11lb 1oz tench tops huge Colney Lake tench haul

John Cranswick came agonisingly close to breaking his personal best when he banked this huge 11lb 1oz tench from Colney Lake on the Bawburgh complex in

The 42-year-old antique restorer from Norwich took the impressive specimen during a 24-hour session at the venue, along with several other fish to 9lb 7oz, all of which fell to rubber caster hookbaits presented on an inline lead set-up at 30yds to the edge of a bed of onion weed.

The fish falls just 1oz short of his personal best, taken way back in 1998 on float tactics from Bawburgh Lake.

He said: "I couldn't fish much last year due to work commitments, but decided that this season I¹d get my act together and have a crack at beating my old best for the species. I did a couple of sessions recently to fine-tune my tactics, taking quite a few fish along the way including four nine-pounders."

After priming his swim with a light scattering of loosefeed, John chose to fish two rods in the baited area, with a third in the margins, and it was the latter which produced the other two bites in his session, leaving the 42-year-old to wonder if he had got his tactics right. However, a blistering take at 6.30am from one of the rods placed on the baited area soon dispelled any doubts.

"Straight away I was forced to backwind, and for a while I was sure I was connected to one of the lake¹s many big carp. When I finally got it in front of me, I saw it was a tench, and that¹s when it took off again, taking out my margin rod altogether," added John, who used a size 14 Korum S3 hook attached to 4ins-6ins of 10lb Drennan Sinklink.