Angling Times Netbusters: Your best catches!

The first two casts during a day out on a Fenland waterway produced this cracking pair of rudd weighing 1lb 11oz and1lb 6oz.

Despite poor conditions, Drennan’s Ryan Hayden banked fish to a best of 2lb 1oz and many more smaller rudd on a bread hookbait.

Top Tip: “I caught most of the fish on bread flake, but about a foot under the surface because of the tough conditions.”

This immaculate 12lb barbel kicked off the new river season in style for Korum’s Adam Firth. 

Fishing the River Trent, near Nottingham, the Midlands angler had a screaming take at midday, an hour after he’d plannied to reel in! 

“This stretch is renowned for only producing barbel during the night. With the river low and clear, bites are hard to come by at the moment, so this was a right result,” he said. 

A Code Red 15mm boilie was the successful hookbait, fished mid-river on a 2ft hooklink of 15lb Xpert Power Braid and a size 6 Korum Xpert Power hook.

Top Tip: “I was planning to reel in at 11am and spend the afternoon walking the stretch – I’m glad I didn’t. Lesson learned.”

A carp fishing session threw up a nice surprise for Sandie Cornell when she hooked this 3lb 5oz crucian.

The Bedfordshire based angler was fishing on Shefford & District Angling Association’s Broom Lake when the prized specimen took a liking for her boilie hookbait. The fish was weighed and witnessed by members of the club who identified it as a true specimen after a lateral line scale count.

TOP TIP: Small, bright coloured 10mm boilie hookbaits are great crucian carp attracters

Somerset’s Burton Springs Fishery produced this impressive 5lb 7oz eel for Steve Briggs.

This was the biggest fish of many that he caught from the popular complex, and he also admitted to losing a much bigger specimen at the net during his productive visit.

All the fish were taken on a small rudd deadbait from swim 1 on the Specimen Carp Lake.

Top Tip: “To pull in the eels I packed a maggot feeder with chopped oily fish.”

Anthony Gregory’s River Lea bream from King’s Weir wasn’t weighed, but he estimated it to be into double figures.

It was fooled on a snowman rig with a Spicy Squid boilie, coupled with an anchovy pop-up.

“This is a pb for me and it was the first time I’ve been happy to pull a bream in,” he admitted.

Top Tip: “A snowman rig works well on the rivers as it keeps the bait slightly off bottom so that it wavers in the flow.”

A low river didn’t stop Darren Poole catching this 14lb 1oz barbel.

The Essex angler, a baliff for the Fishers Green stretch of the River Lea, used a bait dropper to introduce a bed of CC Moore Hemp & Krill and then fished a 20mm boilie over the top.

“The light was just starting to go when my tip bounced around as the fish ripped off,”
he said.

Top Tip: “If the river is low then head for the oxygenated areas because this is where the barbel will be.” 

Catching a double-figure barbel is a big achievement, but catching one on the float is something many anglers only dream of.

Cambridgeshire’s Andrew Field has every right to look pleased after he used one of his home-made floats to land this 10lb 8oz fish, part of a six-fish haul.

The float fishing specialist caught all his fish on a rod he built himself, and he alternated maggot and caster hookbaits.

Top Tip: “Balanced tackle is the key to catching barbel on the float. I use 5lb line tied straight through to a size 14 Drennan Super Spade hook.”

eric owen.jpg

The River Irwell isn’t exactly known for its big barbel but Lancashire rod Eric Owens, from Bury, gave food for thought to local specimen anglers with this 11lb 7oz specimen.

The chairman of Little Britain Anglers was fishing his own club’s stretch of the waterway in an area where he had seen barbel spawning last summer. 

Using a running lead rig with lobworm, his tip was pulling round as the huge fish tore off downstream.

TOP TIP: “Walk the river as much as possible and spot the fish to help you target the right areas.”

A long walk to locate the fish paid dividends for Andy Waters when he landed four huge rudd, topped by this 2lb 2oz specimen.

The Lowestoft rod roved the Fen drains and after spotting some fish he cast out a piece of crust. and within minutes bagged specimens of 2lb 1oz, 1lb 15oz and 1lb 14oz. The following day he had the rudd pictured.

Top Tip: “On the drains you have to travel light and be prepared to walk to find the fish.”

10lb Tench banked

This year has produced countless double-figure tench from waters all over the UK. That form continued as Peter Gibbinson netted this superb fish weighing 10lb on the button.

It’s the Londoner’s first double, and it took his bait during a session at the prolific and popular Medway Valley Fisheries in Kent.

The investment banker fooled his new personal best with the classic hookbait of a worm and maggot cocktail.

Check out our amazing rig for tench here

Huge barbel landed from the river trent

A humid summer solstice failed to put a spanner in the angling works of Matt Hughes when he banked this giant 14lb 12oz barbel from the River Trent.

The Sutton Coldfield angler knew that with low pressure on the horizon he would have a chance of a bite, but with the river very low he began his session feeling less than optimistic. 

He needn’t have worried, though. His rod tore off shortly after midnight to register his fifth barbel over 14lb. Matt tempted the specimen on a boilie hookbait after feeding just a handful of free offerings into the river.

Fancy catching one of these for yourself? Then check out our buyers guide to barbel rods for under £100 here

Trent chub goes 7lb

Craig Lander has been catching some fine fish on the River Trent since the start of the season, and this 7lb chub is just one of them.

The barbel fishing fanatic has banked fish to 13lb so far, and he added the personal best chub to his big-fish list when he fished the feeder and boilies on the in-form waterway.

Craig lives in Nottingham and beat his fish with 12lb mainline and a 10lb hooklink. 

Your complete guide to the 2017 Fish O' Mania final + free tickets!

This Saturday July 8, the Sky TV cameras and crowds descend on Cudmore Fisheries for the Fish O’Mania XXIV final, to see who will depart £50,000 richer.
Twenty-five qualifiers will line up on Arena Pool at the Staffordshire fishery for five hours in what will be a new look final. More anglers are competing than ever before and you’d be hard-pushed to pick a winner.

LOCATION: Cudmore Fishery, Pleck Lane, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire ST5 5HW
T: +44 (0)1782 680919 W:
Get your FREE final entry tickets HERE

To watch from home, tune in to Sky Sports 3 from 12pm

Check out the current best odds HERE 

The finalists, in the order they qualified... 

Steve Jackson
Qualified at: Bait-TechViaduct Fishery
We say: A former champion and a veteran of the competition with several finals under his belt. Steve likes fishing for big carp but will the mixed small fish stock of Arena suit him? 

Steve Openshaw
Qualified at: Heronbrook Fisheries
We say: Steve is a prolific open match winner in the North West and is very good at fishing worms and casters, which are likely to be the dominant baits. Could be dangerous. 

Paul Blinkhorn
Qualified at: Tunnel Barn Farm
We say: Another North West angler who likes to fish with natural baits. Has been close to qualifying several times before and will be keen to put the 'blinkers' on and do well.

Richard Chapman
Qualified at: Coleman’s Cottage Fishery
We say: Richard is by his own admission an outside bet who is usually behind a camera photographing Jamie Hughes or Andy May at the event. Can he cause a major upset? 

Bob Giles
Qualified at: Bait-Tech Viaduct Fishery
We say: Bob was the most relieved angler in Fish O' history when he qualified as one of his keepnets was disqualified, with 90lb of carp in it. He won by 1lb! Can his luck last at Cudmore? 

Andy Power
Qualified at: Preston Woodland View
We say: Andy is one of the best young anglers in the UK and no stranger to this match. He'll be keen to use his experience to make a serious impression this year, definitely one to watch. 

Tony Curd
Qualified at: Monk Lakes
We say: This is Tony's third final, a very aggressive big-weight angler who could do well if the lake fishes well. Sources tell us that Tony has been catching plenty of fish in practice. 

Andy Adams
Qualified at: Barford Lakes
We say: This is Andy's first big final and another outside bet. Will the East Midlands man be in the mix with past champions and England internationals?

Colin Scott
Qualified at: Partridge Lakes
We say: Colin is an angler who is very good at fishing with light tackle and negative feeding so the fishing on Arena should suit him. A dark horse who is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Jason Redgrave
Qualified at: Guru Makins
We say: Jason does well on carp lakes in the Midlands but can he fine down his tactics enough to pose a threat on Arena? The Maver Gold man will certainly be going for it.

Adam Richards
Qualified at: Tunnel Barn Farm
We say: Now in his third final, Adam is a very quick angler when he's on fish and has been a bank runner here too. A recent neck injury may cause a problem so he'll be hoping to fully recover in time. 

Ross Harold
Qualified at: Monk Lakes
We say: A very underrated angler, Ross was third in last year's final and was a front runner all match. He definitely had the method sorted and with similar fishing expected, is well worth a punt

Jamie Hughes
Qualified at: Lakeview Fishery
We say: The twice Fish O' champion is always a major threat and knows exactly what the score is on Arena. It's a question of whether you can find him at odds high enough to warrant your hard-earned! 

Steve Barraclough
Qualified at: Daiwa Hallcroft Fishery
We say: Steve is back on the big match scene again and is a very capable angler on a mixed fishery like this, where silver fish and F1s are expected. Worth a shout.

Lee Kerry
Qualified at: Garbolino Lindholme Lakes
We say: Lee has been in exceptional form this year in England and Ireland, in our opinion one of the finest all-rounders going. The fishing will suit him down to the ground, definitely worth a few quid. 

Steve Cooke: 
Qualified at: Messingham Sands
We say: Veteran Steve just cannot stop qualifying for the final. He's hoping to do better than his last appearance here however, when he blanked. Plenty of experience of the big occasion.  

Jason Collins
Qualified at: Coleman’s Cottage Fishery
We say: Jason was a finalist in 2016 and did well. He'll be formulating a similar plan together with good friend and fellow finalist Ross Harold. One to keep an eye on.

Lee Bennett
Qualified at: Oaks Lakes
We say: Lee will be hoping to keep his cool in his first major final. He'll have good support in the form of his brother, top matchman Andy, who was bank runner for last year's winner Andy May. 

Ben Sharp
Qualified at: Bag ‘Em Baits Larford Lakes
We say: A former Maver Match This finalist too, Ben definitely knows how to win matches. Will he have enough in the can to conquer Cudmore?

Chris Weeder Junior
Qualified at: Preston Boldings Pools
We say: Chris isn't actually a junior. He shares the same name as his dad who also goes fishing! Makes his debut in the final and could do well if the fish come up-in-the-water. 

Keith Pentland
Qualified at: Woodland Lakes
We say: Another debutant, Keith likes to catch mirror and common carp at Woodland Lakes, Thirsk. If big fish feed he could cause an upset but it's likely to be small fish match. 

Steve Hamilton
Qualified at: Partridge Lakes
We say: Steve is made up just to get to the final and his family have 'Team Hammy' clothing and hats made up, ready for the day. He has the support but will he have the tactics? 

William Raison
Qualified at: Gold Valley Lakes
We say: The England star and former world champ is a master tactician who has done well on this lake before in the international Fish O' event here. Will is the bookie's favourite and rightly so.  

Dave Roberts
Qualified at: Garbolino Lindholme
We say: A former finalist with plenty of pedigree, Dave has a habit of delivering in qualifiers but can he go a stage further and win? Definitely has the potential. 

Markus Billen
Qualified at: Germany
We say: The German angler is a long shot but stranger things have happened. Last year the Dutch angler who won the international event would have won the main thing too with his catch! 

2016 Champion Andy May

“It’ll be hard fishing. Five or six pegs will be brilliant and the rest will struggle in terms of an outright win, although there will be bites for everyone because the stocking of the lake hasn’t altered from last year. That means small F1s, ide, skimmers and tench and the odd big carp. I’d say pegs 1-10 on the day will be good.

"However, eight pegs are not in use so I don’t know how these will balance themselves out. If there aren’t blockers fishing then the end pegs could well be brilliant!  There will be a lot of technical work to keep several lines on the go with light lines and small hooks. I think chopped worm and caster will be the baits most in evidence on the day.

“In terms of who will win it, I’d have a few quid on William Raison. Not only is he an excellent angler, but he’s also got knowledge of fishing the lake and the fishing will suit him. That said, Jamie Hughes, Lee Kerry, Adam Richards and Andy Power are all outstanding as well! So much will depend on who draws where, and also what the weather is like."


Angling Times NetBusters : The best reader fish catches of the week 3/7/17



Most anglers fish for barbel with pellets and boilies, but Barry Edmonds caught this stunning fish on a lure.

He and his son Sam were targeting a stretch of their local River Lea, and after spotting some barbel in a really overgrown swim, Barry rigged up an Abu Veritas 7ft spinning rod.

The fish weighed 9lb 8oz and was caught on 20lb braid attached to a swivel and then to a fluorocarbon leader, finished off with a Berkley Power Nymph rigged on a 2g size 8 jighead.

Top tip: “Have a selection of baits with you when you set out because you don’t know what the fish are going to want on the day.

Topping trent barbel:

The trent got off to s flying start,and rotherham rod Carl stansfield got among the river's seemingly endless supply of specimen barbel by banking a series of big fish,this is 13lb 12oz being the best of the lot.

Carl is backed by APG Bits and used an angering Dynamics boil on the hook. TOP TIP: "probating can be viral when fishing big rivers like the trent.It can really gives you a head start."

13lb 12oz barbel.jpg

THE Trent got off to a flying start, and Rotherham rod Carl Stansfield got among the river’s seemingly endless supply of specimen barbel by banking a series of big fish, this
13lb 12oz beauty being the best of the lot.

Carl is backed by APG Baits and used an Angling Dynamics boilie on the hook.

Top tip: “Prebaiting can be vital when fishing big rivers like the Trent. It really gives you a head start."

KYLE Binns’
12lb 4oz bream is one of only a handful of the species in Wintersett Reservoir. North Yorkshire. 

The 12-year-old was treated by his dad to an overnight session on the
100-acre complex after they had prebaited a spot with boilies.

The fish took two fake maggots fished helicopter-style over a bed of dead maggots, casters and chopped boilies. 

Top tip: “A shoal of large bream will eat a lot so feed plenty.

ROOKIE angler Ellie Brown banked this 21lb carp from the margins of a Midlands stillwater after persuading her boyfriend Ryan Gibson, a Dynamite Baits-backed match angler, to let her take over the rod.

Minutes later the float buried, and after a nervy battle the giant mirror was in the net. It took corn over a bed of Dynamite Baits Mega Margin Mix.

Top Tip: “Never ignore the margins…especially at this time of the year.”



Hunky Dory for Greg:

Guernsey skipper Greg Whitehead broke his John Dory personal best when he hauled up this fine 7lb 7oz fish.

He was aboard his own vessel ‘Bluefin’ and caught the specimen over the Great Bank, off the east coast of the island. It took a live sandeel.

Top Tip: “This species likes a bait with a little movement, so dry dragging the sand eel along the bottom.”




A Big Roach Surprise:

A CARP fishing session threw up a great surprise for youngster Kane Thompson in the form of this near 2lb roach.

The Milton Keynes based angler was fishing local water, Furzton Lake where he tempted the plump redfin on a Nash Key Kray boilie surrounded by a few Nash riser floating pellets. He said: “I thought I had hooked a nuisance bream but was really happy to see such a stunning roach come out instead.”

Top Tip: “Follow the wind for the big roach.”


A fine pair of Rudd:

RIG foam helped Tim Mortlock land two specimen rudd of 1lb 12oz and 1lb 13oz. 

Rudd are well known to feed off the bottom, so when Tim headed to Frensham Great Pond in Surrey for the first time he decided to use the foam to help pop up his single maggot hookbait. 

Top tip: “A helicopter rig with a maggot feeder and a single maggot with a sliver of foam on the hook was the secret.” 

Keep It Simple For Chub:

RIG foam helped Tim Mortlock land two specimen rudd of 1lb 12oz and 1lb 13oz. 

Rudd are well known to feed off the bottom, so when Tim headed to Frensham Great Pond in Surrey for the first time he decided to use the foam to help pop up his single maggot hookbait. 

Top tip: “A helicopter rig with a maggot feeder and a single maggot with a sliver of foam on the hook was the secret.” 

Perch Falls to Crayfish:

Robin Piper was struggling to get past the roach on his local fishery, but a switch to cockles and crayfish tails soon did the job
and helped to put this 3lb 5oz perch on the bank.

Robin was at his favourite Kent stillwater, targeting a lily bed three rodlengths out.

Top tip: “I cut the crayfish tails in half, put the tail end on a size 12 barbless hook and loosefed the bigger sections with a few cut-up cockles.”

Des off with a bang with a 5lb 7oz chub

Our very own Des taylor was one of thousands of anglers out on the opening day of the season-and he certainly worked his magic.Des spent his first session on running water on his beloved River Severn at Coalport. The session produced loads of bites, and this mint-conditioned 5lb 70z chub fell for two 10mm TG Nash baits "Its's so good to be back on the rivers,"said Des."A bit of probating really did the trick. I hoped the fish would be feeding hard on the bodies and the plan worked out perfectly."

Double figure tench caught whilst fishing Sywell reservoir

Walsall rod Ade Holmes bagged this 10lb 3oz tench from Sywell Reservoir in Northants. The new personal best was taken during a Tenchfishers group meet in memory of former member and Sywell regular Dave Watson. After raking out a swim and Spombing out particles over the top, Ade tempted the specimen on a maggot feeder rig fished helicopter-style with a maggot and worm cocktail.

Young anglers to get their own river record list for barbel fishing

A record list for running water has been created to help get more youngsters into river fishing.

The Barbel Society’s river record list for anglers aged 17 and under is already proving hugely popular, and society officials have been inundated with pictures and catch reports of barbel since the opening of the season on June 16.

“So many youngsters start their angling careers by becoming ‘instant carpers’ and probably don’t even try river fishing. That is a real shame,” said Barbel Society records officer Ray Kent.

“The idea of creating a junior record list for each river is to give young river anglers a target to aim at, and it creates that element of competition that keeps youngsters interested.

“Getting kids out on the rivers and learning the basics of watercraft makes them better anglers, and we hope this will help bring on the fishing stars of the future,” Ray continued. 

“We all know many of the biggest names in the sport started their angling journeys this way.”

As well as currently creating lists for each species, the Barbel Society has also had printed official record certificates. 

These will be awarded to anglers under the age of 18 who have caught the biggest barbel from their chosen river.

“We really hope that other organisations see what we are doing and follow suit,” said Ray. 

“This has to be a great way of getting more youngsters into the sport.” 

l If you are under the age of 18and have landed a big barbel –  or know someone in the same age bracket who has – contact Ray Kent on the website to see if you can claim a river record.

Anglers find success at the start of the 2017 river fishing season

Britain’s anglers have enjoyed their best start to the river season for many years.

As thousands of anglers returned to running waters after the three-month break, Angling Times has been inundated with reports of sensational catches from rivers across the country as every species went on a feeding spree. 

Chub, roach, perch, bream, rudd and zander have all been caught in specimen size, but barbel were at the top of the list for many.

As ever, the Trent didn’t disappoint, with a group of enthusiasts sharing the capture of 70 barbel from the river above Nottingham, topped by a 13lb 12oz fish by Rotherham’s Carl Stansfield. Meanwhile, Gunthorpe Weir produced a 12lb 2oz barbel for Nottingham’s Patrick Clampitt.

All fish were caught on legered APG Bait’s Hot Liver boilies.

“It was an amazing start to the season, as five or six of our lads included loads of double-figure fish in their total catch,” said APG Baits’ Aaron Hind, who also runs the fishing at Gunthorpe Fishery on the Trent.

The Trent also produced double-figure barbel for County Durham’s Simon Ashton, who set a new personal best with a 12lb 15oz barbel that was part of a 31-fish catch from Collingham. 

In addition, angling legend and Trent expert Bob Roberts also got his river season off to a flier with an 11lb 15oz barbel.

 Moving further south, the River Lea in Hertfordshire produced the goods for Scott Hamilton when he banked a 7lb 10oz

personal-best chub. After baiting a spot, he waited four hours until his only bite of the session produced the huge fish, which fell to a boilie hookbait.

The Severn is famous for its big zander, and predator fishing expert Chris Lowe was celebrating during a session with friend Tim Maslen from Severn Expeditions.

Theyboated a number of ‘zeds’, including two doubles, with the biggest caught by Savage Gear-backed Chris, which weighed
14lb 6oz and set a new best.

Fen drains hold some of the biggest rudd in the UK and Hertfordshire’s Dan Sales caught a cracking specimen on trotted breadflake on his first cast of the new season.

 Lure fishing for river predators continues to grow in popularity and Mansfield-basedLee Coupe fished the Trent and used drop shotting tactics to land a pristine predator of 44cm.

 It’s not been all about big, individual fish either, as rivers such as the Nene, Swale, Ouse, Thames and Warwickshire Avon have produced some huge nets of bream, with many anglers recording three-figure catches.

Gareth Purnell prebaited a swim on the Nene between Tansor and Cotterstock for the opening weekend and was rewarded with a cracking bag of big bream to over 7lb, all caught on the pole along the middle of the-river.

Bream angler's nine double figure fish

Tony Gibson fished a tough Midlands club water for bream and came out on top with nine double-figure specimens, topped by this pristine fish of 13lb 10oz.

His second-biggest bream weighed in at 12lb 15oz. 

The 53-year-old chairman of the Northampton Specimen Group fished Dynamite Baits Complex-T boilies tipped with artificial corn over a bed of particles.

“It had been wet and windy, perfect conditions for this species, so I chose a swim where I could bait up a relatively clear area towards the end of the wind,” Tony said.

1,500 miles for four tench doubles!

The incredible run of big tench continues this week, topped by a campaign that’s seen one angler clock up over 1,500 miles to land a string of fish many can only dream of.

Species fanatic Dean Taylor doesn’t let the 500-mile round trip from his Cheshire home to a gravel pit in Kent get in the way of his passion for tench and his recent efforts were rewarded when he banked a total of 24 fish. These included four doubles with two fishing of 11lb 5oz and 11lb 4oz.

All his fish were fooled with feeder tactics and hair-rigged worms that were fixed in place with Korum Quickstops. The rig was cast over the top of a bed of chopped worms, casters and hemp.

“The distance doesn’t bother me, in fact, I’ve done the drive several times. Fish like these are worth every mile on the motorway,” said the Tenchfishers member.

“Along with the two elevens, I had two 10lb fish, two nine pounders, 10 over 8lb, including an 8lb 15oz male, which were backed up with some smaller fish.

Justin Grapes knows all about catching big tench – he was also celebrating after a weekend to remember at Bawburgh Lakes on the outskirts of Norwich, Norfolk.

After introducing 4kg of spod mix that was made from casters, maggots, pellets and chopped worms, he had the perfect start with a 9lb 9oz fish – and the next run produced a huge 11lb fish.

The next morning saw the Angling Direct-backed specialist use artificial maggots and caster hookbaits to land three more tench before feeding again – a move which saw him land eight more fish to 10lb 1oz on his third and final morning of the session.

 Matthew Fernandez couldn’t believe his luck when he was allowed to go tench fishing just a day before his wedding.

The Dynamite Baits-backed specimen angler targeted a southern gravel pit and introduced a bed of chopped worm, red maggot, hemp and Dynamite Baits red krill groundbait over a thick area of blanket weed at 40yds – a tactic that produced an impressive 10lb 3oz fish. 

“I ended up with five tench of 6lb 10oz, 7lb 13oz, 8lb 10oz, 8lb 13oz and a new personal best of 10lb 3oz – what a superb early wedding present!” he said. All Matt’s tench fell to Drennan maggot and open-ended feeders fished helicopter style with chopped worm on the hook.

Korum-backed Kevin Durman also recently returned from a session to remember with a
10lb 2oz fish.

He banked 11 fish with five of those all weighing over 9lb over a gravel spot at 70yds that he’d baited with Sonubaits hempseed and 2mm pellets.

A feeder packed with chopped worms with a worm hookbait was the winning combination for Kevin who was fishing a venue on Medway Valley Fisheries.

Scaled-down carp tactics are a real winner for tench – and this was proved by top specialist Paul Elt when he banked a fish that weighed just over 9lb.

The, Dynamite Baits-backed angler from St Neots, Cambs, fished a 10mm Complex-T pop-up over the top of a spod mix laced with crushed boilies.

His session also produced other big tench to 8lb 4oz, which were caught in a gulley at 40yds with a rig made from an ESP 20lb braided hooklink and a size 6 Drennan hook.

Dai's bream double tops 30lb

Two bream for a total weight of 30lb topped another great week for the species.

Some famous names in big-fish angling are out there targeting big bream at the moment, including former Drennan Cup champion Dai Gribble, captor of the memorable pair.

The fish weighed 15lb 13oz and 14lb 3oz, came from a Midlands stillwater and were taken by the Korum-backed specialist when he fished a combination of boilies and artificial maggots over a bed of pellets at 60 yards.

“There aren’t many bream in this water but I just had a hunch that I’d be in with a chance,” Dai told Angling Times.

“The bigger of the two fish fought like an absolute demon and it took me four attempts to get it in the net. To be honest it gave a much better account of itself than any of the tench I’ve caught so far this season.”

Rob Creswell has also been getting among the big bream. His latest specimen was this 15lb 3oz fish  from a tough stillwater in the south.It follows his recent capture of another bream of 16lb 2oz. 

For his latest fish the specimen hunter from Bedfordshire baited an area at 50 yards with pellets, casters, chopped worms and hempseed, then cast flavoured hair-rigged imitation casters mounted on a fluorocarbon hooklink over the spot.

“Big old bream are really tricky to fool most of the time, and this fish came after a few blanks on the trot,” said Rob.

“A cluster of tench arrived on the scene too, with the biggest couple weighing 9lb 9oz and 8lb 1oz.”

15lb bream on the method feeder

Large Method feeders helped Jamie Cartwright bank this impressive 15lb 5oz bream. The 3FootTwitch-backed angler targeted a local gravel pit at night, fishing balanced artificial corn and 14mm Redemption wafters on the hair. Jamie soon banked bream of 9lb and 13lb 8oz, before the biggest fish, just 1oz short of his personal best, took the bait.