RIVER THAMES barbel are still a relatively unknown quantity on some stretches, and the waterway is rumoured to have produced a 21 lb 10 oz British record to a carp angler who is keeping it quiet.

River Thames fan Antony Dumper was not concerned about such Chinese whispers when he landed this giant barbel of 16 lb 7 oz.

Wallingford, Oxfordshire-based Antony, 33, said: “Having moved away from lakes in the last two months I have been targeting the River Thames.

“Initially I joined a new club stretch and had been prebaiting hard in the hope of some specimen fish moving in.

“This hasn’t happened as quick as I had hoped even with the mild weather. With this in mind I decided to do a night on a favourite spot I had fished for years but tend to not fish it anymore as it’s generally too busy.

“Apart from silvers crashing around on the surface there wasn’t any sure signs of any decent fish in the swim but regardless I proceeded to bait with 1kg of Blake’s Bait Krinella and half a kilo of their 20 mm halibut pellet.

“Fishing over the top of the loose feed with a hair rigged 20 mm halibut pellet and a big PVA bag of 8 mm halibut pellet. I immediately hooked into something small. This turned out to be a roach around the 2 lb mark.

“Hours passed and the head hit the pillow. I awoke at 11pm to a couple of bleeps on my alarm and no sooner had I sat up, the rod screamed into life and after 10 minutes this lovely 16 lb 7 oz PB barbel was resting in my net.

“I must say I knew about this fish but I never dreamed of catching it on my first night back to the area in two years. Mission was complete so I went home in the early hours with a big grin on my face,’ added the chef.

The current British barbel record is 21 lb 1 oz, as logged on the lists run by the British Record Fish Committee.

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