IS this the biggest haul of specimen roach ever? It's certainly one of the very best we've heard of.

Phil Spinks topped the amazing roach haul with a 3 lb 12 oz giant with back up fish of 3 lb 10 oz, 3 lb 8 oz 8 dr, 3 lb 6 oz, 3 lb 5 oz and 3 lb 2 oz.

The 36-year-old who works in the Norwich branch of Angling Direct has been pursuing the water’s shoals of large redfins for some while.

He had recently made a video for his company demonstrating his technique and capturing two 3 lb pounders for the camera topped by an 3 lb 11 oz fish.

Phil explained: “I like to watch for places where fish are moving at dawn and dusk and fish out into open water, using a groundbait open-end cage feeder on a heli-rig with 2-3 inch fluorocarbon hooklink with a 1 lb test curve rod.

“The bigger roach are always in open water and the heavy trace does deter the small roach and carper’s catch the 3 lb roach on 15 lb line.

“At this water you can’t put too much bait in and I start by putting out ten Spombs of crumpled boilies, sweetcorn and a few maggots, and sometimes top up. I find that pellets tend to attract too many bream.

“You need to be accurate with your baiting up so I use markers on the line to ensure I’m always casting to the right places.

“If bites slow up, just put out more bait,” he added.

How the roach catch ranks

Top spessy hunter Duncan Charman who once had the same roach twice in two years from Great Frensham Pond in Surrey at 3 lb 15 oz and 3 lb 13 oz, thinks Phil’s catch is historic.

Duncan said: “I’m not aware of a bigger haul than this anywhere for decades.

“Five or six years ago 3 lb-plus roach were being caught regularly at Lynch Hill Fishery in Oxfordshire and there were some impressive bags of fish but I don’t know of any that could beat this.

“The UK record for a DNA tested roach is still open at 3 lb 12 oz but this would require a scale being taken and analysed,” he added.

Watch Phil in big roach action

Below is a video Phil produced for Angling Direct, the giant fishing tackle chain. Check it out for an up close look at his style of fishing and top tips for bigger roach.

This is a short version of the full story that appeared in Angler’s Mail printed magazine. Get the magazine every week for exclusive columns, top tips, big news, best products, and venues that are in form.

CAUGHT A BIG FISH OR GOT VIEWS ON THIS CATCH OR ANGLING GENERALLY? Email exclusively to: anglersmail@timeinc.com – you could appear in the must-read weekly Angler’s Mail print magazine.