Incredible haul of roach taken from Oxfordshire gravel pit

A huge haul of massive roach has been taken - made up of six fish averaging more than 3lb apiece and topped by a true giant weighing 3lb 13oz.

The historic catch was put together by bang-in-form specimen hunter Jamie Cartwright, who used a maggot feeder approach to bank fish of 2lb 13oz, 2lb 13oz 8dr, 3lb 0oz 8dr, 3lb 1oz and 3lb 2oz, as well as the big one, for a total weight of 18lb 11oz!

It capped an amazing week for the 33-year-old, who took a brace of 30lb-plus pike from Chew Valley Lake just seven days earlier.

Jamie told AT how his dream session at the Oxfordshire gravel pit unfolded.

“I got the rods out before dawn, and set about recasting them every couple of hours, with just 20 or 30 maggots in the feeders and no loosefeed at all,” he said.

Jamie had to wait until 1.45pm for the first bite of his session, resulting in a superb fish of 3lb 1oz, which beat his old roach pb by a pound, and it was then a full five hours later he received a second bite, which would result in the biggest of his haul.

Like the rest, it fell for a maggot hookbait flavoured with Geranium oil.

Jamie told AT: “I’d missed a drop back 10 minutes earlier, so recast to the spot, and the same rod went again. It’s hard to tell how big the fish are right up until you land them and shine the headtorch on the net.

“When I did, I could see that it was noticeably bigger than the other ‘three’ I’d caught. It went 3lb 13oz, and measured 17in long with a girth of 14ins. After all those blanks without a single roach at the water this winter, my first two fish added up to nearly 7lb. I was stunned, and called my mate Dougie, who drove all the way from Northampton to take the pics. By the time he got there I had two more roach scaling 2lb 13oz and just over 3lb in the net!” After winding in the rods for the night, Jamie took several more fish to an impressive 3lb 2oz the following afternoon before bringing his remarkable session to an end.

The magnitude of Jamie’s achievements were not lost on species expert Mark Wintle, who is currently putting the finishing touches to a new book called ‘Big Roach’.

He said: “It’s a remarkable hit of big fish and ranks right up there as one of the best ever taken from a stillwater.” Jamie caught all of his fish on helicopter feeder rigs made from 5.5lb Gardner Mirage flourocarbon mainline, Korum Quick Change heli-kits, 0.13mm Reflo Powerline hooklinks, size 16 Kamasan B983 hooks and customised mini Drennan Vari-weight feeders.