‘Fish of a life­time’ taken at 3lb 10oz as spec­i­men ace banks trio of three pounders

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME - FRED­DIE SAND­FORD News Re­porter

RYAN Hay­den has en­joyed the roach fish­ing ses­sion of a life­time, land­ing three redfins to­talling nearly 10lb.

Tar­get­ing a south­ern still­wa­ter, Ryan’s first spec­i­men weighed 3lb ex­actly – a roach that would be widely re­garded as the fish of a life­time.

But there was more to come. Shortly af­ter­wards he added an­other of 3lb 3oz and topped off an un­be­liev­able day’s sport with an im­mense 3lb 10oz spec­i­men which is the largest roach caught by de­sign this sea­son.

Be­cause he works for Dren­nan, Ryan is un­able to claim a weekly Dren­nan Cup award for his fish, but this didn’t stop him from brav­ing some rough con­di­tions.

“There was a strong south­west­erly blow­ing, and heavy rain,” he said. “In my book these are per­fect con­di­tions for roach, so I fed a pint of hemp and

pre­sented 50g mag­got feed­ers over the top.

“These heavy feed­ers al­lowed me to hit the dis­tance eas­ily as well as main­tain­ing a tight line to the rod-tip, max­imis­ing hook­ing po­ten­tial.

“I waited all day from just be­fore first light with­out any signs. Then I had a liner at 3.30pm, fol­lowed by the first proper bite. This re­sulted in the 3lb fish, and know­ing that big roach feed­ing spells can be tiny I was ea­ger to get the rod back on the spot.

“Sure enough, a se­cond fish weigh­ing 3lb 3oz came as I was clip­ping the bob­bin on. Ten min­utes later, the third and big­gest roach came on the same rod, round­ing off a ses­sion where my per­sonal best was bro­ken not once, but three times!”

Ryan used sim­ple heli-rigs, in­cor­po­rat­ing 2ins hook­links of 5.4lb Dren­nan Sup­plex Flu­o­ro­car­bon and size 18 Wide Gape Spe­cial­ist hooks.

Roy Jones was an­other an­gler to en­joy big-roach ac­tion, land­ing spec­i­mens of 2lb 4oz fish and 2lb 12oz from a river.

Tar­get­ing a stretch of the mid­dle Hamp­shire Avon, Roy fished for three days and on his fi­nal ses­sion wind and rain bat­tered the banks.

These con­di­tions forced Roy to aban­don his pre­ferred float set-up and switch to the mag­got feeder. Some qual­ity dace to 11oz were caught be­fore the tip wrapped round as Roy con­nected with the larger fish.

Roy said of the catch: “When the big­ger one came to the net it was panic sta­tions – it was the big­gest roach I’d ever seen.

“I weighed it straight away, and when the scales spun round to re­veal a new pb of 2lb 12oz I was over the moon.”

Ryan Hay­den and the sea­son’s best in­ten­tion­ally caught roach of 3lb 10oz.

WHAT IS THE DREN­NAN CUP? DREN­NAN Cup prizes are de­cided by tackle gi­ant Dren­nan and awarded to an­glers who have caught spec­i­men fish by de­sign.

This 3lb 3oz roach formed part of the trio.

Roy Jones and his pair of Avon two-pounders.

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