Biggest tench of the season on first cast

A big tench was Josh Fisher’s number one target this season and he met his goal in memorable fashion when he banked this personal best 12lb 7oz specimen – the best of the season so far.

The Norwich angler has paid little attention to the species during his career but made a pledge to place a heavy focus on them this year and set his stall out on a Midlands stillwater.

Having failed to tempt any bites in the first few sessions of his campaign he intended to introduce a large bed of bait at the beginning of the outing but that plan went out of the window when he realised he had left his spod rod at home.

Forced to rethink quickly, he opted for an active approach that involved recasting a 2oz feeder baited with fake corn and a pva bag of maggots to a spot over 50 yards out on a regular basis.

A long wait was expected before action commenced but the Angling Direct backed rod was given a major shock when he received a bite on his first chuck of the day.

“The rig had only been in for about 10-minutes when the alarm screamed off. At first I thought it was a carp but I could feel the head nodding and that was the tell-tale sign I was into a big tench,” explained Josh.

“After an energetic fight and several hairy moments when it was under the rod tip it went into the net. As soon as I placed the fish on the mat it looked huge and when I went to weigh it on my Avon scales which go up to 12lb they bottomed out.”

“I switched to another set of scales and couldn’t believe the final weight. I don't feel like I deserve to catch such a huge specimen so quickly and I'm truly grateful to have friends such as top specimen angler Chris Turnbull who passed on such good advice,” he added.

Another angler that has become the envy of tench anglers everywhere is Paul Faint who slipped the net under a 12lb 3oz lump during a session at a Lea Valley pit.

Having landed a 14lb 4oz pb bream just days before, the Waltham Abbey-based angler switched his attentions to tench. Careful analysis of his swim helped him locate a clear gravel batch which was baited with a large carpet of corn, dead maggots, casters and 10mm boilies.

A 12lb 4oz slab was the first fish to fall for his feederfished trio of plastic casters and it was another two hours before he was in touch with his target species. Paul said: “As soon as I struck I felt a solid resistance and was confident I was into a big tench.”

“My heart was pumping and when I finally had it in the net I was amazed – I wanted to beat my previous best of 8lb 1oz but I never expected to smash it by this much,” added Paul, who used 10lb mainline and a short braided hooklink of the same strength to a size 12 hook.

Top 10 biggest tench of all time
1. Darren Ward, 15lb 3oz 6dr, Sheepwalk Lake, 2001
2. Mike Coz, 15lb 2oz, Oxfordshire club lake, 2007
3. Will Hart, 14lb 11oz, Southern Stillwater, 2007
Jt4. Alan Brennan, 14lb 8oz, Fishers Green, 2004
Jt4.  Karl Connolly, 14lb 8oz
Jt4.   Gordan Beavan, 14lb 8oz, Herts Lake, 1993
7. Gary Newman, 14lb 4oz, Bury Lake, 1994
8. Phil Gooriah, 14lb 3oz, Wraysbury One, 1987
9. David Pirie, 14lb 2oz, Dagenham Chase, 2007
10. John Payne, Mill Lake, 14lb, 2010

Join the Tench Fishers
The Tench Fishers are a group that are dedicated to helping enthusiasts of the species gain better results. The committee regularly arrange ‘fish ins’ where members meet to target the species at a highly regarded water and exchange tactical information in an informal manner. Signing up also entitles you to discounts on several day ticket waters. Annual membership is priced at £25 and you can find more details on how to get involved by visiting

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