Damo's New PB!

Last week I was lucky enough to be able to take another trip over to France to fish a lovely 25-acre lake with a most impressive stock of fish. I was a couple of days into the session and felt like it really wasn’t going to happen in the swim I was in. So, at first light, I was up and checking out a couple of the small bays that are at either end of the lake. In the furthest I found a small group of fish feeding and with a great deal of effort caught nothing! However, later that same day I found three fish while checking out the vast amount of overhanging trees and snags that line one bank. The first was a mirror of about 30lbs, the second was another mirror I recognised as a fish that had been recently caught at 75lbs. But the one that stole the show was an absolute beast of a common. As I sat among the branches the beams of sunlight cut through the dark shadows of the trees, picking out the scales like a torch beam. I was so close to it I could see every detail of this massive fish, including what looked like a black leaf on its back. A plan was required! Not too far away was a spot that I could move my tackle to and easily make the cast to this snaggy tree. Within a couple of hours I was moved and everything was set up once again. By now it was late in the day and I took a quick walk back round to the tree just to see if the fish were still present. I was hoping they’d moved out so that I could position a rod without fear of spooking them. If all went to plan and with similar weather conditions expected the following day, when they turned up to lay among the branches a well-positioned hook bait and free offerings would be waiting for them. The rigs and tackle were very simple; 12lb Kontour main line fished slackened off but locked up on the reel so no line could be taken should I receive a take. Toward the rig I used a Hybrid lead clip, with eight inches of rig tube. The hook link was tied up using 20lb N-Trap with a size 6 Kurv Shank Kaptor, a double tiger nut hook bait that was neutrally balanced, with a small piece of cork inside them. This was fished KD style but with a large piece of putty moulded around a sinker two inches from the hook to hopefully drag the hook point down. This is a rig that I have had a lot of success on at home and abroad over the past 18 months. I made a few casts to the bush to get the line clipped up, then it was on with the rig and out under the leaves first cast. The lead impacted the lake bed with lovely thump...
As the sun burned its way through the early morning mist a few bleeps on the Delkim had me out of the bag and on the rod in a split second, pulling this unseen beast away from the sanctuary of the roots and overhangs. A slow and dogged fight followed until the fish was circling under the rod tip. I was wondering what I might be attached to when, without warning, a massive golden common came up, thrashing the water and charging its way around the weed beds at the edge of the swim. After what could be described as ‘tense’ moments the fish was in the safely held within the confines of my net. Over the years I have been lucky enough to catch a few carp that have simply stopped me in my tracks and this one was no exception. I’d guesstimated the fish at 65lbs from the trees and in the net it looked truly enormous. There is nothing more exciting than feeling the weight of something so big you struggle up the bank with it! She weighed 61lbs 6oz and looked absolutely glorious in the early morning sun, a capture I’ll remember for a very long time!

Tight lines