Specialist angler Adrian Eaves has banked the biggest barbel of the season as a whopping 19lb 10oz while fishing a ‘southern waterway’ using a boilie approach. 

The fish, which may be the biggest living barbel in the UK, smashed the angler’s personal best by more than 2lb when it snaffled a Crave boilie wrapped in paste in daylight above a snag from one of a number of pre-fed swims on the river.

Explained Adrian: “It was mid-afternoon and after baiting a few swims I settled in front of this snag where I knew there was an area of deeper water.

“I used the same tactics last week and lost a fish, so there was always a chance of catching one on the day. I wasn’t fishing for long when I received a single tap and then the whole rod sailed around. The fight was ridiculous as it immediately bolted downstream and I just had to keep holding it and holding it, whilst trying to bully it in.

“I knew if I gave it any head way I would’ve lost it but after what seemed like an eternity, (but probably only a couple of minutes), I managed to pull it to the surface. It was here that I realised it was a new personal best as the girth of it was massive. The landing of the barbel was very cagey as there’s a 5ft drop to the water, but luckily I was able to scoop it in.”