Neill Stephen came agonisingly close to breaking the magical 4lb-barrier for the second time in just over a month with this 3lb 15oz 8dr rudd.
The London-based former Drennan Cup champion was targeting the specimen fish stocks of Buckland Lake Reserve Fishery in Kent and was accompanied by wildlife artist David Miller who was looking for inspiration for a new rudd painting.
“By the early afternoon the lake was beginning to resemble the North Sea with white caps rolling into the bank,” he told Angling Times. “While moving around I had caught a few two-pounders but then in the mid-afternoon in a new swim the float buried into a wave and after a simply unbelievable fight that left me thinking I had hooked a carp a massive rudd appeared. Incredibly the digital scales read 4lb again but there was the occasional flicker to 3lb15oz so we called it at 3lb 15oz 8dr. It was fairly surreal to catch one fish of around this size but to catch two has left me feeling jinxed in the best possible way especially as the rudd fishing on the Main Lake has been very difficult recently.”
Neill tempted the impressive specimen with a grain of sweetcorn fished under a custom reed waggler made by Andrew Field.