Rushden, Northants Specimen Hunter Geoff Collins kindly sent us details on the brace of truly giant Barbel he took recently!
“Having limited time to fish due to work and family commitments I have to snatch a few hours when I can……something many of us can empathise with. So despite the rain falling heavily I thought “what the heck” – nothing ventured, nothing gained! Fishing on a rising river, the weed was a pain, catching on the line most casts, but when the summers greenery decides it wants to visit the seaside, there’s not much you can do.
However, just as it was getting dark, the rod gave a slight tap and an immediate strike met with a 6lb 8oz Chub and my best fish so far from the stretch. Happy days, a nice fish straight from the off and I could go home a happy man now; little did I know what was to follow.
Next cast on a homemade paste a tug and immediate resistance as something on the other end decided it would rather be somewhere else. After a real tussle, made all the more exciting (and nerve racking) by a glimpse of what was on the other end, I finally managed to bank the fish and was left looking down at the golden flanks of a sizeable barbel. Onto the scales with the help of a nearby angler and the scales swung round to 15lb 12oz – making it a new PB for me by half a pound.
Being on a bit of a high after that fish, and not expecting anything more, I sat back to relish the capture with the rod once against recast. About an hour later I had another more delicate bite which I struck into, and the fish charged off. After about 5 minutes I saw the silhouette of a big fish which repeatedly made runs to the far bank. More nerves, this one looked even bigger and after another 5 minutes I had it at the net. Damn it, I botched the first attempt, the fish slipping off the side of the rim but the hook held firm. Second attempt, she’s in… just, and this was a big oval net!
Lifting the net, or trying to, this was one big fish… long and stocky in build. The nearby angler again helped me with the weighing, my hands were shaking too much, and I couldn’t believe what I saw… 18lb 10oz, which we confirmed on his Avons as well!
So two PBs in under an hour to cap an incredible brace of fish and an evening I’ll not forget in a hurry.”
– Geoff Collins