MIKE MORTIMORE thinks this 2 lb 14 oz roach might have gone over 3 lb but it had recently been attacked by an otter... and luckily escaped.

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The 53-year-old, from Ringwood, tempted the jumbo river roach from his local Hampshire Avon.

The famous southern angling venue has been nursed back to a viable river roach fishery, largely through the dedicated efforts of the Avon Roach Project.

Mike said: “It is a PB by miles – my best before this was 1 lb 8 oz.

“I fished a slack by the bridge in Ringwood.

“Rich from Ringwood Tackle weighed and photographed the fish, which he said has come out twice this winter and once at 3 lb.

“The fish had been attacked by an otter removing a large section of its tail.

The roach showed a slash near its tail, beloieved to have been caused by an otter.

The impressive river roach showed a slash near its tail, believed to have been caused by an otter.

“I think it would have gone 3 lb without the damage.

“It’s such a shame about the damage but hopefully it survives.

“It fell to a single red maggot in a 20 g feeder with a 2 lb hooklink on a 16 hook and was my only bite on a two-hour trip,” added the firefighter.

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