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THE River Trent was one of the UK’s most polluted waterways – now it is arguably the top barbel river in the country with fish like this 16 lb 14 oz monster by river regular Richard Easom.

The 36-year-old owner of Three Foot Twitch Specialist Baits, from Nottingham, was fishing an undisclosed section of the middle river.

Richard explained: “My dream has been of one day holding a barbel of over 16 lb from the Trent, and over the past two seasons I’ve spent many hours hauling in double after double and telling myself a fish of that size would come along.

“But eventually I decided to concentrate instead on areas that were overlooked and neglected, and settled on a stretch where I thought my quarry could live.

“I made a last-minute decision to go fishing that evening and arrived at my peg after a long walk. After four hours I hadn’t had so much as a touch and thought about jacking it in as there was no activity in my swim and the fireworks weren’t helping, sounding like thunder and lighting up the sky.

“I cast out again to a tree on the far side of the river about 65 yards away and this time it felt much deeper and I knew I was in some kind of a hole so decided I’d just leave it there.

“A good three hours passed and I was messing around on my phone when I heard an alarm sound and saw my rod pulling over and line beginning to be taken from the baitrunner.”

The big ‘un fell for two halves of a Dubby boilies fished back-to-back, with a size 6 Kurv hook to a 25 lb Kryston Dark Mantis hook link and 30 lb braided main line.

This is just a short version of the full story that appears in this Angler’s Mail printed magazine. Get the magazine every week for top tips, big news, best products, and venues that are in form.

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