James Helder 16lb 1oz Barbel

“After a tense 25-minute fight the barbel surfaced..”

Around a week before the river season started James Helder baited under a bridge on a local stretch of a southern river with a mixture of pellets, luncheon meat cubes and various other baits from previous trips.

James told us “On June 16th I nipped into the swim for my first session and had success with a couple of small barbel taking a liking to my homemade chicken breast hookbait, which I’d marinated to give it extra flavour. That gave me the buzz for another session so I headed back down there for a couple of hours into darkness.

I flicked another piece of chicken breast under the bridge and waited. Two hours passed when all of a sudden my rod arched round and the reel screamed into life. The smaller barbel usually do that so I thought nothing of it at first, but then it proceeded to hug the bottom and I had to keep my rod low to try and steer it away from under the bridge.

After a tense 25-minute fight the barbel surfaced and my mate Ben, who was now with me, was buzzing and kept jumping up and down shouting “it’s massive! When it went in the net it was a moment of sheer relief and I could feel my heart pounding in my chest!
On the scales she went 16lb 1oz which was a new PB. I think over the moon is the phrase!”