James Butler 17lb Barbel

A two-hour drive from Middlesbrough to the prolific Collingham Weir on the River Trent resulted in this immense barbel for James Butler, weighing 17lb exactly


James told us “The fish came on just my second session for barbel, and only succumbed to the net after a lengthy battle. It was the craziest fight I’ve ever experienced! The bite came just after dark and it nearly pulled the rod in! I battled the fish for 15 minutes with it taking line downstream, but eventually I managed to slip the fish into the net. I didn’t realise how big it was until my friend, an experienced barbel angler, started screaming and shouting. He couldn’t believe it!”

James used maggots on a clip alongside a large PVA mesh bag filled with the same to fool the new personal best.