I was trying to enjoy the game, until stupidly Kieran Trippier decided to score in his own net, which was followed by more than one expletive from me directed at my iPhone screen – until I was interrupted by a drop back on the middle rod!
The previously tight line was now slack and the heavy Bug indicator firmly on the floor. I wound down instantly, still cursing the stupid own goal, whilst pulling into the rod. The strike met no resistance, so I had to rapidly retrieve more line before eventually connecting with a fast kiting fish that was determined to go around a nearby marginal tree! By now, I realised I was in a spot of bother and connected to a carp that was determined to get away. In my panic I desperately tried to get my waders on without great success and then had to pull the Mirage fluorocarbon out of the tree to my left! For some reason for which I’ll always be thankful, I got away with it and a very strong, hard fighting mirror succumbed to the waiting net. Peering in, I could see it was another typical stunner of a carp that was of good proportions too.
After safely retaining the fish and whilst assembling all the essentials needed to safely deal with her on the bank, I then galloped up the bank to the ardent Chelsea fan, Micky, who was fast asleep (?!). Remarkably, I managed to wake him up and get him to do the honours with the camera. With me trying to understand quite how a black piece of foam nailed the magnificent fish, we both admired a stunning 33lb 8oz broken linear. The night pictures can never do it justice, but we knew that we were looking at a really lovely carp.