Margin Madness - Darrell Peck

After sunning myself for a few weeks on holiday in the Canaries, I was soon back on the banks of Burghfield, in pursuit of that lovely common that swims in this vast pit.

On my return, after a good look around, the fish were still holding up in the central area of the lake. This is were they had been for quite a while now, especially as the weather was so rough. At first light, they were there, putting a display on and true to what the weekend anglers had said, they had been there for a while now.

So, I decided to plot up in the swims known as The Murder Swim, which has good access to two large islands, hoping that they might drift across. After that first night, it soon became apparent they were much further over by the sailing club. So I packed up first thing and moved round there and went into the nearest swim to the sailing club. Once I got round there, the fish were still showing extremely far out, nowhere near were I could reach, but I had a feeling that if I spent 48 hours in there and with the wind due to change, they might drift into me.

The first 24 hours passed by and with the fish still showing out of range, which is so frustrating because there is nothing you can do about, just simply get as close as possible and wait.

On the second morning, I was greeted with a really thick mist and flat calm conditions. It was one of those typical mornings when you know it’s going to get warm and the fish would pop up on the surface and travel around the lake.

Finally, I got what I was waiting for. While sitting there, listening to pigs jumping in the mist in the distance, the rod I’d waded down the margin absolutely screamed off. The fish had obviously came in on the wind over night and I was attached to a hard-fighting carp. Your first bite out of a new water is always electric; the old knees were knocking with a powerful fish charging around and my heart was in my mouth. I managed to shuffle him into the net and it looked big! Once on the scales, it pulled them round to just under 41lb. Before doing self-takes, I carefully placed him into the retention sling and tied up another rig to get it straight back out there.

I waded it back down the margin and flicked it back out, before I’d even got the waders off, it whizzed off again and would you believe it, this one went 42lb. It was another Blue-Pool escapee, but I’m not worried, I’ll happily catch fish along the way, but ultimately my goal is to catch the big common.

The pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together now, I’m well and truly back on the pulse. Keep an eye on the Korda site for my video diaries and see if the big girl comes along on my travels.

Be lucky,

Darrell Peck.