10lb tench on just a pint of maggots

CATCHING big tench at this time of year is often associated with the introduction of big beds of bait, but Keith Cracknell proved minimal feed can be just as effective with the capture of this 10lb 6oz specimen.

With those around him using large amounts of particles, the Norfolk-based all-rounder kicked off his 48-hour session on a local gravel pit with just a pint of maggots and a sprinkling of hemp and pellets.

It was a tactic, coupled with the regular recasting of in-line feeders filled with red grubs, that paid dividends on the first morning of his visit as he banked two male tench topping the scales at 8lb 6oz and 7lb.

Thinking that the fish had moved out of his swim, he was just packing away his gear when his hair-rigged caster hookbait was picked up by his first double figure tench of 2013.

“Some anglers just get really carried away and there were some lads that were firing spod after spod out. I knew that wasn’t going to be the way forward at a lake that’s 16 feet deep in places and was only just beginning to warm up,” Keith told Angling Times.

“I only wanted enough bait out there to stop a fish and keep it occupied for a short while, but not fill it up.

“This tench had one of the biggest frames I’ve seen but was really empty - there’s no doubt that it will be over 12lb come June.”

Keith used 2oz feeders with short, 12lb braided hooklinks and size 12 hooks.