First-class paste delivers 16lb 1oz Thames barbel

Hard work and dedication were key to fanatical angler Luke Ayling banking this superb 16lb 1oz barbel from the River Thames.
The Oxford-based specialist has to fit his angling into a busy schedule due to work and family commitments, but he certainly gets the most out of his fishing, as was proved when the fish took a home-made 26mm boile wrapped in paste.
It was his only bite of the session and the specimen was beaten on 15lb mainline, a coated braid hooklink and a size 4 hook.
“I get to the river by around 9.30pm after work and fish through the night until I have to be home to have a shower and take my daughters to school. Then it’s back to work,” said Luke.
“It can be hard work, but it’s magnificent fish like this that make it all worthwhile.”