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Record fish caught with leftovers

PUBLISHED: 15:41 17 November 2008 | UPDATED: 14:48 07 July 2010

Chris Mack and his record barbel.

Chris Mack and his record barbel.

The long held belief that Norfolk's rich River Wensum would produce a British record barbel has become wonderful reality for a Norfolk angler fishing a prolific stretch of the river not far from his home.

The long held belief that Norfolk's rich River Wensum would produce a British record barbel has become wonderful reality for a Norfolk angler fishing a prolific stretch of the river not far from his home.

The proud captor of the 21lb 2oz beauty is Chris Mack from Church Street, Elsing who baited his hefty tackle consisting of a size eight hook tied to 10lb breaking strain line with a chunk of black pudding rescued from his breakfast left-overs, writes Roy Webster.

The superb specimen, locally known as “the beast”, beat the previous record caught from the Great Ouse near Bedford by just one ounce.

It was the same fish that came in at 20lb 12oz for Mark Rylands last February and before that at 19lb 4oz for its latest captor in 2007.

The scales that weighed the new record buster have since been tested as accurate and a claim for the new figure has been lodged with the British Rod Court Record Fish Committee. So far there do not appear to be any stumbling blocks on the path to this magnificent specimen being ratified as the official United Kingdom record.

Needless to say the proud captor of the nation's best was “pretty well thrilled” when he gave an account of his exciting short afternoon session on his favourite river.

Commented the 55-year-old Bartles Lodge fishery manager: “I've been fishing for barbel for about three years and although I've managed a lakes complex I'm very fond of my River Wensum. When I decided to fish the river the other afternoon it suddenly occurred to me that the bit of black pudding left on the breakfast plate might be a decent bait so I took it along with me, hooked a sizeable piece to the ledger rig and cast out.

“The bite came after about 45 minutes. I knew this was the big one by the way it tore off line in the main flow, but steadily I played it back towards the landing net and it was on the bank after a 20-minute tussle.”

He concluded: “I'm not at all surprised that the Wensum has produced a record barbel for I've believed for a year or two that a fish would make the weight for some lucky angler and I'm glad to say that I was the one.”

The fact that River Wensum barbel have now outstripped those famous fish of the Great Ouse is testimony to the combined efforts of the Environment Agency and the Norfolk Anglers Conservation Association who have created the ideal barbel habitat along the Lyng stretch.

The barbel there have put on weight rapidly and now that the river has produced its first record it is almost certain more will visit the bank in the near future.

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