WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY...
“For me it’s a two-way fight between the Thames and the Trent, and I’d marginally favour the former. There seem to be a number of different big, back-up fish and there are many stretches of the Thames that don’t see any pressure at all, so big fish can turn up anywhere.”
“I think the Thames is the most likely to beat the record. It’s slower flowing, and is further south, so is slightly warmer. I’ve heard of big fish from the Henley area for years, and there are plenty of stretches that get little angling pressure where big fish could tuck themselves away. As for ‘dark horses’, I’d say that one of the tidal Sussex rivers, such as the Arun or Rother, could produce a real surprise. They get carp-fished these days, so more bait is going in, and it only takes a big fish to disappear down into the tidal reaches for a few years and then come back much bigger.”
“For me the next record has to come from either the Thames or the Trent. I’d probably favour the Thames, as it has a better record for producing fish over 18lb. But the Trent is a magnificent river, with plenty of anglers fishing it, so If we have a mild winter, who knows? I can’t see any other river throwing up a surprise to contend with these two. Many overlook stillwaters, of course, which have thrown up some very big barbel.”