Two 40lb-plus commons from two different lakes!
Every year Marcus Clark fishes a long session during late spring, and this year it resulted in some amazing fish from several different waters over the 11 nights, including two commons topping the 40lb mark!
Marcus kicked things off with a superb 43lb 2oz common from Dinton Pastures’ White Swan Lake, and then flitted between several other waters, trying to get on some fish that weren’t spawning, before dropping onto a lake on the way home to the Midlands, and ending up landing the big ‘un at 46lb 12oz!
He revealed: “I arrived on the banks of White Swan for the start of my annual long spring session, and up until that point it had been a slog with the fish not playing ball, despite managing to get on them regularly.
“I broke the deadlock the previous week with a lovely 30lb stockie, so the pressure was off slightly. On my first lap of the lake I found a few fish showing up at one end, but the area was already stitched up with other anglers and I didn’t fancy trying to drop in between them. A change of weather was due so I moved away from the pressure and into an area where I was sure they would turn up once the new weather arrived.
“The first 24 hours was a total washout, but then the wind changed direction and carp arrived in numbers that evening. I sat up until 2am when I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer, and it felt like they had barely shut when the Delkim let out three single bleeps, but it was actually 4am. I decided to get up and check it and found that my line was now pointing left of where it had been and I quickly lifted into a heavy resistance.
“The carp had found a weedbed but I soon managed to free it, and after a short battle she was in my net and I knew that I had my first Dinton forty. That was confirmed when the needle settled on 43lb 2oz for this glorious, dark common.
‘I’d had the fish on a multi-rig, which I tied using a Wide Gape hook to 30lb N-Trap Soft, with a Hybrid lead clip and a 20lb IQ2 leader. I’d placed the rig onto a very smooth, clear area which had obviously been fed on recently.
“The remainder of the session was quiet as the fish moved again, and soon my three nights were up and I packed up and drove to my other water in the Lea Valley. As it was a Friday it was busy but I did find some fish in a secluded bay, but they drifted off at dusk, so I ended up doubling up with a good mate and having a social to celebrate my recent result.
“I drove back to Dinton on the Sunday morning and the first thing I did was have a much-needed shower, but unfortunately this cost me dearly as I missed out on my preferred swim by a matter of minutes. Whilst I managed to land a couple of bream, including a mid-double, plus three tench, the guy who beat me to the swim had a staggering four fish up to 32lb.
“A few of us then decided to have a social on Linch Hill’s Christchurch as the fish had apparently spawned a couple of weeks before, but a quick walk round revealed that they were grouped up and chasing each other, so I headed back to the Lea Valley. I dropped onto some showing fish but nothing happened during the night, and by 9am I could hear them splashing around in the shallows and watched them spawn for a few hours.
“With the fish on my southern waters all spawning I decided to drive back towards home, but on the way I thought I’d take a look at a water that I hadn’t fished in over six years. That turned out to be a great decision as I saw a carp feeding on tench spawn in the first swim I walked into – there are only 15 carp in ten acres, and only 11 of those have visited the bank.
“It was too good an opportunity to miss, so I ran back to the car and was soon set up in this shallow, forgotten corner of this busy lake. That night I landed a proper old warrior of a mirror at 25lb, with dark, mottled skin like sandpaper.
“I was over-the-moon as these carp aren’t easy to catch, but had also seen the big girl – a mid to upper forty common – showing in my swim that day, so I decided to stay on for the last two nights of my abnormally long session.
“Over the next 36 hours I landed countless tench, but the big girl was still about so was hopeful. At 7pm on the last evening she showed again straight over my left hand rod, and within ten seconds it was away.
“Knowing exactly what was on the other end, my knees were like jelly during the fight, especially as she put up a great scrap, but she finally succumbed and on the scales this brute of a common went 46lb 12oz!”
Both of Marcus’ fish from this weedy bay were landed on running chod rigs with 6-7ft of 20lb IQ2, with a Heli-Safe being essential for dropping the lead and landing them. His hook links were tied using 25lb MouthTrap.