Rich Wilby ramped up his challenge for the Drennan Cup by catching a colossal 3lb 2oz roach this week.
The fine specimen came from Highbridge Lakes in Norfolk, taking Rich’s tally of 2lb-plus roach to 27 over the past 18 months. His latest catch was his first three-pounder, however, and also set new personal best.
He said: “I did a night session the previous week with my son and managed 10 roach to 2lb 10oz, losing one that looked bigger in the headlamp. It was a good start and gave my confidence the boost it needed on a new lake.
“On my next morning trip, I decided to fish with my tip rod in my hand. I had my last cast of the morning and the rod went almost as the bomb hit the bottom. I couldn’t miss the bite.
“Initially it felt heavy, like one of the many 5lb bream I had caught, but then it started to kite and I thought it could be something special.
“After two minutes it surfaced. My legs and head completely went, it was the biggest roach I’ve ever seen. The length was unreal, 16ins, and its back was very chunky and solid.”
The phenomenal fish fell to a 10mm CC Moore Live System boilie presented on a size 12 Matrix hook tied to an 8lb braided hooklink on 6lb mainline. This was fished in 20ft of water with a pouch of 10 freebies introduced every five minutes.
Rich’s fish wasn’t the only mammoth roach caught this week. Carper Brad Brookes also had a silver surprise when he bagged a 3lb 8oz roach from Walthamstow Reservoirs in London.
The Essex-based angler said: “I’ve caught some big old bream while carp fishing at Walthamstow, but never roach. It was a really nice surprise and the photos don’t do it justice, but it had a massive belly on it.”
The rare Walthamstow roach fell to a single chickpea tipped with sweetcorn presented on a size 6 Korda Wide Gape hook tied to a mono hooklink. This was fished just off the marginal shelf over several handfuls of free offerings.