10lb 5oz tench worth a decade of trying

Euphoria! That’s what keen big-fish angler Brian Hankins experienced when he finally slipped his net under a double-figure tench after almost 10 years of fishing for one.

The Market Rasen, Lincs-based factory supervisor landed his new 10lb 5oz personal best during his first session of the season on a large Home Counties gravel pit he began fishing last year.

Brian (54), baitdropped maggot, caster and hemp on a clear spot surrounded by silkweed and got the all-important take on hair-rigged fake casters the next morning.

“The night passed without action and during the morning a family of coots found the larder of food and decided to join the party,” Brian told AT.

“After failing to scare them off I was about to admit defeat when my alarm sounded and what I expected to be a coot turned into this fish, which just got bigger and bigger as it came to the net.

Brian fooled the fish with two fake casters presented on a size 12 Drennan Super Specialist Barbel hook, a short braid hooklink and a 2oz lead.