I’d been casting around, and after having a quick nine-pounder, I went two hours without any action and decided a change was needed. The river had dropped eight inches, and there wasn’t enough flow in the weir to really get the bait moving as I wanted, so I switched to a single Vortex Baits 14mm Spicy Furter and Red Salmon pellet. All I did was cut a groove in the back of it and band it to the hook, with five SSG shot pinched on the line above it. The river was so low that this was enough to hold bottom, and within 10 seconds of casting out the rod hooped over and a barbel of 10lb 14oz was netted.
I recast shortly after and stood holding the rod for 20 minutes. I like to hold the line when fishing this way, feeling for any indications, but the next take nearly ripped it from my hands! I knew I was into a big fish as it went on several powerful runs before plodding around in the deep water at my feet. After five minutes I slipped an immense fish into the net.
When I felt the weight of it, I knew it was a PB. Some mates had come down to see me, and it was a great coincidence to land the fish with them there. We weighed it on two separate scales – one saying 18lb 4oz, the other 18lb 6oz, so I settled on the lower weight. It’s an amazing start to the season after around 12 hours’ fishing. I’d booked a swim on the weir for three days, but after this fish I packed up and explored other stretches of river. Hopefully it’s the start of a special season!”