Tommy Pickering sets new river record

Tommy Pickering has sensationally broken the match record on Ireland’s famous River Erne with 241lb of bream and hybrids.

The England feeder team manager took the mammoth bag on the penultimate day of the Mahons festival which he went on to win, taking him from 64th overall to 37kg ahead of the rest of the field overnight! Fishing the feeder under a bridge in the town of Enniskillen, Preston-backed Tommy landed 58 bream to 6lb and six large hybrids.

“It was just one of those rare red letter days and my second biggest catch ever,” said Tommy. “I missed a bite first cast then had a 4lb hybrid second chuck and it was just solid. People were timing me taking 20 – 30 seconds to hook a bream, it was daft at times, then I had to reel it back up through 30 yards of flow. The ironic thing is I’d not had a good week’s fishing up to that point with only 18kg on the board and I was told I was on a good roach peg. But the festival is done on weight so I decided to take a gamble and go for some bream on the feeder, hoping I might get 20 or 30kg. I set up just two tip rods. Then this happened, it was unbelievable!” he laughed.

Drawing peg 1 on the Sligo road section of the river, Tommy earmarked a midway crease to cast to and he was immediately into fish using a worm and maggot hookbait on a size 12 PR355 hook, a 3ft long 7lb hooklength, 0.12mm braid and a large 40g plastic feeder.  As he puts it, ‘you don’t fish light over here when you’re on fish!’ He got through four pints of casters, 1kg of worm and a tin of corn through his feeder, capping the ends with groundbait. The official weight recorded was 109kg 500g (241lb), which eclipsed the old best of 226lb, set on the opposite side of the river. This went a considerable way to helping Tommy win the festival, pocketing £2,000 for his efforts. It’s still some way short of his biggest catch, which of course is 323lb 11oz of bream from Skanderborg Lake in Denmark in the 1995 Embassy Pairs Final.

To see how Tommy Pickering broke the record, see Angling Times out Tuesday June 3.

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