This is the picture of the biggest roach of the season that topped the scales at 3lb 13oz.
Angling legend Chris Turnbull smashed his personal best for the species that had stood for almost 20 years when he banked the huge specimen from a stillwater that he only turned his attention’s to this winter.
The acclaimed fishing artist and writer located an area of the lake that boasted depths of 20 feet and cast maggot feeder rigs with three red maggots on the hook to the spot.
He certainly got his location right as by dusk the Norfolk-based specialist had banked a hat-trick of roach over the 2lb-barrier to 2lb 4oz.
The best was still to come, however, and his final cast of the session resulted in the huge roach that measured 16 inches in length and had a depth of 7 inches.
“Roach over the 3lb mark are so rare it really is a privilege to catch a specimen like this. It beats my long standing personal best that I caught from a southern stillwater way back in 1995,” Chris told Angling Times.
“I’ve never been one for following the crowds to waters that contain big fish and love finding new venues with potential, so when I heard the tales of this particular venue holding huge fish and then saw a picture of a 3lb roach, I couldn’t wait to start my campaign.”
Chris used a helicopter rig constructed using a Korum Heli Kit, 6lb Drennan Specimen Plus , a 4lb hooklink and a size 14 Guru MWGB hook. He then laid a carpet of maggots down with the help of a 40 gram Kamasan Black Cap feeder.
This is the biggest roach to be landed in the UK since the capture of a 3lb 13oz specimen by Surrey teenager Aaron Winter from a tributary of the Thames known as Hogsmill River.
“I’ve had some fantastic catches over the years including barbel to 18lb 6oz and tench to 11lb 9oz but pound for pound this must count as the biggest fish from a lifelong angling career. I’d be truly amazed if I ever better it,” he added.
Chris Turnbull’s top five roach tips:
1. When picking a swim on a stillwater avoid comfortable corners of the lake because roach love moving water where there’s a tow.
2. It’s vital not to use really light hooklinks when using a ‘helicopter-style’ rig because they are prone to twisting therefore compromising your presentation.
3. Keep your hooklinks short as they should be no longer than four to five inches.
4. In cold water be careful not to overfeed and only re-cast your feeder or introduce any bait if you’re getting bites.
5. Don’t start fishing too early because the biggest fish often feed an hour into darkness.
Ten fisheries to try for a specimen roach:
1. Bury Hill Fisheries, Dorking, Surrey; Contact: 01306 877540 or www.buryhillfisheries.co.uk
2. Wyreside Lakes, Bay Horse, near Lancaster; Contact: 01524 792093 or www.wyresidelakes.co.uk
3. Elphicks Fisheries, Horsmonden, Kent; Contact: 01580 212512 or www.elphicks-fisheries.co.uk
4. Linch Hill Fishery, Oxfordshire; Contact: 01865 882215 or www.linchhillfishery.co.uk
5. Tricklebrook Fishery, Five Oak Green, Kent; Contact: 07743 955812 or www.tricklebrookfishery.co.uk
6. Selby 3 Lakes, Selby, North Yorks; Contact: 07818 092420 or www.selby3lakescomplex.com
7. Bluebell Lakes, Northants; Contact: 01832 226042 or www.bluebell-lakes.co.uk
8. Lemington Lakes, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire; Contact: 01608 650872 or www.lemingtonlakes.co.uk
9. Milemead Fisheries, Tavistock, Devon; Contact: 01822 610888 or www.milemeadfisheries.com
10. Lochnaw Castle Loch; Contact: www.lochnawcastle.co.uk