The River Trent barbel record was smashed recently when a 20lb 6oz giant was landed by a Polish angler during a competition aimed at integrating foreign anglers with the UK fishing community.
Sew Kowalski, who hails from London, was fishing a 48-hour match organised by Barbel Team PL/UK when he connected with the immense fish in the early hours of the morning.
“At about 4.30am I had a very powerful run, and I knew it was a really big fish as soon as I lifted my rod from the tripod and bent into it” he tells us.
“I was absolutely astonished when I saw it in the net – it was a real monster!”
After weighing the fish on two separate scales, each reading 20lb 6oz, Sew was keen to release the fish as quickly as possible.
“The fish looked as if it was close to spawning, so we did everything as quickly as possible to get it back in the water safely,”
explained Sew, who used a Dynamite Baits Meat Furter hookbait and had several other fish to 13lb on the same session.
The competition Sew fished was organised by Barbel Team Poland/UK, a group which was founded by Greg Dytowski in 2014.
“Our aims are to educate foreign anglers about UK fishing practices so that they can integrate with the British angling community,” Greg explains.
We’re a non-profit organisation formed of individuals and families who share a common love of barbel fishing and angling in general.”