John Cranswick came agonisingly close to breaking his personal best when he banked this huge 11lb 1oz tench from Colney Lake on the Bawburgh complex in
The 42-year-old antique restorer from Norwich took the impressive specimen during a 24-hour session at the venue, along with several other fish to 9lb 7oz, all of which fell to rubber caster hookbaits presented on an inline lead set-up at 30yds to the edge of a bed of onion weed.
The fish falls just 1oz short of his personal best, taken way back in 1998 on float tactics from Bawburgh Lake.
He said: "I couldn't fish much last year due to work commitments, but decided that this season I¹d get my act together and have a crack at beating my old best for the species. I did a couple of sessions recently to fine-tune my tactics, taking quite a few fish along the way including four nine-pounders."
After priming his swim with a light scattering of loosefeed, John chose to fish two rods in the baited area, with a third in the margins, and it was the latter which produced the other two bites in his session, leaving the 42-year-old to wonder if he had got his tactics right. However, a blistering take at 6.30am from one of the rods placed on the baited area soon dispelled any doubts.
"Straight away I was forced to backwind, and for a while I was sure I was connected to one of the lake¹s many big carp. When I finally got it in front of me, I saw it was a tench, and that¹s when it took off again, taking out my margin rod altogether," added John, who used a size 14 Korum S3 hook attached to 4ins-6ins of 10lb Drennan Sinklink.