Long haul for 17lb 2oz bream

Catching the biggest fish in the land is all about hard work and dedication – as was proved perfectly with the capture of this superb 17lb 2oz bream. 

Andrew West banked one of the season’s biggest slabs after fishing three nights a week for four consecutive weeks on his local club water in Northamptonshire. His determination was rewarded on his last night of week four with a quartet of double-figure bream – including specimens of 13lb 8oz, 12lb 10oz, 11lb 14oz and the 17lb 2oz personal best. 

He exclusively told Angling Times: “I’m over the moon with this catch, as at the start of the four weeks I was fishing for bream with completely different tactics. 

“I didn’t fish nights, and quivertipped chopped worm during evening sessions, but only managed to catch a few bream to around 8lb. 

“After switching to bolt rigs and night sessions I was finding the bigger fish and soon managed a new personal best at 12lb 12oz. 

“On the very last night I smashed this pb twice with a 13lb 8oz bream and then the 17lb 2oz specimen – I couldn’t fish properly the next day as it felt like I was in a daze!”

To catch all four big bream, ex-match fisherman Andrew targeted a shallow area of the lake 75m out and fed a bed of corn, Odyssey 12mm boilies and Ringers fishmeal groundbait. Over this he fished boilies tipped with fake sweetcorn on Greys 2.25lb test curve specimen rods and 20lb braided reel line. 

“The bite from the 17lb fish was typical of any bream – just a few bleeps on the alarm – but I knew as soon as I struck into the fish and by the way it wallowed in the water that it was one of the true big ones,” Andrew concluded.