It proved a memorable end to 2009 for specimen angler Derren Burr when he banked this superb 3lb 8oz roach on New Year's Eve.
The personal-best redfin fell to a chopped lobworm tipped with a fake red maggot on CEMEX Angling's Jones Pit a nine-acre Beds venue which had been frozen for the previous two days. Leighton Buzzard rod Derren chanced his luck in bitterly cold weather and found just three swims fishable, one of which he set about targeting with a block end feeder filled with maggots.
A gravel bar at 30yds, where 16ft of water quickly became 12ft, was earmarked as a likely area for big roach and the 39-year-old set about casting repeatedly to lay down a bed of maggots. His patience was rewarded at 1.30pm when the quivertip of his 12ft Avon style rod swept round.
"It was a cracking fight and I knew instantly that it was a big roach or perch, but I wasn't sure which until I saw it. The pit has thrown up roach in the 2lb bracket before to carp anglers using boilies, but they are largely ignored, as are the perch and bream everybody fishes for the lake's carp and catfish.
"I usually fish rivers such as the Great Ouse, but it was flooded so I thought I'd try the pit with proper roach tactics but I never expected one this big," added a delighted Derren, who used a simple running rig incorporating a 30g Kamasan block end feeder, 6lb mainline, an 18ins long hooklink of 3lb mono and a size 14 hook.
His previous personal-best roach reached 2lb 14oz.