Martyn Welch banked this super 3lb 14oz perch on a surface lure!
He said: “An early alarm saw me on the Trent at first light, and arriving at my spot I could see fry already jumping and knew it could be worth a shot on surface lures.
“On my first cast something big hit my popper – it was this beautiful perch.”
Martyn went on to catch two more perch in two casts, the bigger fish measuring 40cm.
“If you want to give surface lure fishing a go make sure you use a wire trace, as pike will also snap up these lures.”
Krzysztof Barczak had to wait just 40 minutes before his new personal best barbel of 16lb 5oz devoured his hookbait.
He’d planned to fish a night on his usual stretch of the River Trent, but found other anglers were in his swim.
Finding another, vacant spot, Krzysztof was unfazed as a powerful fish picked up his luncheon meat hookbait shortly after casting out.
He told Angling Times: “After a long battle I landed my new personal best at 16lb 5oz.
“This beautiful fish gave me the fight of my life and the opportunity to test my new Shimano Baitrunner reel too!”
Krzysztof used 12lb reel line attached to a 8lb hooklink to land the barbel.
“On a pressured stretch of river, try a swim that isn’t often fished. You might find the warier barbel have moved there.”
Shark specialist Andrew Alsop battled for more than two hours with this 520lb bluefin tuna.
The 7ft-long fish was taken by skipper Andy aboard his own boat White Water II during a charter trip off the south-west coast of Wales.
The tuna, thought to be the biggest fish ever to be caught in British waters, fell to a mackerel and whiting hookbait over an area known as the Celtic Deep. It was beaten on a
20-40lb class rod and reel.
Just a week ago, Angling Times revealed that an increasing number of rare and exotic fish species are being caught in UK waters. Gavin Davies, one of the guests aboard White Water II, was among those who helped Andy to land the bluefin.
“It just came out of nowhere,” he said. “There was no surface activity even though we were chumming for sharks. Suddenly the reel screamed and line poured off it. As I’m an experienced boat captain we decided it was best for me to take the helm and allow Andy, who’s more experienced with monster fish, to take the rod.”
Bluefin tuna are recognised as an endangered species by the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) and it is illegal to target them by design in EU waters. Andrew and his crew released the fish safely back to the water.
Andrew said: “It took six of us to get it on board. The last 40 minutes were the worst. I could barely gain any line. It’s the fish of a lifetime and an amazing feeling to catch one on my own rod. I’m still aching days after the catch, and I wouldn’t want to do that all over again in a hurry.”
Is this the biggest-ever crucian caught from the North of England? The 3lb 10oz specimen was just one of four of 3lb-plus that were taken by Alan Moran during a recent session at Hurlston Hall Fishery near Liverpool.
The 68-year-old also put five more crucians in the net by floatfishing 6mm pellets over a bed of pellet groundbait close to the bank.
He said: “It was one of those rare days when find you’ve got the lake all to yourself. I decided to fish a spot that I’d had good crucian and roach sport from before and simply had one of those red letter days. I couldn’t believe my eyes when each 3lb crucian made its way to my net!”
Chris Netto, of The Association of Crucian Anglers, added: “From just looking at the picture it is highly likely that this is a genuine crucian, although a proper scale count or DNA would officially confirm this.”
Specimen ace Phil Smith made it a double-figure barbel from a staggering 30 different UK rivers with this 10lb 12oz specimen.
The Coventry angler achieved his latest milestone on a Trades and Labour Angling Club-run stretch of the River Arrow in Warwickshire.
Phil tempted it on a Mad Baits, 14mm Pandemic boilie, fished over small pellets and broken boilies.
He said: “I’ve been trying for different river barbel doubles for 12 years. This year I was looking to try the Witham, the Kentish Stour and the Wandle, but something drew me back to the Arrow despite very few doubles ever being caught on there. I was about to pack up for another failed attempt when the rod took off.”
Julian Barnes used a PVA bag loaded with matching boilies to fool this immaculate 14lb 13oz barbel from an undisclosed river.
The same approach secured the Ridgemonkey-backed rod a 13lb 12oz barbel during a session on the River Derwent just a couple of days earlier.
A hunt at first light to catch a specimen zander saw David Turner slip the net under this 15lb 8oz specimen.
The 33-year-old kitchen designer from Dudley set his sights on the zed of his dreams from a boat on the River Severn at Worcester. He and two friends started the session by trolling lures but after little success they switched to bleak deadbaits. Settling in an 18ft-deep swim, Darren cast out his rig and it wasn’t long before his rod sprang into life. “I lifted into a strong fish,” he said. “The fight was amazing, and it took me 15 minutes to gain control of the fish – at first I thought it was a huge pike.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw those colours shining up from the water it slowly surfaced. My previous pb was 9lb 2oz, so to have smashed it by more than 6lb was almost unbelievable.”
After a 35-minute fight, Darren Roberts banked this colossal 213lb River Ebro catfish.
Four quiet days on the famed Spanfish river ended for the 33-year-old builder from Dorsetwhen his rod doubled over, and straight away heknew he was into a good fish.
Darren (above left) fished double 22mm pellets over a bed of smaller pellets to get the take.
Ever felt like you need to take a week off work because you’ve caught too many fish?
Colin Spencer considered it after an incredible run of match wins that saw him amass 3,128lb of carp in six days!
The Nottinghamshire matchman’s arm-aching journey began at Fenlake Fishery in Lincoln, where his devastating combination of pole fished pellet and paste produced 306lb.
The same venue provided the stage for him to up his total and win another contest with 417lb before he switched his attentions to his local Janson Fishery, where he fished maggots for 332lb.
But the best was yet to come. Arran’s Lake is famed for colossal weights and it didn’t disappoint as the 46-year-old GOT Baits-backed angler fished just a top kit of his pole to put together 948lb.
He fished Arran’s the next day to take 773lb before winding down with a ‘modest’ 342lb at Alders Farm in Milton Keynes.
“I took a week off work to go fishing and I can honestly say the fishing was much harder than the day job… I was shattered, and could have done with another week off,” said the carpet fitter.
“I’m not interested in catching 50lb of fish. I love catching big weights of carp and this was a dream week’s fishing for me.
“Six matches, four different venues, five victories and a lake win… I don’t think I’m going to do that again in a hurry.
“The best thing about these six days’ fishing is that it was as simple as it gets. I didn’t fish any further out than 4m and most of the catches were with pellets and paste that anyone can use.”
A change of venue paid dividends for Harry Pardoe when he landed this personal-best 16lb 6oz barbel.
The angler from the West Midlands was struggling on his usual stretch of the River Trent, so he made the decision to try another area further downstream.
Using a heavy feeder rig with Baitworks Royal Marine pellets and bait dip, his choice of swim proved decisive as Harry bagged a number of fish, including an 11lb specimen, before the 16-pounder took a boilie hookbait early in the morning.
These are the pictures of the biggest-ever brace of UK catfish with a combined weight of 241lb 14oz.
Cheshire’s Tony Corbett had the session of a lifetime when he visited a day-ticket fishery in the Midlands, where he targeted the species using hookbaits that included leeches, halibut pellets and luncheon meat.
The Catmaster Tackle consultant’s biggest fish topped the scales at 122lb 14oz and he followed it up with the 119lb fish – a brace that was the icing on the cake of a session that also produced cats weighing 78lb, 75lb, 68lb, 30lb and 15lb.
“When I had the big one there were a few lads on a stag do in the next pegs who heard me playing the fish and came to help, but at 5am the next day I had to go it alone and then wake up some carpers for assistance with weighing and photos. It was a hell of a few hours’ fishing,” said Tony.
“I’ve now had three UK catfish over the 100lb mark as I had one of 120lb back in April.
“This is an incredible achievement, as to have caught a trio of huge fish like this I believe is unprecedented in this country.
“I was fishing during the day and ‘catting’ at night and it was angling at its best.
“During daylight hours I was fishing with imitation casters over beds of casters and corn and I had loads of tench up to 8lb.
The 37-year-old beat all his catfish with 50kg braided hooklinks and Catmaster GFR hooks.
“Earlier on in the year, when I caught the 120-pounder, I was recovering from brain surgery and I didn’t have the strength to lift it for the camera, so it was great to be able to get hold of these two and get some shotsfor the album,” he said.
Alex Smith had every reason to smile when he slipped the net under this 2lb 9oz pb rudd.
Nash-employed Alex, and his brother Carl, were welcomed on to a friend’s stretch of river but struggled to catch on conventional float tactics.
Deciding to switch to carp, the three anglers night-fished boilies over freebies, only to catch three rudd over the 2lb mark.
Alex told Angling Times:
“By morning we had somehow avoided any bream on the carp rigs – instead three monster rudd had taken the big hookbaits.
“All three were over 2lb with the biggest being mine, weighing in at 2lb 9oz and smashing my personal best.”
Find out how to catch big rudd with Carl & Alex in their monthly column inside the latest Improve Your Coarse Fishing Magazine…out now, plus watch their stunning videos at: www.youtube.com/CarlandAlexFishing
Take a look at Carl and Alex's video below where they catch some stunning rudd. Make sure you leave a like and subscribe to their YouTube channel!
The biggest river perch of the season has been banked at 4lb 3oz – on float tackle.
It was taken by big-fish angler Alan Lawrence from a Luton Angling Club-run stretch of the Great Ouse in Bedfordshire.
It formed part of a memorable haul of big perch made by the Henlow-based rod that included five specimens over 2lb and another fish weighing 3lb 1oz. All were taken on a trotted lobworm hookbait.
Alan decided to target perch only after spotting some big perch in the margins during a chub fishing session the previous day.
“Despite all the recent rain the river was still running clear and I spotted a few decent perch feeding in the margins, so I decided to return the next day and target them,” he said.
“I’m glad I did – they make a nice change from my summer tench fishing.”
Arriving on the river to find an extra 3ft of water on, Alan fed heavy balls of soil, chopped worm and chopped prawns tight to an overhanging tree where he knew the fish would be hiding.
Using a handmade bobber-style float, a 14ft rod and a centrepin reel, the pensioner had a 1lb-plus fish first cast before going on to catch perch of 2lb 4oz, 2lb 5oz and 2lb 12oz – and then the two biggest of them all appeared.
Unfortunately, Alan then had to cut his session short.
“I would have stayed on into dusk, as I think there may have been even bigger perch in the swim, but unfortunately a large pike was making a nuisance of itself every time I reeled in a fish so I decided to pack up early,” he concluded.