Great catches Barbel, pike & more
A quartet of ‘sixteens’ heads up another bumper week for the species
THE remarkable recent run of huge barbel catches shows no signs of stopping as specimen anglers continue to cash in on one of the best autumns ever for the species.
Once again the Rivers Thames and Trent have dominated proceedings, with three 16lb-plus fish landed from the bang-in-form waterways.
On the former, Robin Cave upped his personal best by almost 4lb with a 16lb 12oz cracker from his only bite of the session. He primed a swim for two consecutive nights before fishing, introducing a mix of 6mm halibut pellets and 20mm Frank N’ Indian boilies.
“I cast out at 4.30pm and at 8pm the rod smashed over. Straight away it felt very different to any barbel that I’d caught before – the power it had was immense and it just wouldn’t give up!” said Robin, who used a 20mm boilie wrapped in matching paste, with a PVA mesh bag of crumbed boilies and pellets nicked on to the hook.
Big boilies were also the successful hookbait for Stuart Taylor’s 16lb 12oz barbel, this time from the middle reaches of the River Trent.
The Manchester rod had already banked nine barbel to 13lb 7oz in his two-night session when one of his two rods ripped off not long before he was due to head for home. Interestingly, all his bites up to that point had come on his other rod, which he had placed slightly downstream, carrying a feeder packed with pellets.
Stuart said: “The rod that accounted for the big one was fished straight in front of me on straight lead tactics and a hair-rigged 24mm Hydra-K boilie wrapped in paste. As it neared the time for me to leave, it ripped off for the first time in two days! A very powerful fight followed, and after 20 minutes I netted her… with an aching arm and shoulder!”
Another angler to enjoy Trent barbel success this week was Ian Potts, from Macclesfield. The Vortex-Baits sponsored rod was targeting a stretch of the middle Trent where he landed a 16lb 3oz barbel on an Enzyme Active Squid Liver boilie, presented on a straight lead set-up with small PVA bags of loosefeed. Ian returned to bank another heavyweight of 15lb 1oz just a few days later.
Finally, down on the River Lea in Hertfordshire, Mike Staines beat his pb by more than 1lb with a fine fish of 16lb 8oz from the King’s Weir stretch.
Mike (68), from nearby Cheshunt, used a semi-fixed bolt rig and a 12mm pellet hookbait, and beat his fish using a centrepin reel loaded with 12lb line.
“A very powerful fight followed, and after 20 minutes I netted her… with an aching arm and shoulder!”
Ian Potts took this 16lb 3oz barbel from the middle Trent.
Stuart Taylor’s 16lb 12oz middle Trent barbel.
Mike Staines and his 16lb 8oz Lea whisker.