Target Man - Ed Betteridge

I have fished Stoneacre in pursuit of Choco for three years and three weeks, in which time I have clocked up 188 nights and managed to land 76 fish (a few were recaptures) out of a stock of around 80 fish. This whole process has cost me over £6000 in tickets and diesel and I have clocked up 12,000 miles and 200 hours on the road traveling there and back. I’ve used over half a ton of boilies and I must have walked the 50 acre lake over 300 times, climbing numerous trees and baiting spots on my way… so I really feel that I have earned this capture. I must admit that I started to doubt that it would ever happen, though. I can't describe the feeling when I realised my quest for Choco had ended, I suppose the closest words would be elation and relief!
I caught Choco on a Vision Baits Ocean Protein pop-up over two or three kilos of free offerings at a range of 150 yards that I reached with my Greys Torsion 13ft 3.5tc rods. The rig was a hinged stiff rig made up with a size 8 Choddy hook, 20lb Mouth Trap, 20lb IQ and a Hybrid lead clip with a 5oz Tournament lead.
The last year or so has been unbelievable for me. In the last 13 months I have caught two 39lb 8oz commons and mirrors of 44lb 14oz, 46lb 8oz, 48lb, 48lb 6oz and now my ultimate fish and what I believe is the best looking fish in the country - Choco at 49lb 12oz. All these fish have been from British waters and most were from waters that are classed as hard to catch from.