The biggest known barbel in the UK has been killed by an otter, Angling Times can confirm.
Following rumours that the predator had struck at a stretch of the River Ivel in Bedfordshire, it has been revealed that the fish, whose heaviest recorded weight was a record-shaking 20lb 7oz, is now dead.
A local angler contacted Angling Times and told of the moment when he disturbed the otter as it attacked the huge fish on a stretch of the river in Biggleswade.
“I heard this sickening crunching sound as I approached a reed bed with my torch,” said the angler, who wishes to remain anonymous.“The otter vanished and I looked down to my horror as the huge fish - which I recognised instantly as I’ve caught her four times before - lay there dying. There was nothing I could do.”