Andy Lewis from Long Lawford in Warwickshire has sent us this fine picture of his 12lb 12oz Barbel from his local river Avon.
Fishing a new location on the river for the first time, Andy first primed a few swims with hemp using a large bait dropper. He then leisurely set up his tackle, choosing a 3oz Gripper Lead to a combi-link of 12lb ESP Soft Ghost Fluorocarbon and Braid, ties to a size 8 Super Specialist Barbel hook. Bait was a 12mm Ellips Pellet superglued to the hair, fished with a PVA bag of mixed pellet.
Andy’s first swim produced just a 2lb Chub, but his second resulted in his rod (a Drennan Specialist Barbel 12ft 1.75lb) quickly hooping over and he was into a powerful fish!
“I had to load the rod fully in order to prevent the fish from finding the snags and far side jungle of overhanging trees. The fish put up a tremendous fight in the clear water but eventually the net was slipped under it. Without the backbone of the rod I am not sure that I could have prevented this power house finding the snags.” explained Andy.
“With the adrenaline still pumping I held the barbel in the flow and waited whilst it regained itself, this took about 15 minutes. This I feel is worth mentioning as with the heat and lower oxygen levels fish need to be returned correctly to prevent casualties.”
Andy tells us he did have another smaller fish afterwards but packed up early not only content with his catch but also to impress the wife that he can at least on one occasion return from fishing early!