The Buckinghamshire angler caught the fish from Brasenose 1 at Oxford’s Linear Fisheries – one of the country’s most popular venues. Whilst It’s best known for carp, specimens of a range of species also take up residence in the 32 acre lake, as Paul well-knows.
The 39-year-old arrived at the lake to find a few swims free that’d be in the teeth of Storm Debi, which was set to roll in the following day. He told us “I felt this area would give me the best chance of a big roach or two,” he explained. “I set my kit up and baited an area 50 yards out lightly with a large feeder, filled with black groundbait, maggots, chopped worm, and casters. My aim was to create a small patch of feed on the lakebed, over which I could fish two rods tightly.The first night and the following morning were quiet, but when the wind picked up in the afternoon, the fish arrived. I landed a 3lb roach, plus a 3lb 3oz perch and a few large bream that muscled in on the action. Things went quiet again that night, but the next morning I rebaited in anticipation of another busy afternoon. After recasting his maggot feeders, fished heli-style with size 14 hooks baited with three red maggots, Paul received a slow drop-back bite at 11:30am and lifted into a heavy fish, giving the tell-tale sharp headshakes of a very big roach.
The last moments of the battle were very nervous as I’d seen that it was indeed a roach, but nothing could prepare me for what lay in the net: a truly enormous roach. It’s the best fish I’ve ever caught and will likely ever catch. I’ve had my best year specimen fishing and have broken five PBs, but nothing comes close to this capture.”
The fish caps what’s already been phenomenal season for big stillwater roach, with a handful of upper ‘threes’ reported towards the end of 2023 but Paul’s redfin takes things to a whole new level and is the joint-fourth largest ever reported.
“The first fish I ever caught was a roach, so I’m thrilled to have caught one of the biggest ever reported. Landing it as a moment I’ll always remember.”
Well done Paul!