Elliot Bertram smashes his PB with a colossal common!

"After finishing my first year exams at university I was debating with myself on when to return home. Looking at the weather forecast, I noticed there was a huge drop in pressure with rain and strong south-westerly winds due in the next few days. This presented a dramatic change to the current sunny, hot, high pressure conditions which had been persistent over the previous few weeks. Knowing this, I was confident the fish would be on the feed and I just had to get myself down to Fryerning.

"I arrived at the fishery late Sunday afternoon. To my surprise, it was busier than expected and I ended up in a swim known as Right Hand Point (RHP). Soon after, the fish started to show close in so I wasted no time getting my rods out. I decided to not fish too far out, as that’s where the majority of the shows were, it also meant that I left most of the swim’s water clear of line in the hope of giving the fish confidence to feed and to not push them out of the area by giving them a ‘free zone’. All 3 rods went out with the trusted IB slow sinking corn, 2 fished in a solid bag and the right hand rod as a single on a simple lead clip setup. Dusk was soon approaching and I was happy with my approach so I decided to not disturb the water any further and put bait out the next day hoping that my subtle approach would pay off.

"It wasn’t to be and the alarms kept quite that night and despite my confidence the following day my alarms remained silent with my bobbins painstakingly still. Before I knew it Tuesday morning arrived, by this time heavy rain had set in and the pressure was below 995mb, to me this presented perfect big fish conditions and remained confident that a capture was on the cards. The fish were showing all over the swim and just after 10am the right-hand rod went into meltdown and I lifted into what felt like a big fish! 15 nail biting minutes followed with the fish keeping deep in the water until finally, it made its way up to the surface and into my net. The reward for my efforts revealed itself to be ‘The Stripe’ a fish I had joked to my Dad about showing over one of my spots the previous day and it went a very pleasing 33lb 10oz on the scales. After a few trophy shots, I let my prize slip back into the calm of the lake and realizing I was now soaked through, sought cover under my bivvy.

"I was absolutely drenched from the rain and I sat on my bed trying to warm up whilst buzzing that I just caught The Stripe. Once dry and warm enough to stop shivering I was taken by surprise as the stow on my left-hand rod whacked up to the alarm and I could see the rod tip twitching; a text book bite for a crafty Fryerning lump. Reluctantly, I headed back into the pouring rain and leant into what felt like another weighty fish. It held its position out in open water and slowly kited left to right and back again, it soon became apparent that this was something special. It was unlike anything I had ever hooked before and I was blown away by its weight. After a backbreaking 15minute plod in open water, I managed to get it into the margins where I thought it was close to netting. Suddenly, the fish went on a powerful steady 40-yard run! After slowly pumping it back, the powerful fish kept deep simultaneously creating huge vortexes the size of a groundsheet, this fish felt huge! Slowly out of the depths appeared a massive head from a colossal common, I knew that this could only be one fish, the Mommon!

"I frantically reached for my net as the fish just looked at me with my two bits of corn hanging out of its scissors. The tension increased as the fish was just out of reach and took what felt like an eternity to get its huge bulk over the net cord. It was in! Finally, the fish of my dreams lay calmly in my net and overwhelmed, I let out a huge cheer of elation and relief! The adjacent angler heard all the commotion and came to help with weighing, it tipped the scales at a PB smashing 50lb 14oz, my first UK 50 and a capture I’ll always remember. Utterly exhausted after the 25minute battle, a combination of adrenaline and excitement gave me strength to lift The Mommon for some very proud pictures.
I left Fryerning after another fabulous session in a state of euphoria and thinking, I need to buy a frame!"

- Elliot Bertram