The capture of one of the biggest bream of the year, along with many other huge fish, proves that it’s not too late to smash your personal best.
Temperatures might be dropping, but specialist Steve Stones banked a 17lb 6oz slab, his biggest-ever, on his only bite during a 48-hour session at a large Midlands stillwater.
The 45-year-old freelance journalist and Korum consultant from Stamford, Lincs, beat his previous personal best for the species by just over 2lb.
Fishing at 50yds, Steve did the damage using a double imitation corn hookbait, fished over particles, pellets, 10mm boilies, dead maggots and groundbait.
“Line bites started at 1.30am, with the bobbins on both rods rising right to the top before falling back down again, repeatedly, for 30 minutes,” said Steve.
“It was driving me crazy, but after 30-odd nights on the water this year with just two bream and a carp to show for my efforts I didn’t want to risk striking a liner as there were clearly a few fish out there feeding on the spot.
“Finally, at 2am, one of the bobbins rose to the top and stayed there, and when the freespool on the reel clicked a couple of times, I picked up the rod and lifted into a heavy, plodding weight which came to the net like a typical big bream. Looking into the mesh, I could see that it was in a different league to any bream I’d ever had before. It was ridiculously fat!
“I was beginning to think I’d missed my chance for the year, but this just shows there’s still time to catch a big one,” he added.
Mike Townsend proved that you don’t have be out all night to catch big bream when a couple of short day sessions produced 15 slabs topped by a 13lb 10oz fish from a Yorkshire water. A feeder containing chopped worm fished alongside a lobworm tail nicked on to a size 16 hook was the successful combination for Mike.
All his fish were beaten with a simple set-up made from 8lb line, a 5lb fluorocarbon hooklink and a size 16 hook.
Adopting the same tactics as Mike was Mark Doherty, who landed fish weighing 13lb 5oz,
12lb 10oz, 11lb 15oz and 10lb 12oz.
The Worcester Angling Centre-backed angler also added a 9lb fish to his tally during a session to remember on a Wiltshire stillwater.
The Swindon-based rod fished with his dad, Malcolm, who also netted a 10lb 12oz slab during the same session.
All their fish were taken using a Method feeder topped with pellets and boilies.
Laying down a big carpet of feed soon whipped the bream into a frenzy for Matthew Tann, who finished a recent session with a fine personal-best fish weighing 12lb 10oz.
Arriving at the venue close to his Hampshire home at first light, the Drennan-backed angler quickly put down a big bed of hemp, oats, casters and other particles to try to prompt a reaction from the lake’s resident bream.
A Method feeder baited with a double pop-up corn hookbait was dropped over the top of his loosefeed and the shoals responded almost instantly. As well as the big one, Matthew also banked specimens weighing 8lb 8oz, 9lb 3oz and 9lb 12oz.