Bundy's Brace - Ed Betteridge

After a tough time of it away from the bank, Ed Betteridge bounced back in the most stunning style possible, banking a huge brace of Cambridgshire commons. Here’s how the trip unfolded…

“After 24 hours without any action and drinking black tea due to leaving my milk in the fridge at home, I decided I had to wind in and nip down to the local shop for a pint of whole milk. The fish had been most active during the evening period, so to make the most of my time and optimism, I decided to bait up the swim before I left and minimise the disturbance later.
Once I returned from the shop I had a walk round the lake, which meant the swim was rested for about 2.5 hours in total. I reposition the rods to the baited spots; the last one took three casts to get right. Once in position I sunk the line and adjusted the clutch, yet before I had chance to clip the bobbin on, the tip arced round. I instantly thought a pike was the culprit, as it was attracted by the sinking lead and had taken the bright pop-up. The first powerful run leant credence to this theory, but I shortly realised from the heavy slow plodding that I was attached to a carp, and a good one at that!
After a prolonged battle where I had to play the fish quite heavily due the some nasty underwater obstacles, I finally had a very big fish gasping over the net. As I lifted, the fish turned and he was balanced on the net cord and could go one way or another. Unfortunately, the fish ended up the wrong side and continued to fight hard with its second wind. I started to think that it could be one of those hard-luck stories of the one that got away, but the hook held, as did the line, even though it was badly frayed from rubbing on a sharp bar, and I got the fish into the waiting net. On the bank I recognised her as Hole in the Dorsal and she registered a new top weight of 45lb 6oz. I was over the moon to have banked her because she looked stunning in the evening light and it meant that I have now had fish of over 45lb from five different counties.
Little did I realise that she was just the start of the action and I received five more bites to finish with fish of 17lb, 20lb, 27lb 6oz 30lb 8oz, 45lb 6oz and yet another 40lb common to complete my first ever 40lb brace. The second forty came at dawn in the shape of the Ant Common and weighed in at 41lb 10oz, which was her first time over the milestone weight. I don’t think I could have asked for a better-looking brace of commons and Joe Easton did a fantastic job with both sets of pictures.
The successful rig was a Hinged Semi Stiff rig tied up with N-Trap Semi Stiff and 25lb Mouth Trap to a size-6 Choddy Hook. I used a 4oz Grippa lead on a leadclip with 15lb Touchdown main line, which held up well in the snaggy swim. The bait was a 16mm Mainline Hybrid pop-up and I got through 10kg of the matching food bait during the session. Reels were the Penn Affinity 7000ltd and despite the short casting distance I opted for the 13ft 3.5tc Greys AirCurves to allow me more control of the fish and to stop it reaching the obstacles.”