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A stonking 17 lb 4 oz barbel has come out of a middle stretch of the River Thames to big whisker specialist Neil Wayte.

Farnham, Surrey-based Neil, who now works for Willow Park’s tackle shop, fished a two-night session on a middle stretch of the ‘Old Father Thames’, and hooked the specimen using Mad Baits Pandemic boilies.

Neil explained: “I have put in almost 250 hours on the stretch this season and it’s the first barbel I have managed. It came at 4.30 am on the second night and I also had a 6 lb 4 oz chub the previous night which is my seventh six-pounder of the season.

“I use a very large PVA mesh bag filled with broken boilies, pellets and hemp, and scatter a dozen broken boilies in loose feed, then sit tight until a bite comes.

“I have to protect the boilie with Fox Arma Mesh as the crayfish are a huge nuisance and will strip the hook in an hour without protection.

“I think the fish may well have been one I had last year at 17 lb 13 oz but it had two splits in its tail where sadly it must have been kept in a keepnet or sacked up,” he added.

This is a short version of the story that appeared in Angler’s Mail printed magazine. Get the magazine every week for top tips, big news, best products, and venues that are in form.

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