“With conditions looking so favourable I decided on a trip to the Lower Severn – a bit of river that’s thrown up some huge barbel over the years.
“I fished a Squid Liver-flavoured Cocoon wrapped in matching paste, but after six hours without any sign of activity I was contemplating packing up.
“Out of the blue, the rod hammered over, and I connected with a fish that fought very well in the heavy flow. Enough to say, I was very relieved to slip the net under her!
“At 16lb 14oz it smashed my personal best by more than 2lb.”