(This catch was reported before the river close season came into force on March 15th 2022)
JUST weeks after James Champkin banked a 19lb 7oz record barbel from the River Lea, local expert Ray Kent raised the bar again when he landed this 19lb 14oz leviathan.
Fishing the Kings Weir stretch, Ray found it in great nick after recent flooding, with the river about 6ins up and carrying a nice tinge of colour. Ray, a bailiff on the venue, landed a 19lb 4oz fish from the same stretch at this time last year, again a record at the time, and on his latest session he used the same hookbait – a big bunch of maggots on a size 10 hook – to tempt his new PB.
Ray revealed that he was on the phone to a mate when his centrepin reel whirred into life, and the fish gave him ‘the hardest fight from a barbel that he’s ever had’.