Britain’s tench are enjoying one of their best feeding sprees for years with two 12lb-plus fish heading up a host of huge specimens reported this week.
Angling Direct-backed Justin Grapes hooked into the larger of the two in the shape of a 12lb 12oz beauty taken during a trip to Bawburgh Fisheries in Norfolk.
It is the second-biggest tench caught this season and was part of a 14-fish haul for Justin that included four eight-pounders, three ‘nines’ and a 26lb 12oz carp.
He said: “I planned four days at Bawburgh and pinned my chances on Lodge Farm Lake, but by Sunday morning I’d not had a bite so I decided to move to Colney Lake.”
After finding a fishable spot among the weed, Justin baited it lightly with maggots, casters and chopped worm.
“Almost straight away I started to catch tench,” he said. “At midnight my rod was off again and this huge fish came to the surface and wallowed around before being netted. I rang my good friend Darryn, who drove down to take pics and witness the fish.
“My previous personal best was 11lb 6oz, so I’m over the moon to have demolished that with this incredible specimen.”
Justin used a chopped worm ‘kebab’ rig fished with a Korum Heli Kit and a Kamasan Black Cap feeder filled with chopped worm and soil.
The week’s other monster tench, at 12lb 2oz, fell to Mike Lyddon. The Gardner-backed specimen hunter targeted a large southern gravel pit and found a 7ft-deep gravel hump in around 11ft of water at 20yds. He baited this with maggots and hemp, before casting maggot feeder helicopter rigs with popped-up maggot and chopped worm hookbaits over the top.
“I only had a small bream on the first night, but a steady trickle of bait and regular casting saw the 12lb 2oz big girl slip up to the worm rig before dawn,” Mike said.
“A couple of hours later I lost another fish that managed to wipe out both rods, but as soon as I had untangled them and cast back out a 10lb 10oz tench picked up the maggot rig before I’d even managed to get the bobbin on!
“These two were my only tench of the session but I was more than happy with a new personal best!”