The River Nene barbel record has been smashed with the capture of a massive 18lb 3oz specimen.
The incredible fish was landed by big-fish ace Nigel Bryans, who tempted it on a trimmed-down 3ft Twitch Lamprey and Smoked Herring boilie.
It was a short unplanned evening session that turned into the trip of a lifetime for the 53-year-old Lincolnshire angler, and Nigel has now beaten his own official record for the waterway, which he has held since 2012, by 11oz.
Fishing on a Peterborough & District Angling Association stretch of the river, Nigel initially fed a swim with freebie boilies.
But he was soon upping sticks after making what would turn out to be a huge discovery: “I have fished the venue for years and usually start in the same swim, but after feeding the spot I went for a walk and spotted this huge fish hiding in the weed.
“I knew it was one of the bigger barbel in the stretch, so I moved my gear and decided to go after it,” he said.
Within an hour of casting out his leger rig attached to a PVA bag of matching broken and whole boilies, Nigel’s tip flew round. Despite a spirited fight the fish was no match for his size 14 hook, 2ft of 15lb Gardner Trickster braid hooklength and 18lb braided mainline.
The barbel, thought to be the same specimen that was banked at a weight of 18lb by Gary Johnson back in June, was weighed and returned with the help of a witness, allowing Nigel to claim a new venue record.
“I am really proud to break my own personal record for the river – the fishing has been hard this year, so to catch this fish, especially with the river being so low and clear, is really satisfying,” he added.