After seven years of trying, Alan Stagg broke his bream personal best twice in one session with fish of 17lb 3oz – the largest of the species reported this year - and 16lb 12oz from a southern gravel pit.
The pair of huge slabs were the highlight of one of the biggest hauls of specimen bream ever taken which featured no less than nine doubles for the Basingstoke-based Gardner Tackle media manager.
Arriving at dawn, Alan spent six hours walking round the lake looking for signs of fish before setting up. He then located a gravel bar at 80yds range which he baited with a large bed of 4mm trout pellets, 0.5kg of 15mm CC Moore Odyssey XXX boilies, dead maggots and three tins of sweetcorn.
All three rods were fished over the feed with a mixture of Enterprise Tackle imitation corn and 15mm boilies tipped with a piece of fake corn as hookbaits.
“I received the first bite on dusk and carefully played in what I knew from the outset was going to be a big bream,” he told Angling Times. “As I slipped the net under the first fish, one of my other rods was away and I recorded a brace weighing 11lb 4oz and 12lb 10oz. Three other fish fell that night –one of 12lb, a 13lb 12oz fish and a new pb weighing 16lb 12oz at around 1:30am.
“I was a little dubious what would happen on the second night and wasn’t sure whether the fish would return or if they would back off the area as I’d caught a few. But after putting a bit more bait out in the afternoon, I noticed several bream roll off the back of the feed on dusk which raised my confidence levels. A further four fish fell that night, all doubles again with the best one setting another new best of 17lb 3oz. I have put in countless hours in recent years trying to beat my old pb for the species of 16lb 7oz, so to do it twice in one session was a real result!” he added.
Alan’s successful rig comprised seven inches of 15lb Gardner Trickster braid attached to a size 8 Covert Wide Gape Talon Tip hook.