“Recently I decided to take a break from match angling and have a go at catching barbel on the River Thames near Pangbourne.
“The weather had been horrendous prior to my session and the river was running two feet above normal level.
“I still gave it a go, though, and fished a 6oz gripper lead with a 15mm Dynamite Baits Spicy Shrimp and Prawn boilie alongside a scattering of 20mm baits.
“At 11pm the wind speed got up to about 40mph and I thought it just wasn’t going to be my night, when all of a sudden my rod-tip bent double and I shot out of my shelter to strike into the fish.
“Surprisingly it came in like a bream, but I think that was because I was playing it in the heavy flow with a 6oz lead attached.
“When its head popped out the water I could barely believe it was a huge chub staring back at me!
“I knew it was going to be a new personal best, but never thought it would be a true Thames giant weighing 8lb 1oz!”