15lb 14oz barbel caught from the River Ivel

Paul Jeynes came close to breaking the River Ivel barbel record on only his second visit to the Bedfordshire venue after banking this long and lean 15lb 14oz specimen.

After a fruitless first visit to the venue, the Stevenage-based rod returned the following afternoon and took the new personal-best fish from a small hole in the weed, having already lost a good barbel in the first swim he tried.

After stepping up his end-tackle in the next area he tried, Paul made no mistake with his next bite, which resulted in the biggest barbel to come off the Bedfordshire river since Eric Frewin’s record of 16lb 8oz, taken last October.

Paul said: “On the Tuesday I went and had a good look about the venue and managed to find a couple of decent fish, but they didn’t seem at all interested in the range of baits I put in front of them.

“I came back the day after, and after two hours’ fishing lost a decent barbel when the 10lb hooklink I was using parted. A further three hours passed without any action, so I moved swims and just five minutes after casting out into the new area with a much stronger 18lb hooklink on, I received a savage take, resulting in the new pb.

“It was a superb scrap, during which I was forced to pile the pressure on. There was no way I was losing this one!”

The 32-year-old hit the jackpot with a double Baitcraft T1 boilie hookbait, mounted on a size 4 Drennan Super Specialist hook and presented alongside a 2oz lead on a safety-clip set-up.