Biggest tench brace of 2013

OVER a decade of hard work and dedication paid off for Stewart Moss when he banked the biggest tench brace of 2013 with these huge fish topping the scales at 11lb 3oz and 9lb 15oz.

After arriving at a local Oxfordshire gravel pit to find that all of the best swims were already taken, he decided to target an un-favoured, featureless area that was choked with thick weed rising over 3 feet off the lakebed.

While many anglers might have been put off by such conditions, Stewart spent the next two hours out in a boat hauling up huge amounts of weed to clear a spot big enough to accommodate his two maggot feeder rigs.

After finally setting his trap over the top of a bed of hemp the Drennan International employee was woken at 4.45am by a screaming take that ended in the capture of a fish that was just 1oz short of the double figure mark – a target he’d been trying to reach for years.

But just a few minutes after re-casting his helicopter rig - made from 10lb mainline, an ESP Soft Ghost fluorocarbon hooklink and a size 14 hook - he connected with his new personal best.

“I must admit that I almost felt like going home as the last thing I really wanted to be doing after work on Friday was getting soaked head to toe while spending hours raking out seemingly endless piles of weed,” Stewart told Angling Times.

“But all of my hard work not only cleared a spot for me but it created huge clouds of silt to puff up off the bottom, which I thought would attract any fish that were pushing their way through the maze of weed.”

Stewart’s hookbait consisted of three hair-rigged imitation casters and two live maggots soaked in Nash strawberry flavouring directly on the hook.

“I put a lot of hard work and effort into my fishing and I’ve had my fair share of hard-times and many blanks sessions. The fact that it’s taken me this long to finally achieve my goal makes this capture taste all the more sweeter,” he added.