AN ANGLER known as the ‘Wanderer’ has broken a barbel venue record while trying to tempt a specific large chub on cheese paste

Den Poole, from Harlow, Essex, fished his local highly renowned Fishers Green stretch of the River Lea, and captured this giant 17 lb 2 oz whisker after climbing a willow tree and spotting the large chub lurking below.

The 51-year-old decorator explained: “I’ve been fishing the venue for 15 years, was a bailiff there for ten, and it’s also only a six-minute drive from my home, so I regularly take the dogs there for a walk as well. I know the stretch like the back of my hand.

“I even got my ‘Wanderer’ nickname there from my favourite form of fishing which is roving with limited tackle. The name is tattooed on my leg with a picture of a large carp I once caught!

“I’d had a bit of a break recently from barbel fishing and had been targeting large perch hoping for a four-pounder but had just fallen 4 oz short, so with the mild conditions decided to give them a rest and return to the barbel and chub.

“After three blank evening sessions I switched to mornings and this was my second early start.

“I had already tried two favourite swims but there were problems in each, so went to look for another which is when I climbed the tree and spotted the chub.

“So I decided to try to tempt it from its lair by feeding maggots and liquidised bread, and then let the swim settle for half an hour while I brewed up a cuppa and tackled up.”

Long hook link for hefty chub

Den explained his tactics: “I used a light running leger on 8 lb main line and a 4 ft braided hook link to a size 12 hook baited with two maggots on the hook-shank, and a small ball of cheese paste with a piece of cork near the hook to aid buoyancy.

“As I use such a long hook link, to aid casting I wrap it in a PVA bag which dissolves as soon as it hits the water, releasing the link to straighten out in the flow as the light leger swings round into the swim

“It was about 11.30am when my first cast got tangled with weed and on my second, just as I gently eased the bait into position near some overhanging trees. I put the rod in the rest, and it smashed round with such force it bent the butt rest.

“I realised immediately this was no chub. After a fierce battle to keep the fish out of the snags, the giant barbel rolled at the surface and as it slid into the net my hands were shaking with excitement.

“I rested her for a while before unhooking as she gave such a fight, and was thrilled when she went 17 lb 2 oz; a new PB from this amazing waterway.

“It’s now back to the perch and the hunt for that elusive four-pounder,” he added.

Although a venue best, the record barbel for the whole River Lea is 6 oz heavier at 17 lb 8 oz caught by Laurence Mason in 2011.

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