There’s never been a better time to bank a personal best if this week’s abundance of big catches are anything to go by!
Warmer water and a rise in air temperatures have prompted many species to get on the feed – including tench, bream, crucians, zander and pike... and Britain’s specialists have been quick to get in on the action
Here is a round-up of the very best reports from the last week of fishing:
Darryn Stolworthy 11lb 3oz tench
Just two weeks after catching six remarkable double-figure tench from a difficult Midlands gravel pit, Darryn Stolworthy returned to slip the net under this 11lb 3oz beauty.
The current Drennan Cup champion fished for 36 hours on the 80-acre venue and received his only bite of the trip by fishing a worm hookbait over a bed of maggots, casters and chopped worm.
He said: “My mate Greame had popped in for a chat and was there to witness the fish and take some great pictures.
“It’s a very hard pit but this was definitely a different fish from the big hit of tench I had previously from here – absolutely insane fishing.”
Darryn used a bait-boat to help ferry his rigs out to a clear spot at 220yds from the bank. He misses out on a Drennan Cup Weekly Award after recieving one for a similar catch last week.
Top Tip: “You can give yourself an edge by using a bait-boat to reach clear areas that anglers can’t cast to.”
Kevin Durman 11lb 7oz tench
Angling Trust coach Kevin Durman smashed his personal best tench this week with this 11lb 7oz cracker from a Medway Valley Pit.
During a manic four hour feeding spell he backed up the double figure fish with a brace of eight-pounders and several smaller fish of 5lb-7lb, all taken on a worm kebab.
Top Tip: “Tench love weed, but fishing in it can impact how your rig works. Find a clear spot.”
James Champkin 15lb 5oz bream and 36lb 1oz common carp
A pioneering campaign on a 90-acre southern pit yielded this ancient-looking 15lb 5oz bream for specimen ace James Champkin.
Over several nights between April and May, James targeted a shallow plateau at 60yds and baited heavily with pellets, Dynamite Marine Halibut Method Mix, corn, partiblend and broken Source boilies, and managed to land bream of 8lb, 11lb 1oz, 13lb 2oz and 15lb 5oz – not to mention a bonus 36lb 1oz common carp.
All of James’ bream were caught on helicopter rigs incorporating lead-free leaders and stiff coated braid hooklengths, with two grains of artificial corn as the hookbait.
Top Tip: “Bream can eat masses of bait so don’t be afraid to top up your swim with a Spomb every hour or so.”
Lee McManus 16lb 4oz bream
A 100-acre gravel pit has been providing Lee Mcmanus with some superb bream sport in the last few weeks – as proven by this remarkable 16lb 4oz slab.
The fish is the biggest of 22 bream for Lee in just four nights fishing, 13 of which have been doubles with three over 14lb including the 15lb 2oz example.
Rig and bait details to come!
Top Tip: “When spodding out particles for bream, try to keep your baiting as accurate as possible. This will result in quicker bites.”
Gord Burton 30lb 12oz pike
Gord Burton enjoyed one of his best sessions in recent years at a large Scottish Loch last week.
The renowned predator ace from Southport topped a remarkable day with a 30lb 12oz pike to go with fish of 23lb, 21lb, 18lb and 14lb.
Gord fished lamprey on float-leger tactics in 25ft of water.
Top tip: “Always look for signs of scattering silverfish if you’re after a big pike.”