With the rain this week I decided to make a rare trip to the Trent after barbel. I knew the river would be high with plenty of colour so I wanted to use the smelliest baits I had. I found half a pot of The Hook Bait Co. Big Squid boilies from 2016 in the garage. They still looked and smelled good as new, so into the bag they went!
I only had 5 hours to fish and I knew location would be paramount. I had the stretch to myself, so I baited marginal spots in 3 swims. Four Spoppers of mixed pellets laced with Nimrod oil, garlic oil and hemp oil went into each swim.
In these conditions I favour leads & PVA stockings over swim feeders, and I also used back leads to keep debris off the lines. For hook baits I opted for a Garlic Nimrod & The Big Squid combo – one of each on the hair.
All was quiet in the first swim, but after an hour in the second swim I had a good take on my downstream rod. After a tough, but thankfully uneventful fight I managed to net the barbel at the first attempt. I was hit by that fantastic feeling when you feel the weight of the net and know you’ve got a good fish! When I saw the size of its mouth & head, and the depth of the fish, I knew it had to be a PB.
The weighing confirmed my feelings, with the scales settling on 14lb 12oz – easily beating my old best, caught from the Derwent during the London Olympics!
View my other personal best captures on my PB List page.