With tench fishing these days largely all over bar the shouting by the end of June it looked as if we had missed out big time this time around – and to a certain extent we had – but just to prove there are still some huge fish out there to be caught there comes this report of a real beast.

The captor was eighteen-year-old Jake Wright who was fishing a three night session on a Reading and District Angling Association (RDAA) pit. It was Jake’s first ever session on the water and his choice of swim was guided by the fact that the wind was pushing hard into one of the bays. Watching the water he saw a couple of fish show on the wind and although he wasn’t entirely certain what they were it was enough for him to pitch his bivvy and get set up.

A bit of work with a marker float found a plateau with 5ft of water on top of it, which seemed a good place to bait up and Jake fished an 18mm Dynamite Source cork ball pop up on a Chod Rig over a light sprinkling of bait.

Bream were the first to move over the spot and Jake started to pick up a few but, as he was cooking his dinner, he had a different bite altogether and his Delkim just screamed as a fish tore off with his hook bait.

“The fish just didn’t slow down,” said Jake, “it just kept going until it became weeded up in a big bed of Canadian. I Kept up slow and constant pressure on it and eventually it started moving again and I could feel the head shaking which tench are known for and this was confirmed when it rolled in the margins, but it was not ‘just’ a tench it was a great big tench.”

After a bit of charging about in the edge Jake netted the fish and he was able to see just how big the tench really was, and it dwarfed any tench he had ever caught before. On the scales the fish registered 11lb 4oz to set a new personal best and a new record for Reading and District. It just goes to show that even when you think the season has been a total write off for a particular species something a little bit special can turn up totally out of the blue.

As you can see from the photograph Jake’s fish was certainly still holding spawn and, given the temperatures we have experienced for much of this summer, it is possible there could still be a few heavyweights around which have yet to shed their eggs, although the thankful return to current more seasonal conditions last may just sort out any lingering females.