Huge tench biggest ever to be caught by design

The biggest tench ever landed by design has been caught by Dai Gribble – a record-shaking 14lb 12oz monster.
On his first trip to a southern stillwater, the Stafford rod earned his place in angling history as the captor of the biggest tench specifically fished for. Two other catches over this weight, including Darren Ward’s 15lb 3oz record, were taken by carp anglers.
Having taken a huge haul of fish to 13lb 3oz a fortnight ago, Korum star Dai switched his attentions to a different venue, but it was sticking to his tactics that proved decisive.
With no past experience on the venue, he looked for a fish-holding feature, and a gravel bar with a deep drop-off around 40 yards out was soon located. He fed several pints of 2mm Sonubaits pellets, hemp, casters and maggots before casting his helicopter-style maggot feeder rig baited with three fake casters over the top.
Patience was the key, as he had to wait until the second morning for the all-important bite.
He said: “When I first netted it I knew it was a double, but I didn’t think it would be as big as my fish from two weeks ago until I lifted the net. At that point it felt like I had two fish in there, it was that heavy!
“It has been a crazy two weeks and it’s been the stuff of dreams. If someone had told me I would be catching two huge doubles from two separate waters at the start of the season I would have just laughed at them,” he said.
It is not just Dai who has been getting among the big doubles this summer either, with Tony Smith slipping the net under a 13lb 13oz specimen.
The West Yorkshire pensioner made the long trip south to an large stillwater, where he baited a spot about 40 yards out with casters, hemp and Dynamite Baits The Source pellets.
At 5am the following morning, with tench rolling on the surface, Tony decided to recast his inline maggot feeder rig baited with two fake hair-rigged casters and half a worm.
Just minutes after his rig had hit the water his line was peeling off the freespool reel and the huge fish – a new personal best – was on.
He said: “The way it was fighting, I thought it was a big male and I struggled to land it at first, as it didn’t want to give up.
“When I finally netted it I put it on the unhooking mat and starting laughing, as it almost seemed too big to be a tench.”
Rob Thompson managed to better his most memorable tench season ever by slipping the net under a giant 11lb 9oz specimen. After breaking his personal best twice with fish of 9lb 1oz and 9lb 11oz earlier in the year, the Leicestershire rod returned to the same southern gravel pit for a two-day trip.
After baiting up a gravel bar with Sonubaits pellets and groundbait mixed with a glug of molasses and maggots, Rob managed to snare his prize using a helicopter rig with a size 12 Korum hook baited with an 8mm Sonubaits pineapple boilie.
Tench proved to be like red buses for Alan Rio when a quest to catch his first double ended in the capture of two huge specimens in a session weighing 10lb 3oz and 10lb 8oz.
The Surrey angler used a heavy feeding approach, Spombing out a combined total of 18 pints of maggots, casters and hemp before fishing a leger rig baited with fake buoyant casters and a PVA bag of loosefeed over the top.
The ploy worked a treat, as Alan netted 10 other tench during his three-night session, including another of 9lb 9oz.