie and a size 8 Korda wide gape hook.
l The River Trent wasn’t the only waterway to produce a big barbel this week either as Aaron Donoghue proved with the capture of a 15lb 7oz fish from an undisclosed stretch of the River Thames.
Aaron’s hookbait was a 20mm Blakes Baits Frank and Indian hard hookers boilie.
After seeing a big chub and three barbel in a swim on the Avon’s famous Royalty Fishery, Dan Pestell decided to return to the spot with his gear a week later – and was rewarded with this 7lb 3oz chub.
The 38-year-old from Christchurch, Dorset, told Angling Times: “I noticed a big chub with a scale missing on its back, sitting alongside three barbel of a similar size.
“The water is so clear and shallow in this spot that when I came back, I had to sit right away from the water as the fish are very spooky.
“It’s a new personal best and is an incredible weight for a summer fish. There are a lot of big fish down here at the moment.”
Dan caught the big Avon chub on an 8mm pellet on a size 10 Drennan hook with a small mesh bag of freebies nicked on.
A 12-hour trip to the Tidal Trent saw Justin Stoddart bank this 15lb barbel and four other doubles.
The river rose and coloured up overnight, prompting the barbel to feed on Justin’s pellets, hemp and chopped boilies.
“At 2am the Delkim screamed,” he said, “and after a good fight I was cradling a 15lb barbel, which is my second in as many weeks!
“Regularly reaching for the Spopper and topping the swim up kept fish coming all night.”
Fishing has exploded back on to our TV screens, with episode one of the new series of ‘Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing’ viewed by an audience of over 1.7 million.
This is an increase of 400,000 on the average for the previous series, with two episodes still remaining in the six-part second season.
The show has had great critical response, too, with viewers warming to the comedy duo and their antics on the bank.
In a recent interview with Angling Times, Paul and Bob described the show as: “A light-hearted celebration of the countryside that everyone can identify with.”
They hoped the show would “encourage more people to go outside and give fishing a go”.
This isn’t the only programme that has put fishing in front of a wide audience. ‘Monster Carp’ and ‘Fishing Allstars’ have also had viewers enthralled – with Monster Carp being the second most-watched programme on ITV4 during its premier week according to thinkbox.tv
Korda TV production manager and Fishing Allstars guest angler, Gary Newman, revealed: “Filming is already well underway for Season 5 of Monster Carp, and it is going to be yet another fantastic series.
“There are still two more episodes to film, and when it comes on TV next summer I think people are going to enjoy the new series just as much as they have the previous ones.”
Critics & viewers response
Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone fishing
Leaves you feeling warmed and gently tickled – Radio Times
Anyone else feel like this has quickly become one of their favourite half hours of the week? – Daily Mirror
The most joyous programme on air right now… classily produced and beautifully edited.
– The Telegraph
Best programme on TV, get out there and make another 20 episodes. Legends of the fishing world.
- Luke Harris
What a finale! Buzzing for you all. Great show and fitting tribute to the inimitable Alan Taylor. Another legend lost. RIP. – Rob Laws
Keep up the good work Deano. It’s done the right way, with a smile. – Trevor Brown
I really like Fishing Allstars as it is proper light-hearted fun with all-round fishing.
– Mark Brotherston
SPECIMEN hunters are looking to gravel pits more and more for their big-fish fix and are having exceptional results. Here are some of the best recent captures from these often mammoth stillwaters…
Chris Carlyle 16lb 2oz bream
Construction site manager Chris Carlyle dug in deep on a large Notts pit this week, to be rewarded with this 16lb 2oz bream.
The specimen was caught from a 14ft plateau at 45 yards range, the same area Chris had seen two carp show the previous evening.
He targeted the area with Method feeders, fished over a Spomb mix of Dynamite Baits sweet mixed particles, halibut pellets and 12mm boilies.
The successful hookbait was a Mainline Essential Cell dumbell topped with fake corn that had been soaked in molasses for extra pulling power.
Lee Snow – 4lb 2oz perch
After seeing some fry scattering on a southern gravel pit, Lee Snow switched his tench rig over to a big lobworm, then cast to the same spot and was rewarded with this 4lb 2oz perch.
He said: “This is now my second 4lb-plus perch from the lake, the first being a 4lb 3oz fish taken while I was tench fishing.
“I can’t believe it really, as this is a 90-acre water that has a reputation for being mega-hard.”
The superb perch fell to a worm presented helicopter-style on a size 10 Korda Wide Gape hook tied to a 6lb mono hooklink. This was presented alongside a feeder loaded with chopped worm and maggots.
Seb Wright - 11lb 4oz tench
Nash Tackle’s Seb Wright was beyond pleased with this colossal 11lb 4oz tench from his local Essex syndicate.
The 24-year-old from Rochford said: “I’m predominantly a carp angler but I would have taken that tench over any carp in the lake.
“It really was a once-in-a-lifetime fish, which I imagine, I will never top.”
Seb’s new personal best fell to a 12mm Nash Scopex Squid pop-up fished on a Ronnie rig over a bed of Scopex Squid flake and pellets.
A stillwater syndicate in Norfolk, which was rumoured to have been destroyed by cormorants, was this week the scene of some of the biggest individual roach catches of the season... including a 3lb 8oz giant!
The superb redfin was the second of two caught by carp angler Shane Lord during a recent session at Highbridge Lakes – the first being another fine specimen of 2lb 1oz.
The 25-year-old told Angling Times: “The alarm slowly beeped away and I originally thought it was a bream, but after picking up the rod and feeling a little tug, I thought I must be into one of the bigger roach I have heard about in the lake.
“The first fish was the two-pounder, which was a new pb so I was over the moon.
“A few hours later things got even better. Following some drop-backs on the indicator I picked up the rod and reeled it in, this time to see an absolute monster of a roach on the end!
“I have never seen a roach that size before, it was amazing!”
Shane’s roach fell to a 12mm wafter hookbait presented on a multi-rig just seven rodlengths out. This was fished over a small bed of crushed boilies.
These weren’t the only specimen roach reported from the Norfolk venue, though – another carper, Sean Jackson, also struck silver this week with a clonking 2lb 3oz roach.
This fish showed a similar liking for a wafter hookbait, which was presented on a
combi-rig in 23ft of water.
Fishery manager James Brown was pleased to hear of the reports of big roach, and said: “The lake is fishing its head off at the moment.
“It did have a five-year waiting list to join the syndicate but then the rumour mill got going with scaremongering about the cormorants destroying all the fish – which, as you can see, was rubbish.
“The damage was already done, leaving 10 spaces on a roach syndicate of 20. These recent results will certainly bring the focus back on to how good the roach fishing here really is.”
A carp angler is the envy of specialist eel anglers after landing this 8lb 14oz beauty.
Ireneusz Zajaczkowski was fishing Shropshire venue Wigmore Lakes when the super-serpent picked up his worm hookbait.
Accurate measuring revealed it to be 111cm long, and Ireneusz described it as “the best eel of my life”.
Wigmore Lakes fishery manager Robin Hubbard said: “It was a real surprise to see an eel of that size caught from the lake. We are a real mixed fishery, and have fish of all species in our 100-year-old-pond.
“The lake is fishing really well at the moment.
“It just goes to show that in fishing, you never know what the next bite will bring.”
With a touch of extra water and colour, the country’s rivers are now in superb form for Britain’s best loved species – roach. Judging from this week’s catch reports, NOW is the time to go and bag a redfin pb.
Tomasz Plowiec – 2lb 12oz
This superb fish measured 42cm and was a new pb for Tomasz Plowiec.
The 37-year-old from Redhill was fishing a stretch of the Thames when big roach started feeding over his daphnia, maggot and meat groundbait mix.
He caught the two-pounder on maggot feeder with a size 12 Pallatrax Gripz wide gape hook.
Darren Clarke – 2lb 2oz
After catching specimen roach while barbel fishing on the River Trent, Darren Clarke decided to scale down his tactics to specifically target them.
This worked a treat when, during a session on the tidal river, he took this cracking 2lb 2oz redfin.
He used either 12mm Dynamite Baits boilies or Dynamite 8mm pellets on the hook with a PVA bag of matching freebies attached, and recast every 30 minutes.
Tommy Goodman – 2lb 6oz
Most anglers wait a lifetime to catch a 2lb-plus roach but Tommy Goodman, at just seven years of age has already cracked that target with this beautiful 2lb 6oz specimen.
Fishing the River Medway in Kent, Tommy caught the immaculate fish on legered sweetcorn fished over a bed of micro pellets.
This wasn’t the only big fish Tommy caught either, because a switch to worms and maggots brought him a bonus perch of 2lb-plus.
Zander fishing on the River Trent, Greg Byatt had a shock when his lamprey head deadbait was picked up by a double-figure barbel!
The predatory bertie turned out to be a new personal best for Greg, spinning the scales round to 12lb 5oz.
Keen zander hunter Greg told Angling Times: “I initially thought it was a catfish or a huge zed as the fight was unbelievable.
“I got it close to the surface a couple of times and it steamed off again. I then decided it must be a big barbel, after hearing fishermens’ tales of them taking lamprey baits in the past.”
Greg did manage his target species in the same session, and on returning to the same stretch of the river a week later he claimed a personal-best zander of 11lb 1oz.
One of the biggest barbel of the season has been landed from the Warwickshire Avon near Evesham.
The 16lb 2oz fish fell to Bedworth tackle shop owner Paul Nixon, who was fishing an evening session on the Anchor Meadows day-ticket stretch of the river after work.
Paul’s personal best was joined by three other fish from 6lb to 9lb, and was the result of a heavy baiting strategy that saw him introduce a gallon each of maggots and hemp into the swim.
Paul told Angling Times: “I usually fish the river for barbel after work on a Sunday night through to Monday morning.
“This is the highlight of what has already been a great season – the river is in such good form. Last session I took a catch of 12 barbel and 20 chub in just a day’s sitting.
“It turns out my 20th barbel of the season is a personal best, and I haven’t got over it yet!”
The Avon giant fell to 10 maggots presented on a size 10 hook tied to 12lb line, with a 3oz gripper lead anchoring the rig in position.
This wasn’t the only big barbel caught this week, though. The species is well on the feed on rivers elsewhere in the UK, following an influx of water to our rivers.
The second big bertie reported this week was caught by 33-year-old James Butler at dead on 15lb.
“I had a screaming take just before midnight and found myself connected to what I thought was a carp, due to the intense fight it put up,” he said.
James caught the fish from a stretch of the Thames , where he presented an Aqua Baits Hot Shrimp boilie wrapped in paste, just off the marginal shelf and over a bed of particles.
Colin Woolgar made the most of a five-hour session with the capture of this fin-perfect 3lb 10oz crucian from the Godalming AC-run Johnsons Lake.
After Spombing in a bed of hemp and dead maggots, Colin cast 25g Drennan Method feeders over the top loaded with Sonubaits Chocolate Orange groundbait.
Two buoyant fake casters made the perfect hookbait, presented on a 4ins hooklength.
Kevin Sanders also got in on the crucian action after making a 300-mile round trip to Sutton Lake in Shropshire, where he landed six crucians to 2lb 15oz, as well as a bonus 25lb carp.
“I used my standard Method feeder tactics,” Kevin said, “baited with the Big Fish Green-lipped Mussel and Silver X Carp Method mix groundbaits mixed with corn steep liquor.
“Hookbaits were a Dynamite Pineapple and Banana dumbell or a 7mm E-SL Speedys Washter.”
SPECIALIST Oli Langford had the shock of his life when this cracking 4lb rudd slid over his net during the early hours of the morning.
Oil was putting in a quick overnighter on a local Cambridge lake when the
fish took a single grain of popped-up corn fished on a size 5 Curve Medium hook.
“I assumed it was a bream, as there are plenty here,” Oli said.
“But as it came in to the bank my friend netted it for me and told me what he had just seen.
“Once I saw the rudd myself I was made up. It was easily my biggest ever.”
A trio of thresher sharks has brought the total of sea species over 100lb to a magnificent seven for a UK charter boat.
Size Matters, skippered by Kevin McKie, had already taken ton-up blue, porbeagle and six-gill sharks, along with common and white skate and bluefin tuna – but an exciting new predator was about to be added on the latest 96-hour trip.
Kevin said: “We all knew this was going to be a challenge as none of us had ever seen a thresher before, let alone caught one – but we ended the trip with three weighing 60lb, 100lb and 150lb.”
Best mates Phil Riley, John Owen and Tony McQuillan had booked Size Matters for a four-day trip off Plymouth, Devon.
After catching fresh mackerel for bait just offshore, Kevin steamed Size Matters 100 miles out, and it wasn’t long before the first thresher was hooked.
“As soon as Phil set the drag, the fish went airborne,” Kevin added. “It was a thresher estimated at around 200lb. After a 20-minute fight we had it to within 20m of the back of the boat, when it suddenly spat out the hook. We were all gutted.”
Three further threshers managed to shake the circle hooks near to the boat, but a switch to a smaller pattern saw the next fish firmly hooked by Kevin.
“It was early morning, and I was shouting at the other lads to wake up, as I had no butt pad on and just flip-flops on my feet. The fish was heading towards the bows,” he said. Kevin fought the fish for 30 minutes before eventually boarding it.
“An approved length-to-weight table revealed that it weighed just over 100lb, and I’d got my seventh species weighing more than 100lb,” he said.
John was next with an estimated 150lb thresher, and moments later Tony boated one of around 60lb, bringing the crew’s tally to three.
Kevin added: “By the time it was Phil’s turn on the rods again, we started to lose daylight, the tope moved in and the threshers disappeared. Sadly, it was time to leave and steam back to port.”
Kevin now has his sights set on catching an eighth species in excess of 100lb from UK waters. Conger eels are the likely target.
Recent downpours have caused the River Trent to rise, and if you’re a barbel angler there is no better time to be out on the bank. Here are three Trent doubles taken last week to whet your appetite...
Justin Stoddart – 15lb 1oz barbel
Laying down a big bed of hemp, pellets and chopped boilies proved a wise move during Justin Stoddart’s latest barbel adventure when he slipped the net under this 15lb 1oz belter.
The Retford rod used a Spopper to introduce his feed on a section of the tidal Trent, and during a 12-hour session he managed to bank his new personal best alongside six others – including a fish of 10lb 14oz. All fell to 3FT Twitch 18mm SG1 boilies.
Alan Lane – 15lb barbel
Alan Lane has banked his first double-figure barbel in the form of this 15lb beauty.
The 74-year-old, who lives on the south coast, travelled with his friend to fish the prolific Bob’s Island stretch of the River Trent in Newark.
His new pb, alongside other barbel of 6lb 12oz and 7lb 1oz, were tempted on tandoori-flavoured luncheon meat fished over a bed of hemp, maggots, boilies and parti-blend, making his 400-mile round trip well worthwhile.
Zak Gorst – 11lb barbel
Young Zak Gorst was treated to a few days fishing on the Trent at Gunthorpe during the summer holidays and banked his first double-figure barbel at 11lb 5oz.
The Manchester lad and his dad managed to hook 17 barbel during their stay by fishing 18mm Pro-Sushi boilies fished over 10mm, 14mm and 16mm offerings.
A colossal roach that’s believed to be a River Trent record has been banked in the shape of this 3lb 4oz beauty.
The incredibly rare redfin fell to Newark-based Alfie Naylor who had been targeting the waterway’s shoals of roach over the previous month.
The 36-year-old had already enjoyed success with a 2lb 10oz personal best, but he had no idea his latest trip to his local stretch would yield something even more special:
“After landing that 2lb 10oz fish I honestly thought I’d never see another river roach that big in my life,” he said.
“How wrong was I – two weeks later I managed another Trent giant, but this time it was even bigger. I honestly thought it was the British record when it lay in my net.
To help get past the smaller roach Alfie fished with half a Nutrabaits River Plus dumbbell around 6mm in size, which he banded to a size 12 Daiwa Gamakatsu G-point hook.
He fished this in conjunction with a helicopter rig and a 25g Drennan Gripmesh feeder loaded with damp 4mm River Plus pellets and Trigga carpet feed.
“A couple of months ago I was invited to Bob Roberts’ barbecue which gave me the opportunity to pick the brains of Archie Braddock and the late Mike Townsend regarding targeting big river roach,” Alfie added.
“I went away that evening with a serious amount of information from two of the best river roach anglers in the country and couldn’t wait to put it to use.”
Alfie’s big roach wasn’t the only specimen caught recently either as Richard Barlow proved with his 3lb 5oz specimen.
The Poole-based angler used groundbait feeder tactics with corn on a Wimborne and District Angling Club stillwater to take the large three pounder, alongside others weighing 2lb 6oz, 2lb 5oz and 2lb exactly.
“I had just caught the three two-pounders when the bobbin went again and I struck into a heavy fish,” Richard said.
There is no official documentation for a Trent record roach although Alfie Naylor has submitted his 3lb 4oz fish to the BRFC and is currently awaiting confirmation.