Jim Wilson Catches His Target!

“Arnie has always been a carp local to my home town that I’ve wanted to catch. I’ve known about him for 20-odd years but never did anything about it, despite knowing he had steadily grown into a colossal unit over the years. A couple of years ago I made steps to acquire a ticket, which I did relatively quickly and very early last spring I did a few nights on the pit, but soon got drawn back to my normal haunts.
By early May I decided to have a go for Arnie, especially when I found out he hadn’t made an appearance since last autumn, and after only my 5th night of the year on the venue I slipped the net under the one I really wanted from the lake.

It started on my first trip of the year to the lake, I’d gone for a social with my mate Al who was catching a few on the other lake on the complex, and after a cuppa with him I went for a look at the Old Lake, to see if I could see any signs of life. It was a warm afternoon with a warmish south westerly pushing into one of the corners. A quick climb into the tree tops overlooking the corner revealed that the water in the corner was heavily coloured and there were a few shapes drifting amongst the cloudy water. After a while perched in the tree watching I noticed a far bigger fish appear from left to right, within a few seconds I knew which fish it was due to the size (there’s nothing else to match Arnie for size in the lake) I spent quite a while watching and noticed Arnie dip and feed two or three times on the same spot as he drifted in and out of the corner using the same route each time. That was enough for me so I fetched the gear.
I didn’t fish the spot where I’d seen Arnie feed, just made sure I’d got it marked up and baited it, I caught from the corner that night, a stunning little mirror known as Trev’s Pet, a proper belter!
After the Arnie sighting I was obviously keen to get back, and living locally to the venue I popped back a few days later, just for a look round and the lake was quiet, so I baited the spot where I’d seen Arnie feed quite heavily.
The next fishing trip fell a few days later and the lake was relatively busy and the corner was taken although the weather didn’t feel right for that area, I fished elsewhere on showing fish and caught, but a plan was forming in my head. On packing up the corner was free so again I baited the Arnie spot quite heavily.
I pulled a few strings at work and took a day’s short-notice leave and was back at the lake with the gear four days later. The lake was rammed with only three swims free out of nine, but one of them was the corner. I didn’t jump straight in and went and assessed my options, and went for a brew with Lewis on the point swim, who was catching as he always does.
I eventually opted for the corner swim, as the best of what was free but it didn’t feel great. I baited the Arnie spot but fished the rods elsewhere for the night. The weather conditions just didn’t feel right for that area of the lake that first day and night. Things looked more promising during the following day and late afternoon I had a change around, putting a rod on the Arnie spot for the night, during the second night I had a low 20lb mirror off a different area and at first light it felt different in the area, a south westerly had picked up, blowing into the corner and it was a muggy drizzly morning. It felt right! Lewis came and sat with me about 9am and we were talking about how good it looked as we punished my tea supplies, and I said it looked that good that I needed to do a third night if I could, and started to make noises about doing an extra night. With that the middle rod on the Arnie spot burst into life, and after a relatively quick but heavy battle a big set of shoulders surfaced a couple of rod lengths out, and I think Lewis I both knew which one I was attached to!
Soon enough the king of the lake was resting in the folds of my landing net, all 44lb 12oz of him, the weight was really immaterial, it was all about that fish, and my size 4 Kurv was so well in his bottom lip he clearly had my name on him!"