After arriving at the River Lea to find conditions ‘spot-on’, Paul Seacole knew he was in with the chance of catching a barbel…but never in his wildest dreams did he envisage banking a brace of giants weighing just shy of 30lb.
Targeting the run-off at the King’s Weir section of the Herts waterway, Paul began his memorable session by introducing just 12 pellets of loosefeed over his baited rig, which he had cast alongside some overhanging trees on the far margin.
Just 90 minutes later he received a savage bite that signalled the start of a manic period which will live long in the 51-year-old Londoner’s memory – as he explained:
“I cast out at 4.30pm and at 6pm I received a take that nearly pulled the rod in! After a hard fight during which I had to prevent the fish from going under the trees and snagging me, I eventually netted it and was amazed to see a barbel which I felt sure would beat my old pb of 14lb.
“Sure enough, it went 15lb exactly, and after resting, photographing and releasing the fish safely I rang Fred Crouch and Trefor West to tell them of my success,” said Paul.
“I settled down to fish again and unbelievably at just after 8pm, with the light beginning to fade, I had another take, this time from a 14lb 8oz barbel!
“I had to ring Fred and Trefor again as I could not believe my luck. This is when Fred said I may possibly have compiled the heaviest brace of barbel ever caught from the Lea. I don’t know if this is true but I will never forget this day, that’s for sure.”
Paul tempted both his fish on two Elips pellets superglued to a hair on a size 10 Drennan barbel hook attached to a 10lb braided hooklink and 10lb Bass Pro mainline.
To avoid spooking his quarry, Paul used a lump of gravel-coloured Plasticine 18ins above his rig to help pin his mainline to the riverbed.