Baiting in a slack pays off with 16lb 2oz river trent barbel

Baiting an area of slack water on the middle River Trent helped Stephen Hall bank this new personal best 16lb 2oz barbel. 

The 3FootTwitch-backed angler arrived to his swim at 5:30pm and fed a large helping of hemp and crushed Redemption boilies, before casting out a single Redemption boilie over the top.

He said: “At 8:15pm I had a huge pull on the rod tip. I’d never felt a fish like that before – the strength, power, and stubbornness of this fish was incredible. When I got her in the net I was blown away.”

Stephen Hall 16lb 2oz barbel.jpg

Monster eel falls to drop shot lure

A predator angler has boated one of the biggest eels ever taken in the UK – during a lure fishing expedition to a Midlands reservoir! 

James Knights 9lb 8oz eel.jpg

Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, rod James Knights was drifting his boat in search of perch when the 9lb 8oz monster nailed his drop-shotted Zman TRD lure in 27ft of water. 

He said: “I’d already had a great day on the perch front, catching numerous fish to just over 4lb, when this giant eel made an appearance. 

“The fight was absolutely immense – the fish felt very heavy from the off and I had no idea what I had hooked! 

“There were lots of thumping head shakes which made me suspect it was a big perch, and it didn’t strip lots of line from the reel as a big pike would. I truly didn’t know what I’d hooked.”

Halfway through the fight the eel managed to wrap itself around a buoy, which gave James a nervy few minutes as he tried to free it.

“I had to drive the boat around the buoy multiple times, and on three or four occasions the eel swam backwards into the chain to try and break me off,” he added. 

“Eventually I managed to drag it free, which is when I finally saw this gigantic eel.
It had taken my lure square in the mouth!

“On the scales it went 9lb 8oz and it was by far the biggest eel I have ever seen – if I’d lost it I would have thought it was a 20lb carp.”

Big fish of all species go on the feed

Specimen anglers have never had it better if recent catch reports are anything to go by – with monster barbel, chub, roach, perch and pike all making an appearance of late. 

Here are three catch reports from the past week to get you in the mood for the weekend ahead…

Brett Longthorne | 16lb 6oz barbel

A large slack close to the bank on a rising River Trent provided Brett Longthorne with a new personal best barbel in the form of this sublime 16lb 6oz specimen.

Arriving to his chosen stretch on the tidal river early on a Saturday morning, Brett had been fishing for around two hours when he got the bite.

The big Trent fish fell to a Nutrabaits River Plus boilie presented on a rig made with a 6oz lead to hold bottom.

Alan Rio | 3lb 1oz roach

A drop-back bite saw Alan Rio strike into this stunning 3lb 1oz roach personal best. 

The all-rounder baited a spot on an undisclosed gravel pit with a pint of maggots at 60 yards to gain a response.

“I quickly weighed the fish, which registered at 3lb 1oz on my scales – my first-ever 3lb roach!” he said.

Alan used 50g feeders and 4lb Drennan Supplex tied to a Drennan Super Specialist size 18 hook baited with maggots.

Alan Rio 3lb 1oz roach.jpg

Simon Baker | 7lb 4oz chub

A weeked trip in search of a huge chub couldn’t have gone any sweeter for Simon Baker when he slipped the net under a brace of fish for 14lb 6oz. 

The larger of the two weighed 7lb 4oz and fell to maggots trotted along a stretch of the River Lea in Hertfordshire.

He said: “I had a fantastic two days of fishing and ended the trip with 15 chub, including the two sevens and a pair of sixes.” 

Simon Baker 7lb 4oz chub.jpg

four perch over 4lb in ressie haul!

An Essex reservoir has produced one of the best specimen perch hauls of the season so far.

The remarkable catch, made up of 11 fish over 3lb 2oz to a best of 4lb 4oz, fell to the rod of tattoo artist Charlie Coppolo, who has been fishing the Hanningfield venue since the start of autumn. 

Charlie Coppolo 4lb 4oz perch.jpg

The 32-year-old  featured in last week’s Angling Times with a pair of 3lb-plus perch, but he was determined to go one better... and returned to slip his net under a 4lb specimen. 

He said: “Following on from last week’s big fish I didn’t think it could get much better – but, amazingly, it did!

“We managed to locate a shoal of baitfish with a Deeper Chirp+ fish-finder, and once again the perch were there in numbers.

“Overall I managed to catch 11 stripeys, all of them weighing over 3lb 2oz.

“The haul also included four incredible fish weighing 4lb 1oz, 4lb 2oz, 4lb 3oz and 4lb 4oz.  

“I’ve been trying for years to break the 4lb barrier and this time I’ve managed it four times in a day! I guess a five-pounder is my next target.”

Charlie’s fish were boated on a variety of lures, but a Gunki LS Kiddy in ‘Vairon’ colour mounted on to a 15g jig proved to be the most productive. 

Lures also proved effective in Lincolnshire rod Ash Costa’s approach when he drop shotted a black Senko worm to bank plump 4lb 9oz specimen (left).

Ash Costa 4lb 9oz perch.jpg

Ash was being plagued by pike during the morning of his trip to a murky drain near Boston, but a switch to a different venue soon put him on the perch. 

He said: “A small group of fry had scattered in open water so I cast just beyond them.

“As the lure was falling through the water I had a very hard take, which I knew from the off was from a big perch. 

“A short while later this huge fish lay in my net and I was one very happy and relieved man, because the hook came out straight away.

“It was a stunning fish with a huge frame, and my second perch over 4lb this season.

“It just goes to show how good black lures can be in very coloured water.”

Matchman Ricky Young proved that you don’t need big baits to catch huge perch when he tempted this 4lb 2oz specimen on a double red maggot hookbait. 

The Cheshunt, Herts angler was fishing a contest on the River Lea at Nazeing when he received a powerful take on his quivertip rod. 

He said: “I had cast a small maggot feeder loaded with chopped worm alongside a double maggot hookbait to the far bank, and had a strong bite moments later. 

“This fish was huge, and ultimately helped me win the match!” 

Ricky Young 4lb 2oz perch.jpg

Four perch to 4lb 6oz banked...

Perch fanatic Joe Royffe continued his impressive form for big stripeys again this week when he banked four specimens for nearly 16lb. 

They weighed 4lb 6oz, 4lb 3oz, 3lb 15oz and 3lb 3oz and all fell to livebait tactics fished on his local stretch of the River Lee Navigation. 

He said: “I landed the 4lb 6oz perch, but it was while unhooking this one that the other rod sprung into life and I soon had two big perch in the net at the same time, with the smaller one going 3lb 3oz.”

Joe Royffe 4lb 6oz and 3lb 3oz perch.jpg

dutch treat with a 50lb 7oz pike

A new potential Dutch record pike has been boated at a colossal 50lb 7oz (23kg).

The fish fell to the rod of Westin Fishing-backed predator enthusiast Siegfried Schön, who was trolling a lure on a large undisclosed water in the Netherlands when he received a powerful take. 

After a fight of around five minutes, the pike was netted and measured at an incredible 138cm long. 

To see a video of Siegfried battling the pike, visit the Westin-Fishing page on Facebook. 

Siegfrid 23kg pike.jpg

4lb 10oz perch is best of six for 22lb!

An all-round angler has proved that now is the time to target a perch personal best... by banking six stripeys for more than 22lb, topped by this giant weighing in at 4lb 10oz 8dr. 

James Matthews 4lb 10oz 8dr perch.jpg

Jim Mathews has been targeting a variety of species over the spring and summer, but with the arrival of October the 35-year-old switched his attentions to perch.

Fishing new waterways on the Hertfordshire/Essex border, it took Jim a few sessions to locate the fish, as he explained: “I find there is often a period of readjustment when switching species and starting at new venues, but once I’d narrowed down the key areas and feeding times things started to come together,” he said. 

“Perch started to figure quite regularly and over the last nine days, in six trips, I managed to bank a brace of 3lb 2oz fish followed by others at 3lb 10oz, 4lb 1oz, 4lb 4oz and the big’un at 4lb 10oz 8dr.”

Jim’s last trip further proved the effectiveness of lobworm hookbaits fished over red maggots with the capture of the biggest in the haul, but not before a jittery fight.

“The light was fading fast and I had just returned the 3lb 10oz fish when I received a fast bite on my left-hand rod cast along a margin,” he said.

“I was met with a solid weight but the fish tried to shed the hook in a big snag. 

“After 30 seconds I was contemplating going in after it when one of the snag’s branches snapped, the line held firm and the perch came free. 

“Soon enough she was in the net, and I was one lucky and relieved angler.”

High water turns on the Trent barbel

October’s impeccable form for monster barbel continues, with three notable fish banked by anglers targeting flooded rivers. 

Large parts of the UK have experienced intense rainfall since the turn of autumn, but this has been music to the ears of many barbel enthusiasts searching for a personal best.

Among these was Gary Manders, from Walsall. He fished an area of slack water on the tidal River Trent to bank a stunning 16lb 9oz example.

Gary Manders 16lb 9oz barbel.jpg

Gary told Angling Times: “The river was carrying a fair bit of floodwater but I knew it was a great area for barbel.

“I spodded a mix of chilli hemp, maize, tares, broken boilies and pellets into the swim and fished an 8oz running rig over the top, with two 18mm Madbaits Asbo boilies wrapped in matching paste as hookbait.

“It turned out to be the trip of a lifetime as I smashed my pb three times with fish of 14lb 3oz, 14lb 9oz and 16lb 9oz – when the scales registered the big one I was gobsmacked.”

Andrew Waddingham also reaped the rewards of fishing a flooded river for specimen barbel by slipping the net under a 16lb 3oz beauty. 

Targeting a middle section of the River Trent, the angler from Rotherham cast his feeder rig into the main flow for his prize. 

Andrew Waddingham 16lb 3oz barbel.jpg

He said: “The fish felt really heavy in a very flooded river and I couldn’t do anything with it at first because the flow was really pushing through. 

“After several minutes, however, I began to make some headway, pulled her into the shallow water and shouted ‘Yes!’ when she went into the net first time of asking.

“When the scales registered 16lb 3oz I couldn’t control myself and was jumping around on the bank!”

Andrew’s new barbel best, alongside others of 7lb 11oz, 12lb 13oz and 13lb 8oz, fell to an 18mm glugged 3 Foot Twitch SG1 boilie over a bed of matching boilies and pellets.

No better time for a specimen barbel

It’s a superb time to be a barbel angler, and personal bests are being banked from rivers all over the country.

Here are the reports of three 16-pounders from the past week of fishing to inspire you for the weekend’s sport ahead…

Alfie Naylor – 16lb 14oz barbel 

Newark rod Alfie Naylor proved the effectiveness of fishing big baits in flooded rivers for barbel when he slipped the net under this 16lb 14oz specimen.

He said: “The River Trent was rising and very coloured-up, and with this in mind I changed my approach and hair-rigged five Nutrabaits River Plus boilies on to a big size 4 curve shank hook, to which I attached a PVA bag of matching boilies.”

It was a new personal best for Alfie, who targeted a middle stretch of the river.

Alfie Naylor 16lb 14oz barbel.jpg

Mike Staines - 15lb 12oz barbel 

The famous Kings Weir Fishery has lived up to its reputation for big barbel in the shape of this stunning 15lb 12oz fish, landed by venue regular Mike Staines.

A simple piece of hair-rigged meat proved too much for the specimen to resist, as Mike explained:

“I was fishing in the weir pool using a hair rigged piece of meat on a size 10 hook when I had a bite around mid-afternoon. “It was my first bite of the day, and I’m really pleased with the fish.”

Mike Staines 16lb 12oz barbel.jpg

Julian Barnes – 16lb 7oz barbel 

Three trips to a flooded tidal River Trent helped Julian Barnes bank numerous double-figure barbel to a 16lb 7oz best. Targeting an area of slack water, he fished two 18mm Madbaits Pandemic boilies with a PVA bag of broken boilies and small pellets.

He said: “I love fishing in flood conditions, and once you find the right areas to present a bait the rewards can be great. During my three trips I caught lots of doubles with numerous to 13lb-plus, along with the 16-pounder.”

Julian Barnes 16lb 7oz barbel.jpg

What a great start to the pike season!

The pike fishing season has got off to a flying start with three 30lb-plus specimens landed in the space of a few days. 

Somerset’s prolific Chew Valley Reservoir produced two of the three monstes, boated by mates Ray Brown and John Chester during a weekend visit.

They enjoyed a fantastic Saturday and Sunday of predator fishing on the 1,200-acre venue and hooked no fewer than 10 pike between them on floatfishing mackerel deadbaits.

It was garden centre owner Ray who hooked the first big pike, a 24-pounder, following it up with a 30lb 14oz beauty on the very next cast. 

Ray Brown 30lb 14oz pike.jpg

He said: “We were floatfishing mackerel just off the lakebed and when the float sailed away I struck and set the hook.

“The fish came in slowly to the boat and to be honest I first thought it was a jack.

“It was a good job I had my clutch set light, as when it reached the boat it shot off at the speed of light!

“I gave up fishing for around 30 years but I’m very thankful to John, who persuaded me to take it up again and enjoy pike like this one.”

After a quick move to another area the baits were recast, and it didn’t take long before John’s float was away with a slightly bigger fish. 

Ray added: “As it approached the net we could tell it was a slightly bigger fish, which the scaled acknowledged with a weight of 31lb 4oz.

John Chester 31lb 4oz pike.jpg

“We have been Chew regulars for at least 10 years and have caught numerous fish over 20lb, including an incredible seven over 30lb between us – but never two thirties on the same trip!”

Scottish Loch giant

Predator fanatic Luke Reed proved that Scottish lochs are still prolific for huge pike when he slipped his net under this 30lb 4oz beast of a predator.

Luke Reed 30lb 4oz pike.jpg

Fishing an undisclosed water, the 29-year-old from Middlesbrough hooked into his new personal best when something huge grabbed his joey mackerel deadbait close to the bank.

He said: “It put up an incredible fight and I knew it was a big fish as soon as I struck into it. Almost instantly it tail-walked across the surface. I have fished for pike every winter for the last 10 years and I’m so happy that I’ve finally been rewarded with this monster of a fish.”

Is this the end of day-ticket fishing?

A growing number of UK day-ticket venues are turning their backs on day-ticket anglers in favour of members-only tickets.  

Already this year some of the country’s best fisheries, including Barford Lakes, Colemans Cottage, Shatterford Lakes and Welham Lakes have decide to make the switch, with various reasons given behind the decision to say ‘no’ to day-ticket visitors.

Barford Lakes looking to become members only.jpg

For some, the change to members-only makes managing the waters far easier, as Shatterford Lakes manager Daven Percival explained: “Converting to a syndicate is a lot easier for us to control. We have had some bad experiences with day-ticket anglers stealing and damaging things.

“We realise we aren’t going to make as much money by adopting this approach but for us it’s about creating a nice and safe environment for our members.

“Members will only get access via fingerprint or keypad and we have lots of cameras to monitor things. This allows me time to focus on developing the site and making everything better for members.”

Management was also a key factor in popular Essex match venue, Colemans Cottage, converting to members-only.

They said: “As age, aches and pains catch up with all of us, we have had to try and work out an idea on how we can keep the standard up here and carry on running the fishery – this is what we have come up with.”

But is having a venue open only to members the best way to go? 

Roy Marlow, owner of the Glebe Fishery near Leicester, certainly thinks so.

“For me, owning a fishery that is ‘members-only’ has and always will be the only way I’d ever want to run it.

“I can control who comes in and out of the fishery and there’s now a lot of respect and an understanding between myself and the anglers. 

“At the Glebe I also feel that what I offer is niche in as much as the fishery is set in a very natural environment – which you don’t see too often with other commercial fisheries. 

“Litter can be a problem on many day-ticket venues, but you won’t find a single litter bin at my fishery. My members always take their litter home with them without fail”, he said.

Some fisheries, however, remain undecided, with Surrey’s popular Bury Hill only gradually making the change. Owner David De Vere explained: “We are slowly moving towards a members-only water but at the moment we are offering the best of both – with anglers still able to fish on a day ticket. 

“A lot of money can be made from day tickets but if you don’t manage this properly it can cause problems, like fish damage. We’re not prepared to risk damage to our stocks just for extra cash.”

And the members-only move hasn’t gone down well with many Angling Times readers – see below for their views

Ian Fisk said: “It’s a good idea if it works. The fishery can control who gets to fish the place, keep a check on what they are doing and protect fish stocks. Can’t see it happening to more than a handful.”

Dave Cheetham: “Another example of the few spoiling it for the many! Why people can’t follow fishery rules, take litter home and behave appropriately is beyond me. Fisheries wouldn’t then have to do this.”

John Neville: “So anyone from outside the area wanting to fish there now can’t – I think it’s bonkers.”

Rick Clark: “If this becomes reality, how do we get new people/kids into the sport?  I’m sure that people/parents won’t want to pay a hefty joining fee.”

Steve Porter: “The Glebe has been members-only for years and is one of the best fisheries in the country. You can’t stock and look after a complex of that size based on the odd angler turning up when they feel like it.”

Stewart Wilson: “Places have been built on day-ticket anglers’ money. Now they are doing well they are turning away the people that got them where they are. This will lead to more people fishing fewer places as they need special memberships for each lake at costs that are unsustainable. Now I’ve said that, if I had my own lake it would be membership-only. It’s much easier to manage, leads to having much better anglers, less fish damage, and better water quality.”

Joe Taylor: “It would be sad for many match and pleasure anglers who like to travel and fish different waters all the time. I’ve fished at least 15 different venues this year.”

Chris Telling: “Maybe a good move for a lot of anglers, as people will feel a sense of belonging, and therefore look after the fishery more.”

Season’s heaviest bream falls to a shocked carp angler

Bream are a nuisance to some carp anglers, but Carl Sheppard was left scrambling for the net when he saw the biggest slab of the season on the end of his line. 

Carl, who hails from Congleton, Cheshire, landed this 18lb 6oz specimen from a local mere on a two-night session.

Carl had taken fish to 17lb 10oz from the same water a few months earlier, but when he saw that this fish was even bigger he was in complete shock:

He tempted the big slab on a wafter hookbait presented on a blowback rig.

Carl Sheppard 18lb 6oz bream.jpg

3lb 3oz roach tops hants avon match

A fundraising match on the Hampshire Avon has seen no fewer than SIX roach over 2lb landed topped by a 3lb 3oz beauty. 

The friendly contest, which takes place every year to help raise funds for the Avon Roach Project, was fished in perfect conditions by 77 anglers.

Paul Girton 3lb 3oz roach.jpg

And while this year hundreds of pristine roach found their way into nets, it was Paul Gurton’s float and maggot-tempted 3lb 3oz fish which stole the show. 

He said: “It fought well in the current and once beaten was impossible for me to bring back against the flow. Fortunately a fellow angler managed to net the fish for me.

“This roach is by far the highlight of my fishing career and came during my quest for a 2lb-plus fish – as my previous PB was 1lb 12oz.”

The fundraiser was also a celebration of the ARP’s 10th year and its creator Trevor Harrop has admitted he is delighted by how much progress the scheme has made since 2009.

He said: “When we first started the fundraising events very few roach were caught but we’re now seeing huge fish landed alongside plenty of fry – which are far too young to be roach introduced via the project. 

“This proves that they’re now starting to spawn on their own, which has always been our goal.”

Did you know?

More than £5,000 was raised for the Avon Roach Project during the fundraiser through the sale of match entry fees, a tackle auction and raffle. 

Are we looking at a world record pike?

An angler from the Czech Republic is claiming to have smashed the world pike record with a 26.7kg specimen.

The monster predator was caught by Lukáš Matějka, measuring a 133cm and weighing in at 58lb 14oz – that’s 3lb 13oz heavier than the official record caught in Germany in 1986.

World Record Pike 58lb.png

Currently there is limited information on the fish but it has already caused fierce debate among predator anglers on social media – with some sceptical of the fish’s weight.

Angling Times spoke to big pike ace Neville Fickling for his thoughts on the fish. “It’s a very tricky one to call with the way photographs are presented on social media these days,” he said.

“Certainly its looks like a colossal pike, but it would be nice to see and know the width of the fish, to make an accurate judgement.”

Eastern Europe has a long history of producing monster pike, so the capture of such a large fish from the area was not a surprise to some – as Angling Times columnist Paul Garner explained: “The Czech Republic, Germany and Poland are known to have some very rare giants in their waters.

“This certainly looks to be a big pike, and the length indicates a big, barrel-shaped fish typical of the type of fish that would come from our own trout waters.”

Will the UK ever see a pike break the 50lb barrier? Paul believes it’s only a matter of time…

“Sooner or later we will see a UK fifty,” he said. 

“In my opinion the stocking polices on some of our trout waters make this inevitable. The new record will likely come from a water that surprises everyone too!” he said mysteriously... 

Specimen fish fall in high water conditions

After water levels shot up in the recent wet spell, specimen anglers have been enjoying phenomenal sport as our rivers fined down to their normal state. 

Here are this week’s top catches…


Christopher Mendelsohn of bait company 3 Foot Twitch has been in unbelievable form on his local River Trent, and he added to his impressive catch list this week with a brace of barbel for 30lb.

The bigger of the pair was this immaculate 16-pounder, which fell in high water conditions from a slacker area of the river in between two stands of trees. 

He caught them both within two hours of starting, using his regular rig of a 5oz lead, 6ins Kryston hooklink and size 2 Partridge Curve hook. The effective bait was a 3 Foot Twitch D-Liver boilie over a bed of hemp, maize, chopped worms and SG1 boilies.

16lb Trent Barbel Christopher Mendelsohn.jpg


Hertfordshire delivery driver Joe Royffe continued a fine season of hunting specimen fish with the capture of this monster 4lb 11oz perch.

Arriving at 6am on the River Lea, Joe latched into a fish of 4lb 1oz before it even got light, and the second giant came moments later.

Both fish fell to gudgeon livebaits presented on size 8 Kamasan B983 hooks on sunken paternoster rigs with 8lb Daiwa Sensor mainline.

4.11lb perch Joe Royffe.jpg


A rapidly rising southern river provided James Champkin with his new personal-best barbel of 15lb 9oz.

“It gave a great account of itself after a typically savage bite that wrenched the rod-tip round. After losing a very big fish from the same stretch a few days previously, I was massively relieved when this one was finally landed!” James said.

The fine whisker was caught on double 12mm Dynamite The Source boilie hookbaits fished over a bed of small pellets and hemp. At the rig end, James used a 15lb braided hooklink down to a size 8 hook and a 3oz gripper lead.

James Champkin 15lb 9oz barbel Lea.jpg

3lb 10oz rudd tops late season haul...

One of the best rudd catches of the season has been made by Daniel Woolcott, who banked this 3lb 10oz specimen after a long campaign.

In a rare autumn haul, Daniel added fish of 3lb 1oz and 2lb 8oz. 

Woolcott 3lb 10 oz & 3lb 1oz Rudd Brace.jpg

Targeting a big northern gravel pit, Daniel had spent all summer chasing big rudd, but it wasn’t until his very last session that he enjoyed the catch of a lifetime.

“The lake is very tricky and for me is a long four-hour drive away,” Daniel explained.

“With other species to target at this time of year I thought my chances had gone. 

“But I’m pleased to report that after an extreme amount of effort through the summer trying to bag a big rudd I finally succeeded on my last trip of the season.

“I actually fished four different waters, bagging ‘twos’ from all of them, but I finally hit the jackpot on a large tough gravel pit in the north of England.

“Within a very short feeding spell I managed three rudd including fish of 2lb 8oz, 3lb 1oz and the monster 3lb 10oz fish that beats my previous personal best by 2oz.”

All Daniel’s fish fell to 10mm fluoro Dynamite Baits Source pop-up dumbells presented over a bed of Dynamite Baits Krill Pulses and Particles.

Nation’s rivers hit top form

The UK’s rivers have been in superb form for a multitude of species over the last week and some truly impressive specimens have been banked.

Here’s the pick of the very best catches to help whet your appetites for the weekend ahead…

Justin Stoddart 16lb 10oz barbel

Fishing through floodwater proved to be a smart move for Justin Stoddart when he went on to bank a sturgeon and this 16lb 10oz barbel.

Targeting an area of slack water on the tidal Trent, the Retford angler fished big cage feeders loaded with scalded pellets and broken boilies with a paste-wrapped boilie hookbait.

He said: “At 2am I had a run on the downstream rod and landed a 2lb 3oz sturgeon! Then, at 4am, my upstream rod ripped off and I slipped the net under a PB barbel.”

Justin Stoddart 16lb 10oz barbel.jpg

Josh Haine estimated 7lb-plus chub 

Josh Haine has been targeting the well-known free stretch of the Dorset Stour at Longham for big chub and this week claimed his biggest ever – but forgot to bring the scales! 

Having caught chub to just under 7lb from the stretch before, Josh was certain this specimen was much larger than his previous catches.

The fine fish fell to a legered boilie on a German rig and lead clip set-up surrounded by a scattering of broken boilies.

Josh Haine 7lb-plus chub.jpg

Chris Haydon 2lb roach 

Angling Times’ own Chris Haydon had the surprise of his life when he hooked this 2lb roach on the Bristol Avon.

Fishing the pole around 6m out in a weirpool, Chris fed his swim with a few balls of groundbait, and regularly loosefed hemp over the top.

“Initially I was plagued by small fish, so I bulked my rig down and used a tare hookbait to get through to the bigger stamp,” he said. “When I saw the big roach roll on the surface I couldn’t believe my eyes, and when it tipped the scales round to 2lb exactly I was ecstatic.”

Chris Haydon 2lb roach.jpg

Stripey season off to a flyer!

October has got off to a flying start for many perch enthusiasts who have been relying on lure tactics to bank a number of stunning specimens. 

Dan Eaves 4lb 4oz perch 2.jpg

Hampshire police officer Dan Eaves had the pick of the bunch when his lure session on Grafham Water yielded 17 stripeys – 15 of which were over 3lb, with the best two registering 4lb 4oz and 4lb 2oz.

Despite being greeted by rough weather, Dan used this to his advantage on the day, as he explained further…

“The water was very turbulent and my boat was rocking and rolling as you’d expect,” he said.

“I decided to fish the lures static and let the water slosh them around, which was enough to encourage 90 per cent of what I caught that day to take them.

“I started with fish of 3lb 5oz and 3lb 11oz before I had the 4lb 2oz perch, which I initially thought was a zander. It was a really good start.”

During the rest of the afternoon Dan’s trip turned into a real red- letter day and he boated 14 other perch including fish of 3lb 10oz, 3lb 11oz and 3lb 15oz. But the best was yet to come.

“It was turning out to be the most incredible day’s perch fishing I’ve ever experienced, but then I hooked something that gave an especially good account of itself,” Dan added.

“Once it was under control I could see that this was another special fish, and indeed it was at 4lb 4oz! While I never expect I’ll ever beat my personal-best perch of 4lb 13oz, these fish were my fifth and sixth over 4lb! 

“I’m certainly feeling blessed by the perch gods right now.”

Both Dan’s 4lb perch fell to a Zman Hula Stick in the colour purple.

Fishing a static lure also proved effective during Martin Welch’s latest session when he banked a stunning 3lb-plus stripey. 

Martyn Welch 3lb-plus perch.jpg

The Mansfield, Notts, angler dropped his Zman White Lightning TRD lure into a deep hole on a stretch of the River Trent and didn’t have to wait long before he received a bite.

He said: “On my first cast into the hole I felt a small pull, so I let the TRD go static for a few seconds, then came a proper hit on the lure. 

“A short but powerful fight soon saw a nice perch surface from the highly coloured water and into the net.”

...and another four pounder!

Most anglers wait a lifetime to catch a 4lb perch, but George Killan has managed it at the age of just 11!

This 4lb 1oz specimen grabbed the Hertfordshire lad’s rubber crayfish lure during a trip to the River Lea, and it wasn’t the only big perch of the session. 

His dad, John, told Angling Times: “A couple of days prior to the session George caught a 3lb perch, and this inspired him to come back and give it another go. 

“Both fish were special catches for George, as perch are by far his favourite species.”

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Shock 2lb 10oz roach from Yorkshire river

Colin Hebb got the shock of his life when this sublime 2lb 10oz roach grabbed his breadflake offering during his latest fishing trip.

The East Yorkshire angler targeted an undisclosed stretch of a local river and spent the day trotting for a variety of species – with no idea a big roach was on the cards. 

He said: “On my second cast I hooked this beautiful roach which is a new pb, and from a river with a lot of otters in it.

“She put up one hell of a scrap and at first I thought I had hooked a bream.

“I was shocked – I thought all the big roach had disappeared  from this waterway.”

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Double- figure barbel still on the feed...

Reports of double-figure barbel continue to flood into the Angling Times newsdesk from rivers up and down the country. 

Could this be the year we see a new record? If recent captures are anything to go by, the prospects are looking very good indeed…

Peter Morgan  | 15lb 12oz

Peter Morgan secured his new personal-best barbel during a day session on the River Lea’s famous Kings Weir Fishery in Hertfordshire.

After a bad start, which resulted in Peter getting a soaking on the way to his swim, his luck changed when his reel screamed off with this immaculate 15lb 12oz specimen.

The superb fish fell to a hair-rigged piece of luncheon meat alongside a feeder packed with groundbait and pellets.

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Brett Longthorne | 14lb 12oz

High pressure and low, clear water didn’t stop Brett Longthorne from catching ‘the best-looking barbel he has ever seen’ at 14lb 12oz. Fishing a section of the tidal Trent, Brett connected with a slow take and was soon doing battle with the huge-framed fish, which he is sure will be even bigger in the winter months.

The stunning barbel fell to a Nutrabaits River Plus boilie fished on a size 8 Banktackle hook over a bed of hemp and maize.

Brett Longthorne - Tidal Trent - 14lb 12oz.jpg

Scott dethick – 15lb 15oz

Scott Dethick’s only bite of the session accounted for this superb 15lb 15oz barbel. 

It was a new personal best for the 26-year-old, who targeted the far bank on his local stretch of the River Trent with lead and boilie tactics. 

Scott’s successful rig incorporated a 6oz lead and 2ft of braided line to a 15mm Krill boilie mounted on a size 6 E-S-P hook.

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