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MATCH ace Andy Pollard caught the biggest barbel ever using a pole, when he tempted this 14 lb 15 oz beard to top a big team event.

Andy caught the surprise specimen from the upper River Thames at Rushey and the Oxfordshire stretch isn’t overly noted for huge barbel.

It helped Andy of Daiwa Gordon League take top spot with 24 lb 4 oz a net that that also included a 3 lb 10 oz perch plus 20 small stripys. Andy bagged the monster beard on pole fished worm, and it helped his side take the title in the 114-entry Upper Thames Championships.

For the full catch details – and permanent peg number  – read this week’s Angler’s Mail magazine.