For the past few weeks, I had been telling my friends that the bigun was well over due, and in the back of my head I had a feeling where she might come from. The swim that I had in mind had been in top form throughout the previous few months, so I knew that trying to get into the area for a few trips could be a bit of a struggle and would require my maximum efforts to make the most of the opportunity.

When it comes to fishing busy club waters, you have to be very sneaky, trying to beat the other anglers tactically wherever possible and with only 2 nights a week to spare (this being a Wednesday and a Thursday). I knew I had to do whatever I could. I set up in a swim on the other side of the lake and fished there for a night as this swim was centre to the lake and gave me the best view to spot if anything was to show. I spent most of the night sat up, listening to the sound of numerous amounts of shows out in front of the bank where I knew I needed to be. There was already somebody in the swim that I longed to be in, so I was gutted when I started to hear them show.

Morning arrived and I had hopelessly reeled the rods in ready to go for a walk. I slowly walked round to the bank where I had heard the fish showing and just stood and watched. After being around there for just 10 minutes it was obvious that the fish were still in front of here and I knew I needed to move. After the long journey back round to my swim, I was half way through packing up when I looked over to see that the guy in the swim I wanted to be in was packing up too. What a result!

Around 30 minutes later I found myself wheeling the barrow into the swim with a broad smug grin on my face. I found a nice couple of spots around 110 yards in range where the fish were (anybody who fishes over this lake knows that this sort of distance would usually be somebody’s ‘margin’ rod) that were nice silt, and slightly shallower and firmer than its surrounding area, so I thought these would be ideal. Nothing happened that night but I walked away positive as I knew I had got off to a good start, and that I now had something to work with.

For the next couple of weeks I was lucky enough to drop back into the swim every time I arrived at the lake. Each session I was there I continued to trickle in 4-5 kilos of 15 and 18mm CC Moore Live System boilies. It soon became clear that my spots were getting cleaner and cleaner as the carp browsed on them.

I went for a walk on the Tuesday lunchtime, with my good mate Oscar (aka Rusty), and we discussed how she was definitely going to be out within the next week or two. I knew I had to make sure I could get in the swim the following day to put myself in the frame. My friend Luke was in the swim I had been working on, and he had informed me that he was leaving later that Tuesday evening. With this in mind I was pretty confident that if I was to turn up early Wednesday morning then I’d be 99% sure of getting back into the swim.

Wednesday morning arrived and I found myself setting up in there. I started off by spombing out around 5 kilos of Live System out onto the 2 main spots. However, I wasn’t in any rush to get the rods out as I felt really ill and I wasn’t too sure whether I was going to stay or not. At around 4 o’clock, I had only managed to put one of the rods out to the spots and then decided to have a little sleep as my flu continued to progressively get worse. Nearly 2 and a half hours later I found myself being woken up by my girlfriend telling me that I needed to get the other rods out as it would soon be pitch black and wouldn’t be able to see a thing. After a little convincing and a few casts later, I was happy enough with the drops that I had received and was confident that my rigs would be fishing effectively.

The rigs I had chosen to use were pretty new to me, but I knew they had been winners in the past. Just a couple of simple D rigs tied using 20lb Mirage Fluorocarbon and size 5 Covert Dark Chod hooks. They were completed with 18mm Live System hardened hookbaits and topped off with a washed out pink pop up. Somebody I knew had done extremely well in the past fishing snow mans, so I was very confident in this method.

I had an early one that night, as I felt like I had been hit by a train, and I had decided that I was going to pack up in the morning.

At around half past 4 in the morning, I was awoken to a single bleep, followed by my clutch going into absolute over drive, and seconds later I found myself bent into a very large carp. The fight was very straight forward, just 15 minutes of very heavy lunges, and slow plodding. Finally the battle was almost over! When she came up for the net, I knew it was her! I scooped the net under what can only be described as a baby whale, and as she passed over cord, I let out a massive ‘YESSSSSS!’.

After calling pretty much every single person on my contacts, I finally managed to wake Oscar up and he came down to help me out. Obviously, I really didn’t fancy having to deal with such a large carp by myself.

After a couple of the hours with the fish being safely held in a sack, I had a sea of people round to help me to out with the weighing and the photos. After weighing her on two different sets of scales, and using a tri-pod just to be extra sure, we all agreed on a mind blowing weight of 59lb and 12oz. A new club record and most certainly a new personal best for me! Fortunately the light was perfect, and I couldn’t have wished for better photos and video footage (cheers boys!!).

That was most definitely a morning I will never ever forget.