Wilstone Reservoir can still cut it for big tench

Three double-figure tench in 24 hours was Alan Wise’s reward for persevering with his campaign on historic venue Wilstone Reservoir.

The two-times British record water doesn’t give up its secrets easily, but Berks rod Alan proved the quality of the spoils on offer for those willing to put in the time when he took a trio of huge fish to 12lb 4oz.

He told Angling Times: “It’s been very hard going and, though we expected things to be slow due to the cold winter, doubts had actually started to creep in as to how many of the reservoir’s tench had survived.

“I needn’t have worried, because my first bite after several blanks resulted in a 10lb 4oz fish, followed a couple of hours later by one of 10lb 5oz. I then added another tench of 9lb 4oz later the same morning!” The icing on the cake for Alan came the following morning when he smashed his personal best with a true monster of 12lb 4oz.

“I only had one bite, but it was an absolute one-toner. I initially thought it had weeded me due to the sheer weight on the end of the line, but after a dogged fight I finally managed to bring it to the net, revealing a fish of massive proportions.

“It left me with shaking hands and trembling knees,” added Alan, whose previous best tench stood at 11lb 7oz.

All his fish fell to popped-up double red maggot or rubber casters, hair-rigged to size 12 animal hooks attached to 6ins hooklinks and fished helicopter style with Drennan feeders.

Another angler closing his tench campaign in style last week was Stephen Pithers, who used a new boilie recipe, including some new additives from Japanese bait company Marukyu, to catch a sensational 22lb 15oz brace of big tincas.

The 40-year-old Wokingham-based angler was testing the new products for Fish-Inn Tackle and Bait when he caught specimens weighing 12lb 9oz and 10lb 6oz within minutes of each other from a Twyford gravel pit.

“I love my tench fishing, so to catch fish of this stamp was a dream come true. It takes me many months to develop and test a bait before we start selling it to the public and I’m convinced this one’s the best I’ve ever come up with,” he said.