Dai Gribble 4lb 4oz British Record Roach

What a way to start the 24/25 Drennan Cup season off…. with a British Record equalling roach of 4lb 4oz for Dai Gribble!

The two-time Drennan Cup winner used maggot feeder tactics at Brasenose 1 on Oxford’s Linear Fisheries complex, a venue that’s more popular with carp anglers but has thrown up several good roach in recent times.

It matches Keith Berry’s current British best, caught in 2006 from Northern Ireland, and tops a sensational run of redfins for Dai, who landed fish of 3lb 6oz and 3lb 5oz on the session prior.

He told us “My aim was to catch a PB, I wasn’t targeting the four-pounder but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping it might come along. The session where I had the two ‘threes’ was my fourth trip to Linear in search of roach, and it turned out to be a busy few days. I had a 3lb 6oz fish shortly before first light, then the 3lb 5oz fish next afternoon. In addition, I landed bream to 11lb 3oz, an 8lb 14oz tench and a 3lb 1oz perch. All on the maggot feeder!”

Dai returned a few days later and landed a fish that’d blow his earlier result out of the water. “The swim I was in previously was occupied so I dropped into a different area where there’s a bar at range. This is the go-to spot, so I put two rods on it, whilst the other was positioned well away, out into the open.”After landing a double-figure bream on the first evening, Dai missed a take around midday the following day. “I thought my chance was gone, but half an hour later I had a bite on the rod away from the bar and hooked what I thought right away was a big roach, judging by the characteristic ‘nods’ during the fight. When I saw a huge fish surface just beyond the net, I was on edge. It shied away before I managed to draw it to safety. I was totally blown away by its size. Compared to the three-pounders, it was ridiculous.”

Dai has had his scales calibrated and it’s been accepted by the BRFC. Standard heli-rigs with three-inch fluorocarbon hooklinks were his successful rig, but Dai did things slightly differently in terms of his feeding.

“I filled my block-end feeders three-quarters of the way with maggots, topping up with Black Roach groundbait and red Lava Rocks, both from the Sonubaits range. The rocks dissolve and produce a cloud, whilst the groundbait gives of plenty of smell, creating an attractive area of bait.”

Usually, Dai would mark-up and keep the feeders going on the same spot, but he didn’t want to build a bed of bait. Instead, he cast to an area, with the feeders landing in slightly different spots each time. “My thinking is that, if I make 10 casts a day and if they’re all in the exact same spot, I end up with a large bed of maggots on the bottom. As these big roach only feed for small windows, I want them to be focussed on my feeder and hookbait. Plus, as there are lots of carp and other fish in these lakes, all of which are waking up, so I didn’t want a pile of feed to draw a load of other species into the swim.”

Well done Dai!