Jim Mathews had every reason to smile when his first bite from a new water produced this 12lb 1oz personal best tench.
The Essex-based all-rounder has been focusing his efforts on the species since his capture of a 4lb 2oz 8dr crucian last month, targeting a very weedy club water in Kent.
Due to the tough conditions he tackled-up accordingly and fished a simple in-line lead set-up with two maggots and a piece of foam nicked on to a size 14 Drennan Super Specialist Barbel hook and a 10lb Korda IQ2 hooklink.
This was swung out tight to an overhanging tree along the left hand margin of the 33-year-old’s swim, and he baited the spot with sweetcorn and a mixture of live and dead maggots.
“It’s been tough going because sometimes I could see the tench showing, but couldn’t get on them because the swims were taken by carp anglers. Plus I only get to go fishing one night a week,” Jim told Angling Times.
“To have one huge fish in a season is unbelievable, but two in as many months is incomprehensible. It just goes to show that you don’t need to spend ages camped out on the bank to catch big fish,” he added.