A colossal tench of 17lb 8oz that smashes the UK record out of sight has been landed.
In one of the biggest shocks in specimen fishing, Angling Times can exclusively reveal the story of Neil Bradley and Jamie Potts who banked the specimen – which is 2lb 5oz bigger than the official British best –from an undisclosed UK stillwater with no tench form.
But the pair revealed that the historic catch won’t be making its way into the record books, as the shock specimen was netted live during a predator fishing trip.
“We were scouring the water on our boat, looking for pike, when another boat flew by at pace in the shallow water. Moments later we saw something break the surface,” explained Neil.
“Our initial reaction was that it was a big pike that had been startled, so we cast a lure in its direction, but we could see that the fish was still flailing on the surface so we drove the boat over to take a closer look.
“At first glance we thought it was a carp, but further investigation showed it was a huge tench. I’ve caught them to over 11lb and I instantly knew this one was much bigger.”
Once it was in the net, Neil and Jamie composed themselves and placed the fish on the scales before helping the fish recover, so that they could return it safely to the little-known venue.
“We couldn’t believe what we had netted. One minute I was chucking a lure around for pike, the next we had a tench that was a lot bigger than the record in the net – it was surreal.
“We rested it in the net for a while and when we released the fish it powered off and appeared to be in good condition. We stayed in the area for a few hours afterwards but it never resurfaced.
“Specimen angling has become a little predictable, but this fish shows there are record breakers out there that have never seen a hook,” added Jamie.