Huge Thames bream haul by river rookie

The winter blues show no sign of affecting red-hot silverfish sport after countless personal-best weights were taken at venues across the nation.
Roach, bream and perch have continued to feed heavily despite the chilly temperatures, with both rivers and stillwaters producing well beyond what is expected in the run up to Christmas.
Arguably the most impressive catch of them all was Tom Downing’s huge haul of bream from the Thames, where the Devon rod shared more than 150lb with MAP-backed star Tony Curd during his first-ever session on a river.
Having been persuaded to make the 400-mile round journey to the stretch at Kingston-upon-Thames he was soon rewarded for his commitment, with slabs to 7lb falling to the groundbait feeder every chuck during the frantic session.
Tom told Angling Times: “I’m a big fan of commercial fisheries but after a day out like that I am definitely going to be doing more river fishing.
“Tony had assured me that we would get a few bites, but to share more than 150lb of bream at this time of year surpassed my expectations by a mile.”
Similar levels of success were also recorded on commercial waters, as Des Shipp proved with a 60lb-plus haul from Frant Lakes made up of roach to 1lb and skimmers and perch to 2lb.
The England international was performing a demonstration at the Kent complex and attracted a bite every chuck throughout the session. He said: “It was one of those days where the float never stopped going under and everything we tried worked almost straight away.
“The growing number of silvers in commercials means a good day is on the cards on even the coldest of days.”
Other silverfish highlights of the week included 250lb-plus of silvers being brought to the scales during the latest contest at Scunthorpe’s Messingham Sands, Dennis Pattinson’s 37lb 3oz net of roach coming out on top. Numerous pleasure anglers have also landed personal-best nets of silvers at Northamptonshire’s Wold Farm Fisheries, with 70lb-plus bags of roach and skimmers being taken.