Target Mann - Jon Mann

Those of you who have read our Telling Tales yearbook (if you haven’t, why the heck not – it’s a truly lovely carp book?) will have read Jon Mann’s chapter about his quest for a certain common carp. Well, Jon finally got to grips with his obsession last week and he’s written a short news story all about it. Of course, you’ll be able to read all about Jon’s campaign in detail in our Telling Tales 2011!

“As usual, I only had one night to angle and looking at the week ahead, Thursday night promised to be the best bet weather wise. There was to be a drop in pressure with the onset of some heavy showers. Hoping that the Met Office had got its calculations correct, that was the night I felt would be the best to get out on the bank.
Thursday was spent occasionally gazing out of the windows a Korda towers at the horizontal rain, thinking that the conditions looked a lot better than they had done.
I had a swim in mind but didn’t want to assume it would be vacant on my arrival due to the swim’s popularity and the fact the lake had seen an increased amount of angling pressure.
An early escape had already been planned by avoiding a lunch break. At around four in the afternoon I was contemplating a cup of tea when Ian Bailey suggested that I really should be on my way.
This notion did not require a second thought, my water butt was charged and I was on my way. As I swung the entrance gate open, I saw to my delight that there were only four anglers on and not one of them was on my bank of choice. The handbrake had barely been tugged up than I was exiting my car to go and survey the scene. I was quickly in the desired destination looking out across the lake, but realised that I had nothing to ‘book’ the swim. I trotted back to the car to grab something as a swim holder and returned.
No sooner had I done this than another member was stood behind me after a brief chat he dropped in next door and after no further deliberation was required on my behalf. I went and fetched my gear and proceeded to get angling.
The rods were quickly despatched as I had already walked out and clipped them up to a spot where I had caught a brace of twenties from the week previous.
During the course of setting up my shelter the bait was infrequently and frustratingly despatched due the large number of feathered guardians.
This all done the kettle was on and I set about making a few notes in my dairy. By about now an hour had lapsed when an angler on the other side of the pond received a take. While he played his fish in a slight shadow of doubt entered my mind.
It was at this point I noticed my Stow bobbin was sneakily creeping up towards the rod blank just as everything was pulling tight I raised the rod and cupped the spool. There was a heavy, angry presence on the other end, which accelerated off at a rate of knots.
After a heavy steady tussle I had brought the unseen assailant in close, this is when realisation dawned on me. A large scaley flank hit the surface broad side and at that point I was nigh-on certain that the object of my desire was attached to the other end of my line. She went deep again but was soon in the folds of my net. At this point the chap that had set up next to me came wandering into the swim.
I couldn’t quite believe what was in the net but he soon confirmed the fact I had caught the one I had been after and helped me with the weighing.
The dial on my scales settled at 42lb 4oz; a new personal-best common, but that did not matter as the carp I had truly desired was on the mat and soon to be held up proud in my arms.
That quick overnighter soon turned into an evening session as I packed up and returned home for a hot bath and a cold beer.