THE River Trent has shown glimpses of its true potential on areas well upstream from the intensively fished lower hotspots.

Widely rated as the current best barbel river in the country, three latest catches show the less busy middle and upper reaches are well worth fishing.

The biggest ‘whisker’ was recorded with a super summer weight of 17 lb  6 oz (above).

It came from the middle reaches at Long Eaton, near the Attenborough Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire.

Captor Jodeci McPherson fished a 16 mm Sticky Baits The Krill boilie over a bed of pellets, hemp and Dynamite Red Krill. The monster took his hook bait at 4am.

The 27-year-old housing modifications manager, from Ilkeston, Derbyshire, beat his previous barbel best by over 5 lb. And he was delighted to also catch his first-ever river carp, a 15 lb 2 oz mirror.

Carl Salisbury shows one of latest impressive fish from the Trent, probably the country’s best barbel river.

Meanwhile, Carl Salisbury, paid his first ever visit to the Upper Trent, and was rewarded with a giant 16 lb 12 oz barbel. It beat his previous PB of 14 lb 14 oz, a fish from the River Dove.

The 49-year-old Staffordshire angler explained: “I chose to fish a deeper part of the river, between two shallow sections, and filled 3 oz  open-end feeders with scalded pellets, crushed boilies and some particles.

“I presented a fishmeal boilie on a size 8 Korda wide gape hook, nicking on a PVA bag of pellets and boilies.

“I decided to recast every 30 minutes, to keep the bait going in, and just before 8pm the downstream rod went into meltdown. The fish tore off to at least 50 yards downstream, where it got stuck in weed.

“I walked downstream, level to where she was, and managed to get her moving again, and was relieved and thrilled to finally get her into the net,” added Carl.

This big barbel fell to Scott Dethick.

Scott Dethick also scored on the Britain’s best barbel river, again from a stretch with a low profile for big barbel. He landed a 15 lb 9 oz 8 dr specimen (above).

Scott decided to visit the Trent, at Shardlow, Derbyshire, early in the morning to pre-bait a swim with halibut pellets, and then returned to fish it just before sunset.

Within an hour, the 26-year-old warehouse operative from Castle Donnington, Leicestershire, had the big one, on a hair-rigged  14 mm halibut pellet.

The official River Trent barbel record dates back to 2007, with a 19 lb 4 oz fish, but there have been stories of 20 lb fish having been landed.

There’s more to best barbel river, says Trent expert

FEW anglers know the Trent as well as former Trentmen match ace and specialist angler Bob Roberts.

Bob advised: “There are famous swims on the lower river, including the Weir at Collingham, and at Gunthorpe, that get booked up months in advance and are fished 24 hours a day for the whole season, but the fish caught there are usually repeat captures.

“For me, the best places to look for decent barbel that can be caught in daylight are all around the Nottingham area.

“The fishing may not be easy, but it certainly can be highly rewarding,” added Bob, who has a  guide to the whole river at his website.

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