Darryn Stolworthy 18lb Bream

A string of specimen bream catches topped by an 18lb monster proves that there’s no better time than now to smash your personal best.

With the onset of cooler weather the nation’s slabs have gone on a feeding frenzy and as a result, some truly impressive catches are now being made.

The first and by far the largest catch fell to Angling Direct-backed specimen hunter Darryn Stolworthy in the form of this 18lb beauty taken from a southern gravel pit.

It was the biggest of six double-figure bream taken by Darryn in his 48-hour session – with the other fish weighing in at an impressive 12lb 13oz, 14lb 14oz, 15lb 3oz, 16lb and 17lb 2oz.

Speaking to Angling Times, Darryn explained his session: “I got to the swim first thing on Saturday morning and I thought I could see tench and bream rolling on a spot around 80 yards from the bank.

“I didn’t put any bait out there until Saturday tea time and decided with a bait boat instead of a Spomb to avoid spooking the fish, which were very active at this point.

“For feed, I introduced caster, chopped worm, maggot, corn, mini boilie and groundbait – but instead of filling it in I only put in around three-four handfuls of bait.

“I just wanted to fish for one bite at a time.”

It was a tactic that soon proved efficient for the Norfolk-based angler as by 6:00 am the following morning one of his rods ripped off with an 8lb 6oz tench, however, his next bite proved to be from something altogether more special.

“At 9:30 am a received a single bleep followed by slack line… a few minutes later a new personal best bream of 18lb lay in my net – I was shaking, “Darryn added.

“By 3 pm I’d caught five other big doubles as well as a 34lb 10oz carp – I just couldn’t believe it. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, you couldn’t have got worse conditions for bream! Due to family commitments, I had to shoot off but I could easily have stayed. It was a freak catch that I’ll never forget.”

All of Darryn’s fish fell to fake caster and maggot hookbaits fished helicopter style in conjunction with a 2oz lead.