The next time I was able to get back was the following week with Alan Stagg (Norma) as we planned to do some product focused videos for the Gardner YouTube channel. In the end this plan was amended slightly as I was fortunate to have a couple of bites for the camera that resulted in two smashing 30lb commons. It was a thrilling morning and I half expected to get another bite before Alan headed off after a long day filming clone rigs and the like.
As it turned out things settled down and my next action didn’t come until shortly after I had wound in and let Norma out the gate. I went back and put fresh hookbaits on 2 rigs (that were still super sharp) but the middle rod rig seemed a bit less than perfect so I simply looped one of the baited Clone rigs I’d tied for the camera and chucked it over to the far margin. The half a Caviar and Cranberry pop up balancing the trimmed hookbait to perfection (have a look at the video)…
An hour later that rod pulled violently – initiating one of the most unbelievably brutal battles I think I’ve ever had. The fish exploded under the overhang 60 yards away and I put the rod tip down and to the side applying absolute maximum pressure through the bucking SP. The clutch was locked up tight and I held onto the spool, yet still it ticked off a few mm of HD. The pressure I was applying was outrageous but everything held together! A ridiculous battle ended with another enormous gigantic common wobbling into the net with an astonished carper (me) literally in shell shock at what had just happened.
The clone rig/Covert Dark Incizor hadn’t moved a mm despite the pressure that was applied and it made a change to catch a carp on something other than a Ronnie! (Perverse as that may sound). The fish was mint and I called over to that nice man Geoff Bowers (fishing in the pads swim) that this was a BIG common. The popped round, escorted by Cheeky Chubby Charlie, and the pair helped out as we weighed, photographed and returned this astonishing creature. The carp was another one of the A Team, a fish called ‘The Small Tailed Common’ that weighed in at 48lb 4oz! True Welly Magic and I was once again justifiably ecstatic.