Surprise capture for match fishing ace

For many anglers, landing a 10lb carp on the pole is a right old battle and a real achievement.

So imagine being attached to a fish six times that size with just a few metres of carbon, pole elastic, line and a hook to do battle with!

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That was the situation England star Lee Kerry found himself in during a trip to Poland when he landed seven monster sturgeon all over 40lb, topped by a 63lb 9oz beast, from a day-ticket lake near the village of Kamien.

Paste fished just 5m out did the damage for the Preston Innovations man, whose previous biggest fish caught on the pole was a 20lb carp from Hallcroft Fishery in Nottinghamshire.

It called for powerhouse tactics to get the sturgeon into the net as Lee used 0.30mm line, a size 2 hook and a mind-blowing 4mm diameter C-Drome Hollo elastic that has an equivalent rating of a No30 solid.

“I fished the lake last year with my friend and Polish International Adam Niemiec and caught fish to 18lb, but he told me some bigger sturgeon had been stocked since so I couldn’t wait to have a crack,” Lee explained. 

“Paste was the bait, using just enough to cover the hook. It was made up of Sonubaits One to One Krill paste stiffened with soaked halibut pellets, and I fed a slop of groundbait and micro pellets to get the fish into the peg. The idea was that when they arrived they would find only the paste.

“The whole experience was a bit surreal for someone who fishes in the UK, as I was sat on a chair with just 5m of C-Drome pole – which I think you could drive a car over and it wouldn’t break – and a ball of paste waiting for a bite,” he continued. 

“When I hooked one, Adam’s advice was to just lean back and pull hard! There was no playing of the fish as such and when it was time to net them, we waded out into the water and ‘netted’ the sturgeon using a massive scoop that the fishery supplies. To do that type of thing is a fantastic experience, but I can’t say I’d want to do it every weekend!”

BIGGEST eel of the season landed

The biggest eel of the season has been banked from a Lea Valley Pit in the form of this 8lb 4oz monster. 

It was landed by Cheshunt, Herts specimen hunter Kim George Whiley during a tench fishing session and completely obliterates his previous personal best of 6lb 8oz. 

He told Angling Times: “We measured her length at 45ins and the girth at 10.75ins – she was in superb condition too.

“I’ve now been an angler for the best part of 60 years and this eel tops the lot for me!” added Kim, who fished chopped lobworm hookbaits over a bed of casters.

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Ruddy hell what a week for gold bars!

If recent catches are anything to go by, now’s the time to target one of our best-looking fish – the rudd!

Scorching temperatures have spurred these stunning bars of gold into a feeding frenzy and, as a result, some incredible specimens have been caught. 

Here are the top rudd catches reported to us this week...

Stephen Stones: 3lb rudd

Carpfeed editor Stephen Stones fished floating maggots on a Fenland Pit for this immaculate 3lb rudd. 

He covered a handful of grubs in water for an hour before nicking them on to a size 14 Korum hook along with a piece of hair-rigged foam. Completing his rig was a Korum Grub feeder set up helicopter-style.

“On the first cast the bobbin smashed into the rod butt and after a short battle I landed the biggest rudd I’d ever seen on the bank,” said Steve.

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Andrew Field: rudd of 2lb 14oz and 2lb 11oz

Walking 16 miles along a Fenland river paid dividends for master floatmaker Andrew Field, who was rewarded with a fine pair of rudd weighing in at 2lb 14oz and 2lb 11oz. 

The Greys consultant fished breadflake on 6lb line and a size 10 hook to catch them, casting only when he saw signs of fish. He said: “I caught the 2lb 14oz fish three years ago at 2lb 2oz – if it makes it through the next season it’ll likely make 3lb next time round.”

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Adam Perna: rudd of 2lb 10oz and 2lb 8oz

Adam Perna’s inflatable boat helped him track down this plump 2lb 10oz rudd. 

The Oxford angler backed it with anotherof 2lb 8oz during a session afloat on a Fenland River with bread crust as bait.

Adam told Angling Times: “I used a 5g Kodex controller float with 5lb fluorocarbon and a size 8 fine-wire Kamasan B911 hook to help land the fish.

“This pattern assists with penetration and doesn’t sink the crust too quickly, as bigger hooks tend to do.”

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Top tench on a kebab!

140-mile round trip has produced one of the biggest tench of the season weighing 11lb 11oz.  

The phenomenal catch was made by Fox and CC Moore-backed Richard Wilby, who made a long journey to fish for just a few hours on a small southern water in what he described as “my last chance of the season to bank a big tench.”

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Richard arrived at his swim around midnight and lightly baited an area with casters, hempseed, red maggots and CC Moore Fish Frenzy groundbait before casting out his rigs.

He said: “At first light my bite alarm signalled a couple of bleeps and I thought it was a pike at first, so when it rolled among all the weed my legs turned to jelly. 

“It fought like a demon and I had to give it more stick than I wanted because of the weed. 

“Eventually I scooped her up – it’s one of the best fish I’ve caught for so many reasons and one I’ve dreamt all year about catching.”

Richard’s new personal best fell to a simple helicopter feeder rig, a size 10 Fox Zig hook, 12lb Illusion hooklink and a hookbait incorporating a worm kebab topped with a fake maggot.

It wasn’t the only big tench to be reported either, as Alan Rio proved with an impressive specimen of
11lb 7oz (left).

Just a month after receiving a weekly Drennan Cup award for an 11lb 15oz tench, the Woking-based angler continued fishing the same southern water in hope of a larger fish.

Targeting a west-facing bay at 30 yards with worm kebab rigs over a bed of casters, hemp and corn, Alan was able to catch an 8lb 2oz tench and small common carp, but had to wait until 1.30pm on the third day for a take from something altogether more special. 

“I had a one toner on the middle rod quickly and after a short tussle I had my prize in the net. “It was my second fish over 11lb and it was totally mind blowing.”

large gravel pit produces big eel

A 90-acre water is a daunting prospect, but Paul Faint’s decision to target the eel population of a southern gravel pit was worth all the effort when he banked this 5lb 13oz beauty.

After baiting a gravel plateau 50yds out in open water, Paul had his hooklength broken by the first fish he hooked, but after this he stepped up his gear and took the big eel in the early hours of the morning.

“At 4am the bite alarm sounded, and on striking I knew I had a good eel pulling the opposite way. 

“After landing her at the second attempt I carefully weighed her to register a new personal best of 5lb 13oz,” said a delighted Paul, who tempted the fish on a bunch of maggots.

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The biggest barbel of the season

The River Trent has produced the biggest barbel of the season so far at 15lb 15oz. 

The whiskered whacker fell to Andrew Knots, who fished on four consecutive days from June 16. He said: “I was with my good mate Alfie Naylor, and most evenings after work both of us went down and put some grub in for the fish.

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“Over the first three sessions we caught good numbers of barbel to double figures, plus chub and a couple of big bream – then on day four I hooked something more substantial.

“After a long and slow fight, where I had to stand in the water, I was looking at the fattest barbel I have ever seen.”

Andrew’s Spam hookbait was presented on a metre-long hooklength below a feeder filled with micros and crushed boilies.

l Further south, Ben Fairweather kicked off his river season on the legendary Hampshire Avon with an immense 7lb 11oz chub. 

Targeting an undisclosed stretch, the boat builder from Bournemouth fished six evenings on the trot before the fish took his homemade boilie.

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“After a few reconnaissance trips I decided to concentrate on a particular swim that had produced during the winter for me,” said Ben. 

“The second session saw me bank my first chub of the new season, at 4lb, but with more activity after dark I was sure bigger fish were about. 

“The next three sessions were blanks, but the following evening I returned and introduced some hemp, pellets and a handful of my chosen hookbait via a bait dropper.”

Just after 10pm Ben’s rod-tip banged around and he was into a hard-fighting fish. When it was finally netted, he couldn’t believe his eyes: “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, and when I lifted the net my hands and knees started shaking.”

l Heading the week’s stillwater catches is Mike Lyddon’s 12lb 4oz tench. After baiting a 12ft-deep marginal gulley on a southern stillwater for three weeks with maggot and hemp, and landing a good run of bream to 11lb 9oz, Mike connected with a string of tench, topped by the double-figure tinca.

“I had a slow twitchy take that straight away felt like a much better fish,” Mike recalled. “Two minutes later I could see a very big tench in the clear water.” 

The tench is a new personal best for the Gardner Tackle-backed ace, who had all his fish on bunches of maggots fished helicopter-style in conjunction with a maggot feeder.

10-year hunt for double finally over

A 10-YEAR obsession in search of a double-figure tench finally came to an end for Simon Ashton when this 10lb 8oz specimen slid over his net. 

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Targeting a northern gravel pit, the County Durham-based angler set up in a tight swim that featured a bar 40yds out to which he fed six Spombs of mixed Sonubaits micros and hemp flavoured with 24/7 oil.

“In the end I landed 21 tench to 10lb 8oz back-up with three nine pounders and six eights,” Simon said.

Simon bested all of his fish using a rig incorporating a 70g Drennan maggot feeder loaded with chopped worm and chopped worm on the hook. 

Potential Record Eel discovered

A ‘potential record’ eel has been found during a fish survey by the Environment Agency on the River Thames at Richmond, Surrey.

The specimen measured an almighty 139cm, and according to length-to-weight conversion charts the fish would weigh around 12lb 10oz.

This would obliterate the current British record of 11lb 2oz, caught by Steve Terry back in 1978 from Kingfisher Lake in Hamshire. The eel record is the longest-standing on the British freshwater list. 

EA Fisheries Officer Joe Northgarden said that he was reluctant to reveal the exact weight of this fish because the EA “doesn’t want people to be targeting it.” The fish was returned unharmed to the water.

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River season kicks off in style!

Britain’s army of running-water anglers kicked off the new season in fine style despite high water affecting many rivers after heavy rain.   

Catch reports have flooded into the Angling Times News Desk throughout opening week with the pick of the bunch being a monster chub of 7lb 15oz.

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The exceptional summer fish was caught by Samuel Everist, who took advantage of his lunch break at work to head to the River Lea – taking the fish on only his second cast.

“Photos don’t do it justice, but in the flesh it was an absolute lump – I think it was full of spawn,” said Samuel.

Samuel used freelined bread mounted on a size 6 hook tied to 6lb mainline on a centrepin reel.

This wasn’t the only big chub caught either with another colossal 7lb-plus fish reported by Northampton river specialist Adrian Barford.

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While fishing a stretch of the Great Ouse in Bedfordshire on the first day, Adrian slipped the net under a 7lb 6oz chub... a fish he felt sure was a barbel from the fight it gave.

He said “With the river up and pushing through with good colour, hopes were high. When the fish came into view, it was heart-in-mouth time.”

Adrian targeted the coloured water with a groundbait feeder and a large piece of bacon grill mounted on a size 12 hook.

Another popular early-season river species is barbel, and social media was alive with reports of low double figure fish hitting angler’s nets.

One of them was Mark Dutton who enjoyed a fantastic session in daylight hours on the 16th – taking a brace of double figure barbel weighing 13lb 7oz and 12lb exactly.

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Mark was fishing the River Dove after he found his intended stretch on the upper Trent in the fields.

Mark caught his fish on a mixture of Impulse Baits boilies and pellets, with a quick change to pop-up baits taking him an additional brace of chub, both over 5lb.

A species not often associated with rivers is rudd, but Andy Childs used the opening day to smash his personal best for the species by landing a clonking 3lb 3oz specimen.

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The fish was caught from a stretch of the River Cam which Andy and two friends had raked and baited in preparation for the new season. 

He told Angling Times: “Casting out just after midnight, the bite came at first light. The best fish I’ve ever been fortunate to catch.”

The big rudd fell to a 10mm Richworth tutti-frutti boilie presented on a method feeder.

To round off a phenomenal start to the season on the rivers there were also some truly exceptional match and pleasure bags taken.

The pick of the match bags taken came from the new club stretch on the Bristol Avon known as ‘Chequers’. Nearly 300lb of bream were caught in the match with winner Jerry Pocock bagging a 104lb net of slabs (for more on this new stretch turn to page 18).

Another angler who landed a bumper bag was Cheltenham based Graham Didcote, who enjoyed a 26-barbel hit on the River Wye.

With the river carrying 8ft of extra water, 48-year-old Graham feared the worse, but got the barbel feeding over the Evolved Baits Barbel groundbait.

Three days, three huge specimens!

Simple helicopter maggot rig has accounted for a 4lb 3oz perch, a 32lb 8oz common carp and a 9lb 7oz tench in a single session!

The impressive haul fell to 44-year-old joiner Lee Snow who spent three days targeting tench on a 100-acre southern gravel pit, but was left over the moon when he ticked-off two personal bests during his latest outing.

He said: “I’ve had a fantastic spring and early summer having broken five personal bests.

“Despite my goal being to catch a double-figure tench, in this session I managed to break my perch and carp PB’s and I was just 2oz shy of breaking my tench record. 

I found a clear area at around 40yds from the bank and baited it with maggots, casters and chopped worms, and fished simple maggot feeder helicopter rigs over the top.

“My hookbait was two fake maggots attached on a hair rig
and I nicked two red maggots onto the hook.

“It was a very simple rig and shows how versatile it can be for all species – not just for tench.
It can pretty much catch anything!”

Lee’s trio of specimens were beat on 10lb mainline, an 8lb flouro hooklink complete with a size 12 Korda hook. 

They also fell from the same venue where Lee had caught bream of 16lb 8oz and 17lb back in May. 

Rich vein of bream to a 16lb 15oz best

Drennan Cup runner-up Rich Wilby got his season off to a flyer with a 16lb 2oz bream, but he had no idea he was going to smash it just a couple of months later with this 16lb 15oz belter!

The Airfield Lakes fishery owner pinned his hopes on a large Midlands stillwater, and after walking the banks at first light he managed to find fish rolling at 50 yards.

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He said: “I cast flatbed Method feeders at the showing fish every 20 minutes or so, and my first bite came after just three casts. 

“I used a Pukka Method mix laced with pre-digested fish proteins, molasses and hemp oil which they managed to find very quickly.”

Rich’s tactics produced four other double-figure bream, and all fell to chopped worm and fake maggot hookbaits.

12lb 12oz specimen tops tench hauls

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. 

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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. 

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“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!”

Best eel of the season

Eel fanatic Tony Arbery has banked the biggest ‘snake’ of the season so far. 

The 7lb 6zo fish was part of a three-eel haul and was taken during an evening session on a southern pit with his dad Len. 

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Tony told Angling Times: “I was unsure whether it was an eel or one of the water’s rare big carp that had been hooked, for it made repeated efforts to reach a sunken tree – but pretty soon after the fight suggested it was an eel. 

“At this point my knees went wobbly, for it very nearly made the snags, taking line in a series of short, sharp, almost uncontrollable bursts of power – despite that I managed to steer it to the net.”

A dead roach hookbait mounted on a size 4 ESP Cryogen Gripper tied to 35lb Kryston Quicksilver hooklinks proved to be the downfall of the specimen.

Tony’s running rig incorporated a light 1oz bomb.

Specimen ace cracks it at last

After years of struggling to get to grips with a southern gravel pit, specimen angler Ryan Hayden was rewarded with this 9lb 14oz tench.

Ryan said: “It was caught on Saturday morning but I hadn’t seen a single tench roll at all. 

“I was anticipating an early pack-up when the middle rod, fished in a deep marginal channel, went into meltdown. 

“After the hardest fight I’ve ever had from a tench this beautiful fish of 9lb 14oz reluctantly rolled over the landing net.”

An 85g Method feeder with a double fake maggot hookbait presented over a bed of hemp and dead maggots was the successful tactic.

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11lb 15oz tinca banked from southern pit

Woking-based specialist angler Alan Rio recently enjoyed the session of a lifetime where he landed this 11lb 15oz tench.

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Targeting a southern gravel pit, Alan spent two mornings walking the lake before finding a swim where he saw fish showing on a spot around 50yds out.

Arriving at his peg he Spombed three pints of caster, three pints of hemp and three pints of red maggot over an 8ft smooth gravel spot where he’d seen the tench show. 

The successful rig incorporated a size 12 Drennan Barbel Hook, a 10lb braided hooklink and a 2oz Drennan inline block end feeder.

The Biggest rudd brace in history.

A carp angler has made angling history by banking the biggest-brace of rudd ever to be caught from an English venue.

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Thirty-year-old Thomas Jacklin was half-way through a 24-hour session on a North Lincs gravel pit when rudd of 4lb and 4lb 8oz devoured his boilie hookbaits in the space of just 10 minutes. 

Speaking exclusively to Angling Times about his catch, Thomas described the unforgettable moment when the fish of his dreams slid over his net cord.

He said: “I was absolutely blown away by the size of these rudd. 

“I knew they were in here, as carp anglers had caught them by mistake, but they’d only been coming out to around 3lb.

“So to catch a 4lb 8oz rudd and then a four-pounder just 10 minutes later is something I never dreamed would happen. 

“I’m itching to get back down there to catch them by design!”

Targeting a clear area around 40 yards out, Thomas introduced a bed of chopped and whole DNA baits Secret Seven boilies and fished a standard lead-clip set-up with a matching hookbait.

Despite carp being his intended quarry the 4lb 8oz rudd put up a good scrap before eventually being netted, as Thomas explained: “Out of nowhere my left-hand rod shot off and the tip pulled round,” he said. 

“I had no doubt that it was a carp until I lifted into the fish, at which point it darted around before eventually surfacing. Instantly my heart was in my mouth!

“I weighed it, took a few snaps then slipped it back, but before I had time to take it in the rod was off again with another 4lb rudd. I took a video of this fish but in the hysteria I didn’t take any photos.

“I wished I’d left the bigger rudd in the net so I could have taken an incredible shot of the pair. 

“I was over the moon with this once-in-a-lifetime catch, and I very much doubt I will ever catch one bigger.

“The fact that I’ve held what’s possibly the biggest-ever English rudd in my hands is taking time to fully sink in.”







gribble bags eel best

Dai Gribble’s pursuit of a new personal best eel was rewarded in style when a recent session produced this fine specimen weighing 5lb 12oz.

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The two-time Drennan Cup champ had spent two trips targeting a Southern gravel pit in search of a monster and finally achieved his goal when the eel picked up his maggot and worm cocktail hookbait.

Dai said: “I’d fish for tench during the day and knew that the live and dead maggots I’d fed would still be around for the eels in the evening. 

“After dark I’d cast out my eel rigs and I’ve had all but one of my eels during darkness. Over the two trips I’ve managed eels of 4lb 7oz, 5lb 6oz, 5lb 7oz and the 5lb 12oz fish, not to mention lots of tench including a brace of 9lb 13oz fish topped by a 10lb 5oz specimen.”

12lb 8oz tench banked

An epic pre-baiting campaign has helped lead to one of the biggest tench of the season in the form of this 12lb 8oz specimen.

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It was banked by Dynamite Baits, Aqua and Cygnet-backed angler Matthew Fernandez who had been baiting a southern estate lake since April.

During his most recent trip action began at first light and after landing an 8lb tench and preparing it for photographing, Matt’s other rod tore off.

“The tench pulled me through several weed beds before I began to regain line!” said Matt. 

“I knew this tench was big, but I didn’t know how big. The eight-pounder was in the net resting and this tench dwarfed it!  The previous spring I had tench to 10lb 8oz and I was happy with that result but this capture has blewn my mind!

“I’m over the moon with the new personal best.”

Matt used a mixture of Dynamite Baits hemp, worm extract, pellet and boilie to bait the swim and fished Drennan open-ended feeders in conjunction with helicopter rigs and boilie hookbaits over the top.

Monster eels go on the feed

Monster eels have been feeding hard across the country this week, topped by the season’s best weighing 7lb 4oz and three others over 5lb.

The biggest of the season fell to maintenance engineer John Mott, who was targeting a Lincolnshire gravel pit for carp when the big eel picked up his boilie hookbait.

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The 46-year-old said: “I kept getting funny dropped runs the first night and after talking to the bailiff he suggested doubling up my baits. It turned out to be the right choice but the wrong species. I’m shocked to catch such a special fish on carp gear.”

The large serpent picked up two 18mm Essential Cell boilies presented on a size 6 Fox Arma point curve hook.

Those who have gone out specifically targeting eels have also enjoyed success this week – as proven by former Drennan Cup champion Len Arbery who caught a 6lb specimen.

1. Len Arbery, 6lb 0oz eel, 38.5 x 9.75, May 2019.jpg

Choosing to fish short sessions Len and son Tony took multiple 4lb-plus eels with the 6lb fish being the pick of the bunch.

Len said: “The six-pounder thought so hard I suspected at first that it was one of the waters rare big carp. It continued to be a handful on the bank too but swum off strong following a few pictures – it was certainly much livelier after the event than its captor!”

Len’s tackle for the eels consisted of a pair of rods frequently used at Redmire Pool in the 1970’s by his late lifelong-friend, Bill Quinlan. These were 11ft fibreglass, original Jack Hilton Carp Rods. He coupled these rods with Drennan bait-runner reels loaded with new 10lb ESP Syncro XT, and Kryston original Quicksilver braid hooklinks. 

The 6lb eel took a dead bait mounted on a size 4 Cryogen Gripper hook.

Another former Drennan Cup winner who got in on the eel action this week was weekly Angling Times contributor Dai Gribble, who caught four eels to 5lb 6oz from a Southern gravel pit.

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All four eels came from a swim Dai had raked the previous afternoon. 

The Korum backed ace said: “I’ve found that at dusk eels move into tench swims and feeding maggots and worm really draws them in, so I put rods out for them just before dark.”

Dai caught all his fish on a bunch of red maggots on a size 8 Korum Power hook with a short hook link of Gardner Vigilante and a 2oz in-line lead.




Big fish prove now’s the time to bag a best!

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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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