Huge brace of bream proves Hertfordshire lakes' potential

Dean Kelly could not have asked for a better way to start his specimen bream fishing career than by catching one of the biggest ever braces of the species, with fish of 17lb 9oz and 16lb 5oz from a Hertfordshire stillwater.

Hours spent walking the banks of the 26-acre venue locating its small head of bream paid dividends for the 27-year-old tiler, who eventually pinpointed a clear spot amid heavy weed at 60yds range. During a 12-hour day session he regularly recast a 1oz maggot feeder to the feature to keep the swim topped up, and opened his account with a 12lb 12oz personal-best slab before backing it up with the huge brace shortly afterwards ¬ the bigger of which set a new venue record.

“I’ve mainly fished for carp in the past and had never caught a bream over 6lb, but after seeing some of the specimens being taken from the venue in Angling Times recently, I decided to have a go for them,” he said. “I was confident that I’d got the location right, but I never imagined that I’d kick things off with a catch like this - it was unreal!

"I firmly believe that this water holds a new British record fish, and I’m currently concentrating my efforts on catching this because I’d love to get my name in the history books.”

Dean might well have achieved his bold target during a quickfire session immediately after the bumper brace, but unfortunately he lost a fish which he estimated to be ‘considerably bigger’ than his 17-pounder at the net.

The business end of the local rod’s set-up consisted of a bunch of mixed red and white maggots popped-up on a size 8 hook attached to 12lb mainline.