THE biggest roach in nearly four years was banked just before the UK went into lockdown - and here it is!

The 4 lb roach captor, specimen ace Phil Spinks, nearly didn’t bother to weigh the fish, as he accidentally caught it on a boilie while fishing for carp.

No stranger to catching big roach by design, Phil caught the fish from Homersfield Lake, on the Suffolk-Norfolk border.

Phil, 39, told Angler’s Mail: “It was a very lucky capture, as it was caught at long range on a 10 mm pop-up aimed at tempting a carp.

“I had caught a couple of decent bream and another roach when this one struck.

“Just as I netted it, I had a run on my other rod, which turned out to be a double-figure common, my only one of the day, so I had two fish in the net at once.

“I don’t usually weigh or photograph any large roach caught by accident on my carp rods, but I decided to weigh this one, as it looked such a special fish when I netted it.”

“Privileged to see a 4 lb roach”

The 4 lb roach might have been a happy accident – but it surely fell to the right man. Phil has caught many big redfins by design, and recently revealed his tactics in a Guest Instruction feature in Angler’s Mail magazine.

Phil said: “I’ve been fortunate to catch more than my fair share of big roach by design, including more than 40 weighing over 3 lb, my two best being 3 lb 12 oz.

“It left me with mixed feelings regarding the merit of the (4 lb) capture, but it was an incredible roach, and I felt privileged to see such a rare fish on the bank,” concluded the Angling Direct media officer.

Bungay, Norfolk-based Phil’s best haul of roach included fish of 3 lb 12 oz, 3 lb 10 oz, 3 lb 8 oz 8 dr, 3 lb 6 oz, 3 lb 5 oz and 3 lb 2 oz. They were all tempted on a groundbait feeder and 12 mm Sonubaits Code Red boilies, in May 2017.

Homersfield Lake fishing

Phil offers guiding sessions at the 33-acre Homersfield syndicate fishery, charging £225 a day. The session lasts from dawn till dusk, and all bait and equipment is provided.

Booking Phil is one of only two ways that non-members can fish Homersfield.

The other way is to hire their Kingfisher Lodge for a week’s holiday, once they re-open after coronavirus shutdown.

For the week May 2-9, they were charging £600 for four guests, but that was before the national crisis.

The British record roach is 4 lb 4 oz, caught from a Northern Ireland stillwater by Keith Berry, in 2006.

Phil’s 4 lb roach is the biggest since Mark McLennan’s 4 lb 1 oz specimen, caught from Norfolk’s Highbridge Lakes, in April 2016.

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