Steve Russell came within 1oz of breaking his tench personal best with the capture of this stunning 11lb 12oz specimen.
The Oxfordshire-based all-rounder caught the fish during a session on an extremely weedy local gravel pit.
The tench is the second over the 11lb-mark which the 42-year-old has landed from the tough venue and it fell to two imitation casters hair-rigged on a size 12 Drennan Super Specialist Barbel hook and a 12lb Drennan Carp Silk Braid hooklink fished helicopter style in conjunction with a maggot feeder.
Steve’s specimen angling exploits saw him take fourth place in last season’s prestigious Drennan Cup competition - a performance he’s hoping to improve on in 2014.
“I’m ecstatic to land a fish like this on what was only my second tench fishing session of the year so far,” he told Angling Times.
“Prior to this I had fished the venue for two years without catching a double, which just goes to show how important it is to persevere when the going gets tough.
“My latest catch was far from plain sailing, though, as the fish fought really hard and there were a few hairy moments when it momentarily snagged me up in some weed – but I won the battle in the end.”
Steve targeted a patch of silt among an area of dense weed and baited the spot with a bed of hemp, pellets and dead maggots, and also landed a smaller tench of 6lb 13oz.