Stuart Court’s Summer Barbel

Untitled-10Watford’s Stuart Court is one of the England’s finest exponents at catching really big Barbel from intimate rivers – and is seen here with a 14lb 9oz summer beauty from a midlands river.  Stu has an incredible record with Britain’s biggest Barbel on various  rivers, having already caught 17lb+ fish in the past on the Great Ouse, Kennet and Loddon.

The fish was landed on a Martin Bowler Specialist Barbel 12ft 1.75lb rod, with a size 8 Kamasan Barbel Maxx hook to a 12lb Drennan Gravel Braid hooklink and 12lb ESP Syncro mainline.

Stu sent us the following account:-

“On a recent trip I caught a glimpse of a few barbel moving through the streamer weed and one of them looked like it was worth some attention!  There wasn’t a swim in this area, the stingers were 6ft tall and about 20ft deep before you could actually get to the river’s edge so I had to break my way through and create my own little swim. It was perfect, tucked away, unfished, wafting streamer weed right under my rod tip, 5-6ft deep with clean gravel underneath…

Two baitdroppers of Baitcraft Super K pellets and matching broken boilies went down onto the riverbed followed by my baited rig, I leant my rod over the foliage and sat through a short sharp rain shower just knowing I was going to catch, the question was would it be the bigger fish in the group?  Not two minutes after I’d cast out the farmer arrived dead opposite me and began fixing his fence, which involved a digger and sledgehammer, not ideal being on such a tiny river – but not much I could do about it….

Anyway, despite all the banging and crashing a few feet away my rod suddenly lurched round and I was into a very powerful fish, as luck would have it, it turned out to be the big one of the group I’d seen, weighing in at 14lb 9oz!  The farmer actually came in handy as I got him to do the photos for me, he needed a bit of prompting in the technicalities of getting a good trophy shot but I think he took a nice photo in the end.” 

For full details on the superb Drennan Martin Bowler Specialist Barbel 12ft 1.75lb rod as used by Stu, click here.