Park lake success for Mark Nelson!

Mark Nelson grew up fishing with our very own Ali Hamidi, and although he doesn’t get as much time to go these days he still hasn’t lost his touch and recently landed a fantastic 48lb 4oz mirror from a lake in Kent!

They fished together as schoolboys and have stayed best friends ever since, and it was Ali who suggested that Mark give this particular water a go, due to family and work commitments limiting his time on the bank, and he had been getting amongst some of its residents before the big one came along.

Mark revealed: “We met at school in Colchester at the age of 12 and soon became best friends, and in the early years I spent most of my time on a park lake that held small carp to 7lb, and would spend many an evening running home from school and cycling to the lake as quickly as possible.

“As we grew older Ali encouraged me to join Layer Pits and start fishing for larger carp, and that was the beginning of our fishing together as a team until we headed off to university some years later. We would take any opportunity to be beside the lake and test new ideas and methods, working together to ensure the best results possible, but always maintaining a level of competitiveness regarding the most and the biggest fish. We would also have some fun along the way, like the day I laid a trail of bait into Ali’s bivvy, which the swans happily obliged to eat, until Ali woke and started screaming at them - and me!

“Twenty years on from our boyhood fishing days in Essex, both of us are now married – Ali was an usher at my wedding – and I have a young family which keeps my spare time fully occupied. In 2011 I discussed this problem with Ali as I was keen to find a local lake that would provide a challenge and had a head of large carp, as well as being able to take the family without disturbing other anglers, and he suggested the water that I’ve been fishing ever since.

“I had to wait a couple of years to get my night ticket, and in 2014 although I hooked a few I was struggling to land them and I clearly needed to amend my tactics. I returned in 2015 after testing some new rigs on a water in France, and soon broke my UK PB with a fish of 36lb 14oz, which came on the Mainline Hybrid bait.

“Work took over my life in 2016 and I only managed a week in France, and then this year I headed back to the park lake to chase my UK 40! It is sometimes strange how things work out, and despite planning to leave work early on the Friday I ended up arriving at 7pm, and all the swims I’d like to have fished were already taken, so I re-packed the car and headed home.

“I was lucky that my wife encouraged me to try again on the Sunday evening and the whole family headed to the lake, and the swim that I wanted to fish was free, so I got my spots sorted out and baited with some Mainline Hybrid, and the rods were out a couple of hours before it got dark. I was using rigs tied with size 4 Krank hooks to N-Trap Semi-Stiff hook links.

“At 9pm as the light was fading my left-hand rod screamed off and after a good fight I landed a 21lb common. This was not something I’d been expecting, as most of the fish I’d had previously had come early in the morning.

“After getting the rod back out I got my head down for some sleep, and was awoken four hours later when my middle rod leapt into life, and as soon as I bent into the fish I immediately realised that it was a better one, as it went where it wanted and kept its head down.

“Twenty minutes later I was starting to win the battle when everything suddenly went solid and I was fearing the worst, but I changed the angle of pressure and managed to work her loose, and after another ten minutes she slid into the net.

“I knew it was a good fish, but it was only when I tried to lift her from the water that I realised just how heavy it was, and I weighed her at 48lb 4oz. I took some self-takes and contemplated texting Ali, but as it was 3am I wasn’t sure his wife would appreciate it, so I waited until the morning!”