Huge Common is New PB - Martin Pick

Hot on the heels of his result last week, Martin Pick has banked another PB! This time, rather than simply being his mirror PB, he obliterated his overall best with a huge common from big-carp Mecca, Wellington Country Park. We’ll hand over to Martin to tell the story of his capture of the elusive Chinese Common!

“I haven’t done much time this year, probably about ten or twelve sessions since November of last year, which makes the recent run of fish even more sweet. I got down last Sunday morning to find Welly packed, with most of the open-water swims taken. However, not much had been seen or caught, and it wasn’t long before the lake had emptied, leaving just a couple of anglers on. I wasn’t in any rush to settle, especially as the Finger Bay that I’d caught from the previous week had been unproductive over the weekend.

In my early days on Welly I’d been obsessed with dropping into the big-name swims, rather than necessarily finding the fish first. I’ve long-since recognised that this is the wrong strategy and I was determined to find fish before setting up. I think I was on my third lap of the lake when I found a couple of fizzers in a small channel between the bank and a close-in island, just round from a swim called Daisy Point. That was good enough for me, although it did seem to raise a few eyebrows, with one guy asking, “Why are you going in there?”

I wasted no time in assembling the kit and flicked a lead down to the area that they were fizzing, which was a bit closer to the bank than I’d normally fish in the channel. The lead banged down hard, so I skipped it back, attached a baited rig and soluble foam, before flicking it the few yards down the channel again. Five pouches of 10mm DT Cold Water Mix followed the rig out there and I left it to settle. I fished two rods out from the main swim too, onto an area that I knew well, at about 50 yards. All three rods were fished on the reverse-combi hinge rigs that have served me so well, with DT Zinger pop-ups on all three.

The swim stayed quiet for the rest of the day, but I heard a few once darkness had fallen over the park. At around 06:30am I had a melter on the rod fished down the channel. It was raining, but I rushed out in my socks and bent into it. Straight away I could feel the line grating on the bushes, so I had no choice other than to plunge straight in, without my waders. The improved angle did the trick and the fish came free and tanked off down the channel. Looking back, I’d certainly have lost it had I not taken the action that I did. As it was, I managed to coax the fish back up the channel and netted it safely. Initially, I thought it was a fish called the Fat Ghostie, because it was a big, light-coloured common. I popped it onto the scales and they flew round to over 53lb, which blew me away! I felt sick and had to pop the fish into the retention sling and have a brew while I gathered my thoughts.

The kettle hadn’t even boiled before I was away again on one of the open-water rods. This time the culprit was a typical Welly mirror that weighed in at 39lb 8oz! I was completely bewildered now, unable to completely believe what had happened to me. We got the pictures done and settled on a weight of 53lb 6oz for the big ’un, which was indeed a normal common, called the Chinese Common, which is one of the more elusive big ‘uns in the lake, having gone 17 months between captures a year or so ago. Over the next 24 hours I struggled to come to terms with what I’d caught; I’d often dreamt about what it’d feel like to have caught a fifty, and now it had happened I couldn’t quite believe it. I hadn’t felt like that about a fish since I’d caught Petals from Christchurch at the start of my big-fish campaign.

The Chinese was a new lake record common, and I’m hoping that I get a chance at the lake’s biggest mirror, The Turtle, before winter closes in!”