The River Teme barbel record came agonisingly close to being broken last week with the capture of this 14lb 12oz specimen.
It was caught by big fish angler Anthony Wilson from an upper stretch of the waterway in Worcestershire and is just 11oz short of the current venue best held by John Churchill with his 15lb 7oz specimen landed back in 2006.
Upon arrival at the waterway the Pershore-based rod wasted no time heading to a known fish-holding spot where he opted for a stealthy approach in order to not disturb the fish in shallow water.
With this in mind, the 33-year-old set-up an ultra-light running lead with 12lb mono mainline and a 12lb braided hooklink tied to a size 6 Drennan Barbel hook. Feeding cubes of luncheon meat before quietly lowering a hair-rigged piece pepperoni sausage meat into a fast-flowing channel, he was soon doing battle with the huge fish which took nearly half an hour to land. It was all worth it for a delighted Anthony who smashed his previous personal best for the species by more than 2lb.
He told Angling Times: “I knew there were fish in the swim as I had caught them from there before and had seen a few moving around earlier in the summer.
“This river used to be really good but since the floods a year ago the fishing has been much harder. I was really chuffed to land this fish but even so I am convinced there are still bigger fish to be had from the stretch - possibly a venue record so I will definitely be fishing this spot again soon... watch this space!” he added.