Pecking Them Out - Darrell Peck

I was keen to catch a brute of a carp that lives near Colchester. I have had a ticket for a few years but for various reasons put it off. I thought I may as well have a drive down there. After a quick lap, I located a group of fish by an island. This looked like a golden opportunity and I rushed back to the car to get my kit. Two hours later I was looking at a beautiful 35lb linear laying in the bottom of my net that had not been caught previously this season. I did the night where I caught the linear, but in the morning moved swims. I was just putting my rods out when I saw fish showing over the other side.
I had only just moved but after a little conversation with myself I remembered that the biggun had been caught the previous September from where they were showing. Nuff said, and I moved again. After I put the rods out the fish began to show further out and more regularly so I then repositioned my rods further out. Not long after I was settled I spoke with a chap who said he had been struggling. Being a nice guy I said: “there are a lot of fish around here mate”. He then went nearby just around the corner from me. To be totally honest I should have seen what happened coming. During the night matey round the corner caught the biggun at 46lb upping his personal best by 20lb.

The following week I knew my other water would still be busy so although the biggun had just been caught I had a plan that I would fish the opposite end of the lake to where it had been caught hoping to find it sulking in one of its favourite haunts. I fished for two nights in peg 5, a known area where the biggun comes from regularly. Although I saw fish during the two nights, it was clear that most of the fish were up the other end. I stayed put with one fish in mind.
I packed away Thursday morning early and baited heavily with Mainline Cell boilies along the far tree line, perhaps 7kg or 8kg, anticipating getting back late Sunday night or early Monday morning.

When I arrived Monday morning I discovered I was too late as Sunday afternoon the big one had been caught over my bait. I had only fished this lake twice this year and been close on both occasions to catching the fish I was after. I took this as a sign and returned to the other water hoping it would be quieter, but unfortunately, yet again, my target fish was caught under my nose.

Back to Colchester. I arrived before light and found that most of the popular swims were taken. Before long someone was packing up and I managed to get my tackle round into one of the popular pegs. I had a quick walk round and had a chat with a few of the lads and before long saw a few fish showing in front of peg 13. This was taken so I could either stay where I was or move in round to the left of this swim. I couldn’t make my mind up and after a while decided I would go and set up over the other side of the lake. I was just walking towards my wheelbarrow when I heard a fish crash out on the opposite side of the lake behind an island. That’ll do for me I thought as I wheeled my gear round to the swim where I caught the linear from three weeks previously.

My rods both had chod rigs and baits already attached. I knew I wanted to fish one rod by the island and that this rig wasn’t appropriate for the shallow water. The other rod however was to go to my left 10 yards down the margin towards some snags where I had seen fish at this time of year previously. I checked one of my critically balanced chod rigs in the margin and at first it hung mid water. After about 10 seconds it slowly began to sink. Perfect. I flicked it down the margin towards the snags and it landed with a reassuring clonk. I lay the rod on the floor and got my tackle box out to tie a rig for the island rod. I had literally unclipped the lid when I noticed the tip on the first rod bouncing. I was on it immediately and had to shout to get someone to come and set my net up. I soon had a mid double common in my landing net. I unhooked it in the net and let him go immediately as I was keen to get the rod back out there. The rig was still in perfect condition and I flicked it straight back onto the spot. I threw 20 freebies round it.

Soon after I had lots of people in my swim which wasn’t ideal as I was fishing close in. Luckily the guy in the next swim caught one which made everyone vacate my swim and gather in his. Result! I took the opportunity to get into my sleeping bag and keep the noise down. About an hour or so later the sun was starting to poke through and I decided to get up. I walked down to the guy next door as from there the light is better to see the fish. There were quite a few about and I noticed one particular fish that looked quite large, making a bee line for my swim. I made my excuses and went back to my rods. Five minutes later a couple of bleeps had me looking out at the island for a coot. No coot. I looked back at the rod and nothing. Then I noticed the LED on the snag rod. Before I had time to react the rod buckled in the rest and line was torn from my tight clutch. I picked up the rod and pressed my fingers to the spool trying to slow it down. The opposite happened as it raced to my right. I could feel my fingers getting hot from the friction and I was left just hanging on. Within seconds 60 yards of line was stretching across the lake. Now I was in real trouble. The island in front is only 30 yards out and the fish was just to the right and well beyond it. It began to kite left and was looking like it would disappear behind the island. As the line cut through the water I could see that I was powerless to gain enough line to prevent it going round. To make things worse, there were at least three lines hanging from a tree on the island where people had lost tackle. I wanted to lower the rod to avoid the lines as the fish disappeared behind the overhanging trees. This would have been suicide due to the amount of razor sharp muscles in this lake. I lowered the rod just enough for the line to clear the branches. I gripped the spool tightly and waited for the inevitable, for the line to part. The fish then suddenly turned and came back out into open water. I was quite concerned about the state of my line as it may well have been damaged. The biggun is well known for its incredible fighting power and I was now starting to believe that he may be responsible. It felt very heavy as I gained line slowly and drew him towards me. The fight went on for a good 20 minutes but eventually he tired and the biggun was mine.

On the scales he went 43lb 04oz. You beauty!