Alan Storey 4lb 2oz Roach

“I received a couple of taps on the tip, followed by a slow pull round..”

Alan Storey made history with the capture of this beautiful 4lb 2oz roach as he became the first angler in history to bank a 4lb roach from both a stillwater and river.

The 66-year-old really did hit the jackpot at a southern chalkstream in his home county of Dorset after the giant redfin picked up his feeder fished maggot hookbait, presented on a 3ft hooklink of 2lb fluorocarbon and a size 20 hook. Amazingly, the fish only equals Alan’s best for the species, having landed a fish of the same weight from an undisclosed lake nine years ago. However, it’s the second largest roach ever landed from a river, with only Ray Clarke’s 4lb 3oz British record from the Dorset Stour in November 1990 beating it.

Alan said: “To begin with I set up the float rod, but the wind was too strong and so I soon switched to a light quivertip instead. I cast out at midday and after about 45 minutes had just a few dace to show for my efforts. That all changed when I received a couple of taps on the tip, followed by a slow pull round. I struck and by the way the weight on the other end was holding in the current and thumping away down deep, I knew it was a very good fish.

I tried to stay calm but then it surfaced and that’s when my bodily functions started to wobble! All the usual worries about the small hook and fine hooklink started to race through my head. Once I’d landed it, I was scared to look in the net!” After a quick call to his son and a local tackle shop owner to witness the catch and help with the weighing, Alan finally allowed himself a proper look at his prize. “It’s hard to believe roach grow that big. I thought about how it can’t have grown that large without being a crafty old bugger! After we weighed it, on a set of freshly-calibrated match scales, and took the photos, I packed up and went home for a large glass of wine. I wouldn’t have been able to hold my rod for shaking anyway!” he added