500 sessions for 2lb roach

More than 500 sessions in search of a big river roach finally ended in success for Phil Taylor when he banked this immaculate personal best specimen on the float.
The Skegness angler set his heart on landing a redfin over 2lb four years ago and has been visiting local rivers several times a week in an attempt achieve his goal.
His latest session saw him turn his attentions away from what has become an obsession and set his sights on winning a friendly competition that had been arranged by a group of friends.
But, ironically, it was this switch of focus that saw him achieve his goal.
“A few of us who mainly concentrate on catching big fish decided to change our mind-set for a month and arranged a species hunt tournament,” said Phil.
“The winner would be the angler who could land the most types of fish during that time. I’d gone down to the river to catch a few small silvers of different species to get my effort under way and I landed this. I can’t believe it!”
A simple stick float rig baited with two red maggots helped tempt a few small roach and dace before he set his hook into his new personal best.
“I knew instantly it was something big, but never for a single second did I envisage a new pb roach would be attached to the other end.
“It made a few attempts to shed the hook and when I finally saw it the nerves really kicked in as I knew there was every chance it was the fish I’d worked so hard for. When it was confirmed, I was lost for words,” said Phil.
“It’s ironic that I have spent so much time searching for this fish and it finally comes on a day when I wasn’t really looking for it! A 2lb roach is the holy grail in my book – it is definitely my biggest angling achievement.”
His winning rig was made up of a Middy Pete Warren stick float and 3lb 6oz Drennan Double Strength line to a size 16 hook.