Big tench galore

THIS 11lb tench was the highlight of a prolific week for the species which saw a string of double figure specimens hit the bank.

Due to the coldest spring for 30-years, tench at stillwaters across the UK have been slow to start their traditional early season feeding patterns, but Norfolk’s Christian Hodgkinson took advantage of a sudden upsurge in sport caused by rising water temperatures.

The landlord of the Fat Cat and Canary public house in Norwich struck gold during a 48 hour session at a local gravel pit after feeding two spots – one at 20 yards and the other at 70 yards – with a generous helping of hemp, maggots and casters.

It was the closer of the two that produced his first of four fish which tipped the scales at 8lb 4oz. His next bite then saw him connect with his second biggest ever tench after it picked up his fake caster hookbait mounted on a size 10 Fox hook and braided hooklink in conjunction with a simple inline lead setup.

“The tench fishing has been very slow to get going so far this year, but this is a really huge fish considering they haven’t really been feeding hard. It could easily be a high twelve later in the season,” Christian told Angling Times.

A bream fishing session threw up a welcome surprise in the shape of a huge 10lb 3oz tench for Darryn Stolworthy.

The Angling Direct-backed rod was also fishing a local Norfolk gravel pit and cast imitation corn hookbaits to a baited area at 100 yards. He also backed his specimen up with a second fish of 9lb 6oz.

He said: “When you’re fishing over big beds of particles with corn you’ve always got the chance of catching both bream and tench, but I didn’t expect to land a tench of this size. It was certainly a welcome surprise as I didn’t land any bream.”

Richworth Linear Fisheries in Oxfordshire is without one of the best day-ticket specimen complexes in the country – a fact further proved by Dai Gribble when he made an impressive six-fish catch topped by a tench of 10lb 1oz.

Targeting Hardwick Lake on the prolific venue, the Staffordshire-based Korum consultant fished just 20 yards from his own bank and also landed a personal best male fish weighing 9lb 2oz and four others to 7lb 1oz.

Popped-up imitation maggots and 12mm Sonu Baits Oozing Tutti Frutti boilies fished alongside inline maggot feeders proved successful for Dai.

“I used a Spomb to introduce a bed of dead maggots and 2mm pellets, but I use around three different varieties which break down at different times which I’m convinced really makes a difference,” he said.

He beat all of his fish with 10lb mainline, size 12 hooks and hooklinks constructed with 8lb line.