A 30-year quest to land a giant bream finally came to an end for Bob Pickering when he banked this 21lb monster from a North West stillwater.
The Stoke-on-Trent big-fish enthusiast had spent three decades in search of the elusive big bream from the 90-acre mere, and finally hit the jackpot when the 21-pounder fell for a legered 6mm pellet. Incredibly, it is the first bream to be caught from the venue this year, despite the fact that the fish are regularly targeted.
Yet another blank night session looked to be on the cards for Bob until the bite he had waited so long for materialised at first light. He told Angling Times: “When I picked the rod up the fish powered off and I was convinced I had hooked a carp or a tench.
“Once it was within netting range I saw the back of the fish and I couldn’t believe it was one of the huge bream that I had waited so many years to catch.
“I have never had a bream over 7lb from this water and nobody else had caught one of the true beasts for months on end. This is the fish of a lifetime – all those blanks and years of frustration have been more than worthwhile.”
Bob caught the fish from a gravel bar 60 yards out, and his winning rig comprised a 15lb braided hooklength and a size 10 hook.
Northern specimen angler Gary Knowles was blown away by the catch. He said: “This is the catch of the season. It is a vast water that holds a handful of bream that barely ever get caught.
“It’s such a well-deserved fish when you consider how long Bob has been targeting them.”