His 21lb 2oz monster took the honours by just one ounce – breaking a record that had stood since 2006.
Smithson, a long-term member of the club, caught the fish during a short afternoon session at one of the club’s waters and at first thought he had hooked a big mirror carp he seen rolling in the swim earlier.
After a terrific fight he was amazed to see the giant barbel surface which then immediately dived into a nearby snag. Thankfully the fish freed itself and was landed safely.
After having the fish witnessed, weighed and photographed he had to wait a few weeks before the fish was finally confirmed as record beater.
Smithson dedicated the catch to his late brother Roy, who had passed away a few months earlier at the age of 63. “I’m sure Roy was looking down on me and I know, as a keen angler himself, would have been immensely proud to see me catch this fish,” he said.
Petworth and Bognor Angling Club offer anglers a wonderful range of fishing venues, all of which can seen by visiting www.sussexangling.co.uk – new members welcome.