Richard Eyles, 18lb 12oz Bream

It’s an ancient old thing that comes out a few times each season, and is the only one in the lake.

Keeping an eye on the water and scaled down tactics certaintley proved pivotal for Richard Eyles as he banked this immense 18lb 12oz bream.
He told us “The fishing had been slow on my water – the historic Pan Lake, in Kent. I’d been after carp, but with very few fish being caught over the last few weeks, I was keeping an eye out for other species.
When I joined the lake earlier this year, I remember seeing pictures of a huge bream that it holds. It’s an ancient old thing that comes out a few times each season, but perhaps most unusually, it’s the only one in the lake. It’s a proper old character, with deep bronze flanks and a red belly, and it was one I really fancied catching. So, when I was struggling on a recent session, I noticed a few fish roll over a spot close-in. Most of them were tench, but among them was something I was certain was a bream – the bream.
I reeled in one of the rods, did away with the heavy carp rig, and scrambled around in my tackle box for components to make a lighter rig. I tied on a longer hooklength of supple braid to a size eight hook and searched my bait boxes for something suitable. A bit of fake corn would have been ideal, but plastic baits aren’t allowed on the lake, so I found a small yellow boilie and trimmed it down until it resembled the desired shape. After clipping on a light 1.5oz lead, I introduced a few spombs of hemp and corn over the area and got the rod into position.
The first few fish I caught were tench, but I stuck at it and eventually my patience was rewarded with a steady take. The fish I’d hooked gave a pretty spirited fight, and so I wasn’t exactly sure what it was. I had my suspicions though, and as it neared the net, I saw the bulk of this huge bream coming across the surface. In the folds of the mesh lay the fish I was after – an immense creature with a deep red belly and plenty of stories to tell.
I couldn’t believe it’s proportions, and weighing in at 18lb 12oz, it’s a magnificent fish I’m elated to have caught. I’m so glad I scaled down my gear after seeing it roll!”