11lb 11oz tench tops big week

Three double-figure tench topped by the largest reported fish of the season suggests that right now is a superb time to target one of the nation’s favourite species.

Specimen-hunter Simon Aldred capitalised on mild conditions to bank the biggest of the trio in the form of a chunky 11lb 11oz female. 

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The Northampton-based rod spent two nights on a Lea Valley Pit in search of a personal best and was duly rewarded on the first morning of the trip.

“At 9.30am the left rod ripped off and I bent into a fish which seemed heavy compared to the usual 6lb-7lb tench in the lake,” Simon said.

“When the fish finally came into sight in the gin clear water I couldn’t believe how big it looked.

“I called a couple of lads from around the lake to witness what had graced my net – a fish that a day before was just a dream!”

Simon’s giant tench fell from a margin swim to a Sticky Baits Krill boilie fished over a bed of matching boilies and pellets. 

His tactics also accounted for other tench of 7lb 1oz, 8lb 14oz and 9lb 6oz.

Korum-backed ace Rob Thompson was the next angler to enjoy tench success when a pristine 10lb 15oz example  devoured his fake maggot hookbait.

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The Leicestershire-based specimen hunter spent a day targeting a big Midlands pit and lightly baited a spot with a dozen medium Spombs of groundbait, Sonubaits F1 pellets and mixed particles in search of a bite.

He said: “I had two bites mid-morning resulting in a seven pounder and a lost fish then nothing until 5pm, when I had a flurry of bites and three more fish.

“It then went quiet and I thought it was game over but just as the light faded I had another bite and landed the biggy, which was something of a shock to say the least.”

Rob’s set-up included 2oz Korum Swivel Grub feeders with 10lb Smokescreen nylon hooklinks and size 12 specimen hooks incorporating plastic maggot hookbaits.

An area of lily pads just 20ft from the bank produced the final big tench in the form of a fantastic 10lb 1oz specimen.

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It fell to 36-year-old James Smith who fished a 10mm Sticky Baits Manilla pop-up boilie over a patch of bubbles next to the pads on a syndicate water.