Joe Royffe 15lb 14oz Bream

“The action continued during the night resulting in a further seven double figure bream

Some people would love to land one or two double figure bream during a session, but Joe Royffe couldn’t really plan for what was going to unfold on a recent bream session.

Joe explains – “With a new weather front forecast to come in, and after having already banked my 3lb 3oz Rudd from the Cam, I decided to turn my attention to big bream in the Lee Valley and make the most of the perfect conditions that were heading in. I pre baited my chosen swim the day before the session, where I spombed out approximately 8kg of pellets and a grubby type groundbait to the back of a gravel bar at 65 yards range. The following evening, I arrived at the venue, and the conditions looked perfect – overcast with a strong south westerly wind blowing straight into my bank.

At 9pm the rain had well and truly set in for the night, when I banked my first bream of the session of 11lb 12oz, followed by two smaller bream a short while after of around 8-9lbs each.
The action continued during the night resulting in a further seven double figure bream making their way to the bank weighing: 11lb 3oz, 11lb 6oz, 11lb 10oz, 12lb 1oz, 12lb 4oz, 12lb 7oz, and 13lb 12oz, but it was at 1.30am that I landed my eleventh bream of the night tipping the scales at a huge 15lb 6oz.

The following afternoon, I spombed out a further 50 balls of groundbait over the area, in preparation for the next night. Just after 8pm on the second evening, the action resumed once more and I had another six bream before midnight including fish of 12lb 15oz, 12lb 11, 12lb 7oz, 11lb 13, along with two smaller fish that I estimated were below 9lbs. The bites then dried up, and I thought that was it for the rest of the night, but at around 2.30am, I had a few bleeps on the buzzer before it progressed into a one toner.

It was pretty obvious from the moment that I picked the rod up that I was connected with another very large fish and after about five minutes battling it in the wind and heavy rain, this huge bream sailed into my waiting landing net! Looking down at it almost in disbelief, I pretty much knew straight away that the fish was going to be well over 15lbs, and my thoughts proved correct when the scales revealed 15lb 14oz! – A new personal best for the species.

To have caught two different 15lb+ bream in a single session, along with twelve additional double figure “back up” fish as well, I think is quite remarkable, as sessions like these are extremely rare, particularly in the Lee valley.

It was an exceptionally rare, less than 48 hour, “Red Letter” session, on a tough, low stock, Lee valley gravel pit, with eleven bream the first night, followed by another seven fish on the second night, and I think I must have caught the majority of the big bream in this water in just this session alone!

In total I had 18 bream, with 14 of them well into double figures.
An absolutely amazing session that has left me truly overwhelmed and chuffed to bits.

All of the fish fell to 3 x artificial “bloodworm red” maggots hair rigged on a size 14 Drennan Specimen Plus hook tied to 4 inches of 12lb ESP “SOFT GHOST” Fluorocarbon in conjunction with a 2.5oz inline maggot feeder, set up helicopter style.”