Patience is often the biggest weapon in an angler’s armoury when targeting the Tring complex in Hertfordshire, and that was certainly the case for Scott Shepherd, who endured countless blanks on his way to catching a superb brace of bream for over 32lb.
At the start of the season the 33-year-old set himself the target of catching a double-figure bream from any of the reservoirs on the complex, but despite putting in a 24-hour session each weekend since April, he struggled to catch a single example of the species.
That all changed last week, when in the space of just a few hours the IT analyst from Aylesbury banked two huge bream weighing 16lb 4oz and 16lb, backed up by others of 13lb 12oz and 10lb 7oz from Startops Reservoir.
He said: “I headed for a swim on the end of a strong south-westerly which I’d plumbed during a ‘recce’ session. I found a clear strip at 50yds, spodded in a bed of hemp, Vitalin, pellet and dead maggots, all soaked in molasses, and cast two rods over the bait.
“Nothing happened during the night, but at 10am I had a small drop-back. I struck and was into a heavy fish. From the way it was fighting I knew it was a bream, but when it hit the surface I couldn’t believe its size! At 16lb 4oz it doubled my previous pb for the species!”
Scott was quite content to pack up there and then, but after ‘sitting there in a daze for the next couple of hours’ his session went from outstanding to truly memorable when he banked three more big fish in a crazy half-hour spell.
“Unfortunately, I had to pack up and leave, but I’m still a very happy boy because Startops is a hard nut to crack. To finally catch fish of this size after all the hours and days I have put in is amazing,” added Scott, who used a combination of rubber caster and lobworm hookbaits.