Brown plastic corn fools giant 12lb 4oz tench

Gary Mills’ tench campaign at a Colne Valley pit ended in spectacular fashion when he slipped the net under this massive specimen weighing 12lb 4oz.

The 35-year-old, from Walsall in the West Midlands, obliterated his previous personal best for the species by more than 3lb during a 36-hour session at the club-owned venue, which also produced two other tench, including an 8lb male.

A single piece of plastic sweetcorn presented over a bed of hemp and real corn proved the downfall of the hugely impressive fish, although Gary made a few small adjustments to his bait offerings in order to tempt his prize, changes which he feels were crucial to success.

“I dyed the corn, both my hookbait and loosefeed, a brown colour so it wasn’t too blatant. I’ve seen fish scared away from bright sweetcorn on other waters so I thought it was worth a try dulling it down,” said Gary, who targeted a 7ft deep spot just two rodlengths out.

“When I got the bite at 8.30am the morning after my arrival and leaned into the fish, I was sure it was a carp to begin with due to the sheer power of the slow, deep runs it was making. It wasn’t until I was drawing it towards my net after about 10 minutes that I realised it was a tench, and a ridiculously large one at that ...the fish of a lifetime.”

A simple running lead set-up incorporating 12in fluorocarbon hooklink and size 8 Fox hook proved the winning combination for Gary, who got through a gallon of hemp and two cans of corn during his stay.