My most memorable catch will always be this common back from May 2013. It was around the time I was taking my exams. I had started fishing an extremely hard, low stocked gravel pit that was packed with weed in the September of 2012 and to be extremely honest, I hadn’t a clue what I was in for. After hearing a little bit about the lake and after seeing a few fish that had been caught from there, I was destined to catch one. Unfortunately I lost one on my fifth night!

The winter over there was shocking. Not a single fish was spotted and not a single fish was caught up until about March. By this time, I had started to gain a little bit of information on the lake and started to learn more and more. I can remember arriving at the lake on the first weekend of May and was told some news that a good friend of mine had finally caught one from there (after an extremely hard winter). Although very pleased for him I was also a little bit gutted as he had now caught one and I hadn’t, which meant I needed to up the game. The following weekend I arrived at the lake on a Monday, planning to do a few nights as I was now on study leave. On the Tuesday morning I had to reel in the rods as I had an exam at about 9am. When I arrived back at the lake, I walked into my uncle’s swim and he had informed me that he had caught a lovely 34lb common about an hour after I had left. This was good to know as I wasn’t fishing too far away from him. After clipping my rods back up to the spots, I began to get the rigs ready. On both rods I used two basic hair rigs tied using size 6 Mugga hooks, size 8 Covert Kwik-Lok swivels and 25lb Sink Skin hook links. These were attached to two four foot lengths of 45lb Heavy Plummet leadcore, fished lead clip style. A couple of casts and a few PVA foam nuggets later and the rods were out.

The weather that night was awful, so I spent 99% of the evening brolly bound (except for when my brolly took off!). I woke up around 7am to a very miserable morning; lots of misty rain and very dark skies. After sitting there for a while drinking cups of tea, I received a phone call from my uncle who stated that he was making sure I was awake for the run that I was going to have at 9 o’clock. I did have a slight chuckle to myself as 9 o’clock was the time he had a run the previous morning. A short while later, he told me that he was going to hang up now and insisted I phoned him to tell him how big it was. Within a couple of minutes, I was extremely shocked when I was greeted with the sound of three bleeps from the alarm. Sure enough it was away! After a short weedy battle the 12lb GR60 did itself proud and greatly assisted me with landing a very beautiful common! A couple of phone calls later and a few of my good friends arrived to give me a helping hand. The fish swung the scales round to 33lb 6oz and after a few quick snaps, those long cold blank nights were soon forgotten about! I must say that it was a very happy morning for me and definitely one I will remember!