Two River Lea barbel total 27lb 6oz

Chris Mutton’s first ever session on the River Lea proved to be a memorable one as it resulted in a brace of barbel weighing 14lb 9oz and 12lb 13oz.

With his local Warwickshire Avon unfishable due the recent heavy rains, the Specimen Fishing UK employee decided it was the ideal opportunity to make the journey down to the Hertfordshire waterway which he had wanted to fish for many years.

“On arrival it was immediately clear that the monsoon style rains we’ve experienced had pushed the water levels up so that a lot of the swims were unfishable,” Chris told Angling Times. “I eventually settled for one which had a near bank area of relatively slack water, at the tail end of which a small tree had fallen in.”

Within 20 minutes of casting out a Pallatrax Elixir 6 14mm Squab hookbait wrapped in matching paste in conjunction with a small PVA mash of crumbed baits within a yard of the tree his rod tip hooped round.

“I found myself attached to a very angry barbel trying its hardest to reach the sanctuary of the fallen tree. After five frantic minutes I slipped the net under a nice and chunky barbel. On the scales she registered a fantastic 14lb 9oz – what a start to 2014.” 

With his bait recast close to the tree he had to wait slightly longer for his second bite, but 45 minutes later he found himself connected to another River Lea barbel. “Just like the first one it tried to get among the branches of the tree – and very nearly succeeded. Eventually I managed to gain the upper hand and netted another double.”

Chris’ winning presentation consisted of a short 8ins Pallatrax 12lb Green Braid hooklink attached to a size 10 The Hook.