THREE pals showed why the River Trent is the No.1 place to go for big barbel when they all notched specimens on their first session for the species.

Paul Barrett took the biggest fish of the pals’ 24-hour session with a 16 lb River Trent monster.

Andrew Knight and Leigh Tideswell both chipped in with new personal bests, scaling 14 lb 12 oz and 13 lb 8 oz respectively.

The trio visited the River Trent’s Collingham Weir, in Nottinghamshire, and used Peperami, pellets and boilies.

Andrew Knight holds his 14 lb 12 oz specimen.

Andrew Knight holds his 14 lb 12 oz specimen.

Paul, 33, a steel erector, from Cheadle, Staffordshire, said: “It was my first proper barbel session. I had tried for a barbel a few times on local lake, Blake Hall ,but couldn’t get past the carp.

“We were just weighing a PB of 10 lb for me when I got the take off the 16-pounder.

“All three of us caught new PBs, and we caught 11 barbel between us, including nine over 10 lb.

Leigh Tideswell support his 13 lb 8 oz Trent barbel.

Paul continued: “It was a pretty crazy session.

“We spent most of the day sipping brews and watching salmon trying to get up the weir but when it started to go dark it came alive with barbel.

“They were showing everywhere and it was clear that a bite wouldn’t be long and within a few hours all three of us had new PBs.

“Leigh was fishing at the front of the peg towards the weir, Andy was fishing half-way down, casting around 40 yards towards the far corner of the weir.

“I was fishing at the end of the weir just under halfway out in the main flow,” revealed Paul.

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