The long-standing River Wye barbel record has been smashed with the capture of a superb fish weighing 15lb 4oz.
Leonard Skyrme banked the historic specimen – which beats the river record of 14lb 9oz that’s stood for 13 years – when he fished a stretch near Symonds Yat.
As well as landing the biggest ever barbel landed from the in-form waterway, the 40-year-old from South Wales went on to complete the biggest ever brace of Wye barbel after slipping his net under a second huge barbel weighing 13lb 2oz later in the same session.
“The biggest of the two gave me one the most savage bites I’ve ever experienced – if I hadn’t been right by the rod it would have been in the water,” said Leonard.
“I thought I’d set a new record for the stretch I was fishing, but when I found out that the current river record is 14lb 9oz I was gobsmacked. It hasn’t sunk in.”
Leonard, who has only recently returned to coarse fishing after spending many years targeting game fish, used a cage feeder packed with pellets alongside a 14mm halibut pellet hookbait hair-rigged to a size 10 hook. He also laid down a bed of hempseed before casting out.
“Before this incredible session my barbel personal best stood at 11lb 6oz, so to beat it twice from the Wye is something very special,” Leonard continued.
“The other anglers on the stretch couldn’t believe what had happened either. It was just one of those sessions that I don’t think I’m going to repeat!”
The capture was witnessed by two fellow anglers and the barbel was weighed on two different sets of scales.