Giant bait for giant barbel!

A boilie almost the size of a golf ball tempted the latest in an incredible run of big barbel for one of the UK’s most in-form specimen hunters – who landed a new personal best weighing 16lb 12oz.
Incredibly, this is Luke Ayling’s third different fish over 16lb that he’s taken in under four weeks. It came during a session on the River Thames.
To induce the bite from his biggest- ever barbel the Lone Angler-backed specialist used the same homemade bait wrapped in a matching paste that recently proved the downfall of a 16lb 1oz fish from the same venue.
“With this bait I know when I get a bite it’s going to be a ‘proper’ fish,” said Luke, who comes from Oxfordshire.
“Many anglers might be put off by using a bait this big, but it’s no trouble for barbel of this size.
“It’s just a case of getting a few bites and gaining confidence in a bait like this.”
His latest specimen fell to a rig made with 15lb mainline, a coated braid hooklink and a size 6 hook.
It proved to be the only bite of the overnight session.
Along with the added attraction created in the swim by the thin layer of paste wrapped around his boilie hookbait, Luke also introduced a few 14mm barrel baits into his swim.
“To have caught the two Thames fish and a 16lb 7oz barbel from its tributary, the Thame, was far beyond my expectations.
“It’s been a hell of a season for barbel and there are plenty more to come,” Luke concluded.