Gi­ant barbel 19lb fish from the Nene

Tra­di­tional bait scores over fash­ion­able pel­lets and boilies

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME - TONY GRIGORJEVS Se­nior re­porter

TRA­DI­TIONAL barbel tac­tics went out of the win­dow dur­ing Colin Hebb’s lat­est ses­sion on the River Trent – and a bold move was re­warded with this stun­ning 18lb spec­i­men.

The East York­shire rod had strug­gled to get among the shoals while us­ing pel­lets and boilies, so he switched to lob­worms in a bid to trans­form his for­tunes.

Kick-start­ing the ses­sion a cou­ple of hours be­fore the light faded, perch and small chub were the first to re­spond be­fore bites sud­denly stopped.

But the tini­est of in­di­ca­tions tempted Colin to strike, and that de­ci­sion proved to be a wise one as the rod-tip hooped over.

He told An­gling Times: “At first I thought I had hooked a log as it drifted slowly without do­ing any­thing, but then the fish went over to the other side of the river and sur­faced, show­ing its true size straight away.

“That’s when the fight re­ally started. The barbel made eight or nine re­ally pow­er­ful runs and at one point I was con­vinced the hook was go­ing to pull out.

“Every­thing held in place, though, and once it was in the net I couldn’t be­lieve its size. There’s no doubt it makes up for all those blank ses­sions.”

Colin wasn’t the only man to record an eye-catch­ing re­sult on the rivers this week – Daniel Best’s de­but on the Wye ended with a river record-shak­ing 13lb 8oz barbel.

Dou­ble-fig­ure fish are few and far be­tween on the pic­turesque water­way, but a slow take ended with the Lan­cashire an­gler fall­ing just over 1lb short of the venue best. He said: “We’d been trav­el­ling rivers through­out the coun­try dur­ing a few days off and had made stops at the Dove, Sev­ern and War­wick­shire Avon. I’d had a tor­rid time, blank­ing on all three.

“It was a relief just to get a run on the Wye, and for that bite to be some­thing as spe­cial as this fish is ab­so­lutely in­cred­i­ble and com­pletely un­ex­pected.”

The spec­i­men whisker fell for a leg­ered brace of large Elips pel­lets hair-rigged on to the back of a size 10 hook.

Colin Hebb with his 18lb barbel from the Trent.

Daniel Best’s 13lb 8oz fish from the Wye.

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