This is a picture of the biggest bream caught by design in 2012, weighing in at a hefty 17lb 6oz.
The monster slab marked the successful culmination of a dedicated campaign targeting the species in Colney Lake, on the Bawburgh complex in Norfolk, for local ace Darryn Stolworthy, who beat his old personal best by more than 3lb with the capture.
The 42-year-old roofer, from Costessey, began trying to tempt a bite from the handful of outsized bream which reside in the 28-acre lake last autumn with little success, before relaunching his quest a month ago.
And, after a number of early morning visits to the lake to try to get an idea of where the lake’s scarce bream stocks might be holed-up, Darryn finally realised his goal a day after spotting fish roll in a swim, as he explained.
“I saw what I was sure were bream in front of an area occupied by a carp angler, so decided to have a go in the swim the following day after work, if it was free. As it happened, I arrived late and only just got the rods out before dark after baiting an area at the foot of a gravel bar in 14ft of water with about a gallon of maggots, pellets, corn, hemp and mini boilies,” said Darryn.
Not long after, he then saw a couple of ‘promising signs’ that he had indeed chosen the right swim, but had to wait several more hours before receiving the all-important bite.
“At about 9.30pm I saw a fish roll just to the right of the spot, and half an hour later received several line bites, which got my hopes up for the night ahead. At ten to midnight I then had a typical bream bite, with the bobbin dancing up and down, and struck into a decent fish. For most of the fight I didn’t know whether I was attached to a bream or a tench, which also grow very big in Colney Lake, and it wasn’t until the fish popped up 10 yards out in the beam of my headtorch that I realised I had finally caught my target,” he added.
Darryn, who is sponsored by Angling Direct, used four pieces of artificial corn, popped up off the back of a size 6 hook attached to a 12in fluorocarbon hooklink. This was presented on a simple 2oz inline lead set-up.