SWITCHING rivers certainly paid off for barbel ace Garry Teer as a week after a 27 lb 4 oz brace he topped it with a pair of Thames barbel going a stonking 32 lb 13 oz.

The stunning Thames barbel pair came when Garry returned to the same stretch of the middle reaches to smash his PB with a giant of 17 lb 9 oz (pictured above) after first nabbing one of 15 lb 4 oz.

The 51-year-old technical manager explained: “After many years fishing my local Great Ouse which has been hit with otters, this season I decided to try the Thames.

“Last season had been the hardest ever although I still managed to land a 14 lb barbel, so I decided to try elsewhere even though the journey would be at least an hour.

“I had no particular inside information about the Thames and chose to join a club which allows night fishing on the standard ticket.

“I was hoping to acquire some local knowledge on the bank but one guy told me he had fished 500 hours without a barbel, although perhaps he was trying to put me off.”

Thames barbel ‘on a slope’

Garry continued: “After my great night the previous weekend, I was itching to return and found a swim close to a weedbed with a hollow going down from 7 to 10 feet, and I opted to fish on the slope.

“Just before dark the smaller of the two fish struck and I was delighted to beat my PB by an ounce, but only two hours later the 17 lb 9 oz monster was on and put up a tremendous fight on my 2.2 lb rods.

“I could hardly believe it when I saw the size of it with such a tremendous girth – it was really the fish of a life-time and I am still buzzing now.

Garry’s 15 lb 4 oz Thames barbel, which is he swiftly bettered with the 17-pounder.

“I fished with a Bankside Tackle dumbbell with the end pinched off, wrapped in their team barbel paste with a small PVA bag of crushed samples,” added Garry, from Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.

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