15lb 4oz gi­ant banked as part of his­tory-making 28lb brace

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME - BEN MILES

THE long-stand­ing River Wye bar­bel record has been smashed this week with the cap­ture of a su­perb fish weigh­ing 15lb 4oz.

Leonard Skyrme banked the his­toric spec­i­men – which beats the river record of 14lb 9oz that’s stood for 13 years – when he fished a stretch near Symonds Yat.

As well as land­ing the big­gest ever bar­bel landed from the in­form wa­ter­way, the 40-year-old from South Wales went on to com­plete the big­gest ever brace of Wye bar­bel af­ter slip­ping his net un­der a sec­ond huge bar­bel weigh­ing 13lb 2oz later in the same ses­sion.

“The big­gest of the two gave me one the most sav­age bites I’ve ever ex­pe­ri­enced – if I hadn’t been right by the rod it would have been in the wa­ter,” said Leonard.

“I thought I’d set a new record for the stretch I was fish­ing, but when I found out that the cur­rent river record is 14lb 9oz I was gob­s­macked. It hasn’t sunk in.”

Leonard, who has only re­cently re­turned to coarse fish­ing af­ter spend­ing many years tar­get­ing game fish, used a cage feeder packed with pel­lets along­side a 14mm hal­ibut pel­let hook­bait hair-rigged to a size 10 hook. He also laid down a bed of hempseed be­fore cast­ing out.

“Be­fore this in­cred­i­ble ses­sion my bar­bel per­sonal best stood at 11lb 6oz, so to beat it twice from the Wye is some­thing very spe­cial,” Leonard con­tin­ued.

“The other an­glers on the stretch couldn’t be­lieve what had hap­pened ei­ther. It was just one of those ses­sions that I don’t think I’m go­ing to re­peat!”

The cap­ture was wit­nessed by two fel­low an­glers and the bar­bel was weighed on two dif­fer­ent sets of scales.

As Angling Times went to press, ru­mours be­gan to sur­face that a new Thames bar­bel record had been landed, beat­ing the bench­mark of 18lb 2oz set by Guy Robb in 2005.

The 15lb 4oz fish beat the old record by 11oz.

The sec­ond half of Leonard’s brace weighed 13lb 2oz.

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