New Hampshire Avon Royalty stretch barbel record of 16lb 8oz

One of the most prolific weeks for specimen barbel at arguably the UK’s best river fishery has been topped by a huge 16lb 8oz venue record.

The historic specimen, which beats the previous best for the famous Royalty Fishery by a single ounce, was caught by Mike Brownett after he put his faith in the traditional combination of a simple leger rig fished in conjunction with a meat hookbait.

But it wasn’t just the capture of this historic fish that showed why this particular stretch of the Hampshire Avon is one of the best day-ticket river stretches in the country.

In what experts say was one of the most productive weeks for barbel fishing in the venue’s history, the river also produced specimens weighing 16lb 4oz, 15lb 10 oz, 15lb 8 oz, no fewer than six barbel over 14lb and countless double-figure fish.

New recordholder Mike, who lives in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, has been fishing the venue since 1963 and has confirmed the views of fishery experts after he and his fishing partner, Jim Siford, shared five other double-figure specimen and numerous single-figure fish during an amazing week of sport. 

“Everything just came right for the barbel anglers who were privileged enough to be on the water during that week, and I feel truly humbled after catching this beautiful barbel,” Mike told Angling Times.

“Many river stretches that boast the quality of fishing here have been lost to day-ticket anglers and been taken over by expensive syndicates, which is a very sad sign of the times.

“But that’s the beauty of the Royalty. Everyone has the chance of catching a fish-of-a-lifetime, which is true testament to the venue and the fishery managers.

Nigel Grey, owner of Davis Tackle which sells the tickets for the venue, added: “I’ve never known so many big specimens to come out of this fishery in such a short space of time. That’s the beauty of this stretch, just when you think it can’t get any better it exceeds your expectations yet again.” For contact details and ticket information, call Davis Tackle on 01202 485169 or visit