Kingy Bags Arfur - Martin King

Yateley Angling Centre’s Martin King recently drew a line under his time on the super-tough Car Park Lake, by banking its most elusive resident, Arfur Tail at 44lb 12oz. He takes up the story…

I’d been baiting a margin spot between Dessies and the Islands swim all year. My steady trickle of bait had drawn the attention of several of the lake’s stock and I’d had fish feeding there practically all year! I’d seen my target, Arfur, feeding on the spot, but she doesn’t like to feed with others, so I knew that I’d have to bide my time and wait for the right opportunity.
James Davies had been fishing the Islands so, rather that interfere with his angling, I waited for him to leave before setting up. I knew that Arfur loved it in there and that it was simply a matter of time before she got back in there.
When I caught the Baby Orange from the spot back in September I was sure that I’d blown my chances. After I caught the big common at 38lb, it took me a month of baiting and not fishing to get Arfur confident on the spot again. I’d been watching the spot all day and I’d seen nothing, which was strange. However, I though that should Arfur sneak in, I’d have a great chance of banking her because she’d be on her own. I’d noticed that Arfur seemed to be unsure of my bait latterly, and I decided that it was probably the pellet that was unsettling her. I knew that she loved her hemp, so I’d been introducing some hemp, maggots and crushed tiger nuts instead.
I lowered my small PVA bag just 2ft out onto the spot. After settling the rod, I turned round to sort the rest of the kit out and the rod just melted off! Whatever was on the end must have sneaked in when my back was turned. The initial run was mental; it just wouldn’t stop. I managed to slow it and when I got it turned, it just came in. I had seen a big, pale shape go in front but wasn’t sure if it was a dusting of silt. There was one point when I thought, “That could be Arfur”. It was nerve wracking, but I had to put the rod down at one point, to clear some weed that had built up on the top of the leadcore leader. With the net flat on the lake bed, I eased the fish towards me. She just started to waddle over the net and I scooped Arfur up!
A lot of people went onto the Car Park for Heather, but Arfur was always the one for me. That’s it for me on the Car Park as I’ve had a lot of the commons as well. I’d love to catch the Big Orange, but that’s such an unpredictable fish and life’s too short!”
Martin tamed Arfur on a balanced tiger, presented on a long hair. He used a size-six Kaptor Wide gape, which is a pattern that has caught a fair few Car Park fish over the years! A 3oz flat inline pear lead completed the setup. Many congratulations from all at Korda Martin!