353lb of bream from a free river stretch

A free stretch of river has produced one of the UK’s biggest running water catches of all time after one angler took a massive 353lb of bream.

Mike Farrar arrived at the stretch of the River Nene in middle of Peterborough Town Centre at 2.00am after seeing bream rolling when he visited the venue on his bike the evening before his session.

With several 100lb-plus nets from the area already under his belt, the local rod fancied his chances of a big catch so after transporting all of his tackle to the bank on his bike put out 70 large feeders filled with groundbait and pellets into his swim, but nothing could have prepared him for the session he was about to experience.

During an incredible eight-hour stint he banked no less than 90 bream averaging 5lb – and lost an estimated further 100lb of fish in the weed.

“It was the most incredible days fishing I’ve ever had – at one point I had a crowd of around 20 people behind me!” Mike told Angling Times.

“Once I’d fed the swim and used the feeder to clear out some of the weed over my spot, the first bite didn’t come until 8.00am. After that it just went mad and there were so many fish in the swim that I couldn’t get my rod in the rest before the tip was going around.”

All of Mike’s bream fell to either maggot or pellet hookbaits fished in conjunction with a 0.15mm hooklink and size 14 hook attached to a 6lb mainline.

 “I reckon I could have had almost 500lb if I hadn’t have lost loads of fish in the weed, but there was no way I could get round it as this is where the fish were and you have to take the rough with the smooth,” Mike continued.

“The fish were still coming thick and fast when I decided to pack up at 4.00pm, but to be honest I think the river and the shoal had given me enough pleasure for one day.”

And just to prove how good the fishing is on the River Nene at the moment he returned three days later and used the same tactics to land over 286lb of fish.

Over the years there have been many huge river catches taken by solitary anglers including a 316lb net of chub from the River Wye by Welsh International Lee Edwards in 2007, and more recently 200-plus nets have been reported from rivers such as the Thames and the Trent.

Venues to try for big bags of bream

- River Nene, town embankment, Peterborough

Contact: F Wade & Son, 01733 565159

Prices: Free fishing

- River Thames, Kingston, London     

Contact: Gerry’s of Wimbledon 02085 427792

Prices: Free fishing

- Bristol Avon, Barton Farm Country Park, Bradford on Avon, Wilts          

Contact: West's Tackle, 01225 755472 

Prices: £3 a day from Wests Tackle Trowbridge, Airsprung AA

- River Wensum, Norwich, Norfolk

Contact: Latham’s Tackle, 08432 891368

Prices: Free fishing

- River Severn, Upton Upon Severn, Worcs           

Contact: G. Shin Tackle, 01684 592102    

Prices: £3 a day in advance from G. Shin Tackle,

- River Trent, Holme Marsh, Newark, Notts          

Contact: Worksop DAA, 01909 486350    

Prices: £4 a day on the bank, Worksop DAA

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