Sam Jones 7lb 11oz Tench

Tricky fishing situations often call for a slightly unorthodox approach.. Sam Jones proved when he tempted this 7lb 11oz chub by trotting with a bubble float – a device generally used for catching carp off the top.

He was targeting the River Stort, a tributary to the Lea and had spotted one large fish amongst a shoal of slightly smaller residents before the river season opened last year. Having never had chance to target it then, he returned last week, and found the very same fish after battling through the nettles.

By steadily feeding half a pint of maggots to get it and its shoal mates feeding, he eventually had the big one at the front of the group, confidently taking. With the swim requiring a tricky cast under an overhanging bush, Sam ditched the usual stick float setup for fear of the shot and float spooking the fish and instead went for a bubble float, with no shot down the line or water added. It had just enough weight to cast his double maggot hookbait, and, after landing a smaller fish on his first run down, he hooked and landed the largest member of the shoal after a heart-stopping fight.

Well done Sam!