Angling Times can this week reveal exclusive pictures of the second biggest bream ever landed, weighing in at a staggering 19lb 6oz.
The giant specimen was banked by Gordon Ramsden during a recent three-night session at a low-stock 50-acre Oxfordshire gravel pit.
Although the mighty fish falls 4oz shy of James Rust’s British record of 19lb 10oz, it is the biggest bream ever caught by design because James was targeting carp when he banked his 2005 giant from Ferry Lagoon in Cambs.
The fairytale began for 43-year-old, Bradford-based warehouse worker Gordon when he received a drop back bite just after first light on the second day of his trip down south. At first he believed that a tench was the culprit by the way it fought once hooked.
“Normally the bream kite off to one side, but this fish just came straight in so I assumed that it was probably just a small tench,” he said.
“My opinion soon changed when the fish got close to the net and I saw an enormous bream roll. I waded out to net it because the margins were pretty shallow in my swim. Unfortunately I’d left my wellies back up the bank but you could say that the fish was well worth getting soaked for!” It’s Gordon’s second season chasing the venue’s elusive giant bream, and he finally hit the jackpot on only the second session he’s been on there this year.
“I’ve fished for bream and tench most of my life, so to catch of fish of this calibre is just unbelievable and certainly makes the 370-mile round trips from home more than worthwhile. I think its the same fish that was caught last May at 18lb 12oz, so it has put on 10oz since then. If it carries on growing at the same rate, there is every chance it could break the record very soon.” Gordon, who is certainly no stranger to big bream, having banked them to 16lb 11oz last year, tempted his prize on a double 6mm Richworth boilie hookbait. This was cast to a gravel patch which he estimated to be about Œthe size of three bivvies’ at 100yds range and which he had prebaited with a mix of groundbait, pellets, sweetcorn, hemp and boilies.
His winning rig consisted of a 6ins ESP Strip Teaze hooklink and a size 9 ESP Raptor hook fished in conjunction with an inline lead.