A FEMALE angler smashed her barbel and chub personal bests after switching tactics.

Lesley Winks proved you don’t always have to scale down to conjure up bites as she switched to a huge boilie hookbait to fool a 14 lb 1 oz barbel and a 6 lb 4 oz chub.

The 48-year-old finance officer fished a stretch of the Warwickshire Avon to land three big fish in successive casts after switching to using double Sticky Baits Krill boilies – both in the big 20 mm size.

Lesley, from Dudley, West Midlands, explained: “I often enjoy a two-day trip to the Avon, although as a female angler on my own I avoid nights and book-in at a local Travelodge.

“It was a bright sunny first day and the water was clear. I sat biteless all day fishing different sizes of pellets with PVA bags, a method I have enjoyed success with in the past, then changed tactics to boilies and long hook-link.

“I started with single boilie with no joy, then I thought I might as well give a bigger bait a try, so put on the double boilies with a size 6 hook and a 4 ft fluorocarbon hooklink.

“I cast to the same area I had been fishing with the pellets and within an hour I had a 5 lb chub, followed by the 6 lb 4 oz specimen, then the big barbel next cast.

“When I hooked the barbel I thought it might have been a carp, and it fought hard for 20 minutes.

“I was certainly shaking by the time I got it in the net. Both fish were personal bests beating my old ones by over a pound.

“I have been fishing for over 15 years but have really got into it again in the last couple following my divorce, mainly focussing on barbel.

“In the past a used to fish in and even organise matches, but now I prefer pleasure angling.

“As well as these two specimens I have caught carp to 25 lb and perch to 3 lb but this is my best ever day,” she concluded.

CAUGHT A BIG FISH? Email photos and details exclusively to: anglersmail@timeinc.com – you could star in the print magazine and win great prizes, like Lesley has.