Catching a Barbel over 15lb is a fish of a lifetime, to manage three in one sitting has never been done as far as I’m aware and I doubt it will happen again. Tension started to appear when a debate began regarding whether the three fish were individuals or were they two fish, with one of them being caught twice. Ray Walton, of rolling meat fame, was the main protagonist and studied the photos long and hard under the guise of the 'River Records Committee', claiming that for the list of records to maintain credence then the three fish would need to be scrutinised as each one could be a potential new record. Ray even went on to question the dates on one of the photos as it did not correlate with the capture of the other two. Nigel then saw himself trying to defend his catch. The three fish are pictured below so you’re free to pass your own opinion as to whether the fish are different or not. However, my view is whether this is what fishing is actually about. I appreciate that some people take it seriously, in their quest for fame, sponsorship and whatever else floats their boat but is it worth all the fuss and bad feeling that has undoubtedly been felt in the thread on Barbel Fishing World?
Although it’s unlikely I’ll ever be in Nigel’s position, I think he did the right thing in highlighting is catch. Anglers want to know that such catches are possible since many would have doubted catching three huge fish was a possibility until last week. However, I can imagine Nigel is perhaps regretting going public with his news given some of the flack that’s come his way and I’m sure it soured his feelings of euphoria. The local Peterborough Telegraph (here) even ran a story where it apparently names the stretch although this is based on a guess rather than fact but I can imagine that stretch will come in for some attention in the coming months from the glory hunters, which again is regretful.
Anyway, in closing I think the photos prove that the fish are of the weight claimed and given there was a credible witness it should have been a straight forward river record claim as far as I was concerned. I am not entirely sure where the doubt has come from and whether it was required given the friction it has caused. As I mentioned earlier the three fish are pictured below so let me know what you think about their identity and would you have gone public if you’d managed the feat? Before I go, I think Nigel deserves a pat on the back, well done!
|Barbel number 1 at 16lb|
|Barbel number 2 at 16lb 8oz|
|Barbel number 3 also at 16lb 8oz|