LAKE BARBEL don't come any more impressive than this stunning 16 lb 1 oz specimen, reported exclusively to Angler's Mail.

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Ryan Stoddart caught one of the biggest lake barbel ever when he latched into the surprise 16 lb 1 oz specimen.

The 23-year-old self-employed handyman was on the specimen 2.5 acre Howe Lake on the day ticket Catterick Complex in North Yorkshire when he had his first ever barbel.

Very few big lake barbel get reported, but there have been none bigger in the UK than this… unless you know better! (If you do, drop an email to amletters@timeinc.com)

Ferry Hill, County Durham-based Ryan said: “I fish up to four times a week for the past three years on there.

“I wasn’t even sure if there was any barbel in there but I’d heard rumours of them. I’d never even seen one caught before.

“The day before a mate of mine caught a 12 lb barbel and so I thought I may as well give the same peg a go on the grass bank to see if I could catch one.

“I just used my standard carp kit and a Mainline Cell pop-up boilie on a size 10 hook in the margin in 3 ft of water.

“The fish put up a good fight and I was amazed it turned out to be a big barbel as I thought it was a big carp when a hooked it.

“I was thrilled to catch it,” added Ryan, who has a 22 lb carp best from the lake.

Lake barbel explained by owner

Fishery owner Phil Taylor told Angler’s Mail: “My fishery is right next door to the River Swale which is one of the fastest flowing rivers in the country and we have a mile of fishing there.

“We were flooded out in 2012 and a few chub and barbel must have got into the four lakes.

“The barbel aren’t caught very often and I’ve not heard of a barbel anywhere near this big before.

“They barbel must have grown fat on all the boilies going in for the carp,” he added.

Ryan’s lake barbel is exactly 2 lb heavier than the official River Swale record of 14 lb 1 oz caught by Ian Bedford in 2007.

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