Barry McConnell certainly celebrated his birthday in style when he banked 6 specimen eels topped off by this 7lb 8oz beauty.
Barry told us “It was my 63rd birthday so I celebrated the way I know best – by going eel fishing! I decided to spend 10 consecutive days on the bank and ended up enjoying probably my best ever haul of eels, weighing 4lb 1oz, 4lb 4oz, 5lb, 5lb 13oz, 6lb 5oz and 7lb 8oz. I also had several tench to 7lb and numerous perch to over 3lb. I started my ten days by spending two of them targeting what I call an ‘easy eel water’ in the Midlands – where eel bites are quite regular. I ended up having the 4lb 1oz and 4lb 4oz eels in those trips, before eventually moving onto a much harder 100-acre gravel pit for the remaining 8 days. By swim hopping and fishing rods in the margins and to silt gulleys at a distance of around 90 yards, I managed to catch those much larger eels. The 7lb 8oz fish came just a day before I was due to leave and fell from the distance spot. The moment I struck I could tell this eel was in a different league to the others by the way it was head shaking and doing its best to lose the hook. That eel was my fifth over 7lb and my 49th over 5lb. Looking forward now to getting the 50th! All eels fell to twig-rigged lobworm or dendra worm balls on size 8 hooks and free-running 3oz or 4oz leads.”