Rarely caught Yateley North Lake common visits the bank!

Yateley North Lake is one of the UK’s most historic waters and is still producing some stunning fish even though the famous fish such as Bazil are long gone.

Russell Godfrey tackled the Yateley West Fishery controlled venue for this magnificent 43lb 4oz common, known as the Black Common, and it is a fish that only rarely pays a visit to the bank, so was a great way for him to break the 40 barrier for the first time.

The 35-year-old trace heater, from Farnborough, Hampshire, tempted the big ‘un, which is one of several forties in the venue, during a 24 hour session at the local venue.

Russell explained: “I turned up at the lake early on a Friday morning and bumped into a few of the other regulars, and after a bit of a walk and a chat it turned out that not a lot had been seen by anyone.

“Luckily I’d been down earlier on in the week for a walk and had seen a couple of fish show long behind an island, and I decided that as the swim that gave access to it was free, I would drop in there for the first night and see if anything showed the following morning.

“I had a lead around and found a nice clean gravel spot next to a clump of weed about 100 yards out in six foot of water, and Spombed around two kilos of chopped Sticky Baits Manila boilies, corn and pellets on it and got the rods out around mid-afternoon.

“A few hours later one of my bobbins pulled up tight and I lifted the rod and made contact with the fish, and I felt a small kick and then nothing – that one had got away!

“I topped up the spot with another two kilos of bait and got my rig back out, and at around 8pm the bobbin pulled to the top again and I was in contact with another fish, and after a hard 20 minute battle I finally slipped the net under a large common.

“On closer inspection we realised that it was the elusive Black Common which only makes a few appearances per season and I was absolutely made up to get my first UK forty.”

Russell landed it on a combi-rig constructed from 20lb IQ for the boom section and an inch of braid tied to a size 6 Wide Gape hook. A Dark Matter Heli-Leader and 15lb SUBline completed his set-up.