THIS 20lb 12oz barbel, landed by Farnham, Surrey angler Mike Perrin, is the biggest reported so far this season, falling just 6oz shy of the current British Record.
Measuring a metre long, the impressive fish shows that, while the River Trent may consistently produce more double-figure fish, the Thames is the best bet for anglers looking to etch their names in the history books – several different barbel over the 20lb mark have been landed from the waterway over recent seasons.
Faced with dropping water temperatures, Mike turned his focus away from the venue’s carp that he’d been targeting so far this year. After priming his swim with a mixture of hemp and pellets with a bait dropper, he fished a snowman rig featuring an 18mm dumbell and a 12mm pop-up over the top – a rig he’s had great results with when targeting Thames barbel in the past.
“The fish took off like a freight train, staying deep, and I was pretty sure I’d hooked a carp,” Mike told us.
“Suddenly, the fish came towards me, and I thought I had the upper hand… but then it kept going for another 40 yards upriver!
“I played the fish for at least 25 minutes, and when I first saw the length of it, I had serious doubts whether it would fit into my 42-inch landing net!”