Damian's Cracked It!

Our very own Damian Clarke rocked the common carp World record recently, banking the monster common of Lac Saussaie, in France. What makes the story even more staggering is that he actually targeted the huge fish, even admitting to daydreaming about its downfall for weeks beforehand! The full story is set for greater literary purposes than a simple news piece, so you’ll have to wait for that, but here’s a brief summary…
“I targeted this incredible fish after seeing a picture of my good friend Clive Gibbins with her last year. She was simply colossal and most probably completely unique in the carp world.
The first few days of my trip were slow and it was clear that something had to change if I was going to fulfill my dream. It was time to scale things down. I tied up a few fresh rigs, with a little more finesse. I felt that something more subtle might create a few more chances. At the end of the day, French carp are pressured too and often require more thought than people imagine.
I opted for 2oz running rigs and constructed hook links from 15lb N-Trap and size 8 Kurv Shanks – much more suited to my style. I felt that the running rigs would provide something a little different. Pressured carp will often find semi-fixed leads easy to deal with as they use the weight of the lead to sling the rig. However, a running lead would act completely differently.
My hook bait choice was a potent-smelling Mainline Activ-8 coupled with a 15mm corkball pop-up (rolled by Korda’s Ian Bailey), creating a snowman presentation. Rather than scattering my baits like many anglers do, I decided to fish a tighter bed, which required great accuracy with the Eazi-Stik.
Having landed a couple of cracking fish to over 50lb I was soon latched into what can only be described as a steam train. The battle lasted an incredible two hours. Most of it was on the surface and it spent the majority of its time holding its position in the middle of the lake. This was at a range of over 150 yards. It was then that I had a real feeling that it was something special.
After some nervous moments I eventually had her in netting range and the colossal common was hammocked in the folds of my net – all 88lb of her. I tempted the beast on 12ft, 3.5lb test curve Daiwa Infinity rods, coupled with Daiwa ISO reels and 12lb Korda Kontour line. Look out for video footage of the fish on this site soon.”