John Hunter, 18lb 9oz, Thames Barbel

“When the rod hammered over, it frightened the life out of me”
There are few barbel anglers on better form than South Yorkshire specimen hunter, John Hunter, who has just landed this 18lb 9oz barbel from the Thames.
It follows the capture of an 18lb 5oz fish from the Kennet a few weeks ago and is the result of John’s tireless barbel approach. Fishing for four days straight, John had just one bite, but it was well worth the wait. He admits that when his rod hammered over, it ‘frightened the life’ out of him, and that the fish gave an amazing fight, using its large pectoral fins to hold deep in the flow.
John used his tried and tested 12mm boilie fished on a size 8 hook – big for the bait, but it clearly works. Alongside this, he offered a very small PVA bag of pellet, and every half-hour drip fed eight boilies to draw fish into the swim.