PB 16lb 10oz bream from low-stock pit

LEE MCMANUS  ended a frustrating campaign - that had resulted in just two bites in over 720 hours of fishing - with this impressive 16lb 10oz personal best bream.

Measuring a mile in length and half a mile wide, Swithland Reservoir in Leicestershire is a notoriously hard water at the best of times - but has proven to be even tougher this year due to vast weed beds that all but choked the venue during the warmer months.

Even though the majority of it has now died away, Lee had to call upon all of the knowledge he’s gained over the last 17-years on the water to get the better of its resident bream.

After suspecting that the fish would be out in the middle of the lake and out of casting distance, the specialist from Birstall, Leicester, used a bait boat to get his simple leger rig and a couple of handfuls of hemp, corn and casters to a spot at 190 yards.

And it was these tactics that resulted in only his second bite in 30 sessions and beat his long-standing personal best of 13 years.

“I’ve been fishing this water since 1995 and it’s always been hard. But this year has been the toughest of all because the weed has been a nightmare. I was beginning to think that I was going to have to wait until next year to get another crack at the big ones,” said Lee.

“I persevered, though, as the bream will always continue to feed up until the water temperatures really begin to plummet.

“Not only was it a great feeling to get a bite after so many nights sat behind silent alarms, but to beat my old pb by 1oz made it all worthwhile.”