The biggest tench of the year have been banked with two huge fish weighing 13lb 2oz and 12lb 7oz.
Rob Batters set a new personal best – which he says he’ll never better – when the only bite of a
48-hour session on a 50-acre gravel pit in Kent produced the first reported tench over the 13lb mark so far in 2017.
After finding a clear spot 15yds from the bank, the Kent-based 33-year-old introduced 4kg of hempseed and corn, then cast a trimmed-down 15mm wafter over the top. It was a hookbait made more visible with a smaller bright yellow boilie that he used as a topper.
The 13-pounder smashes his personal best for the species by more than 4lb and was beaten with a rig made from a 16lb mainline, E-S-P Tungsten Loaded coated hooklink and a size 8 wide-gape hook.
“When I first netted the fish, I thought it was a small carp because it looked so dark as I peered down through the mesh,” Rob told Angling Times.
“Then my jaw dropped when I realised it was a tench… it’s an incredible fish and a personal best that I’d bet on never getting anywhere close to ever again.
“It’s the best-looking tench I’ve ever seen and it really has made me want to target them specifically as I did when I first started fishing.”
Steve Fenton also thought he’d hooked a carp when his alarm screamed out during a tench session at a Lea Valley pit, but he also smashed his tench best with a 12lb 7oz fish. The 64-year-old specialist from Herts, who works part-time for Angling Direct in Waltham Cross, banked his fish of a lifetime after it took three floating maggots threaded on to a size 12 hook and fished in conjunction with a maggot feeder.
He landed another tench weighing 8lb 15oz that was also searching for food at the back of a gravel plateau at 35yds.
“This is such a special fish for me and to say that I’m over the moon is an understatement. It’s taken a while to sink in,” he said.
“It beats my previous personal best by 1lb 15oz and from a lake that I’ve fished for a number of years.
Another angler who’s also been enjoying tench success is Korum-backed Kevin Durman, and he struck gold during a recent session.
He banked a seven-fish haul topped by a mint-conditioned 10lb 4oz fish, which took a worm hookbait with a feeder packed with chopped worms over a bed of hemp and pellets.
Last, but certainly not least, is carp angler Kevin Bacon, who landed a 10lb 6oz tench from the popular Gingerbread Lake in Bedfordshire. He banked the fish with several carp from the Biggleswade and Hitchin AA water.