We rewind to spring 2000 for a tale of obsession from the peerless Terry Hearn…
The lengths some top carpers will go to in order to achieve their targets can be mind boggling.
And when it comes to reserves of sheer determination and commitment, few anglers have more of either commodity than Terry Hearn.
A perfect example of this was his April 2000 capture of a relatively unknown fish he called the Toadless leather. The fish’s name is a playful twist on its home, Frogmore Fisheries.
The period of time around the capture was a particularly bountiful one for Terry, who followed this one up with another lump of over 45lb from a different lake in a different county within seven days.
Back to the Toadless. Terry recounted the tale of how he caught the 40lb 14oz leather in his regular Carp Crew feature in Angling Times.
He said: “I’d been tracking this carp for two years, since I saw a picture of it in Angling Times. I had no idea where it lived, but then a friend mentioned the name of a lake in Hertfordshire that he believed held a 40lb leather.”
During the winter Tel made numerous trips to the four-acre lake in a bid to build up an idea of its topography and inhabitants.
It soon became clear that there were very few carp present, with records showing that the ‘Toadless’ was likely to be one of just three present. The other two recorded fishing being a 24lb common and a 17-pounder.
Tel identified an area that he thought the big one favoured.
“The area was a deep corner that was hemmed in among some small islands. It was a spot that was very hard to fish to from most swims.
“I baited it with 3lb of 10mm and 15mm Monster Pursuit boilies and returned three days later armed with chest waders so that I could fish from one of the dot islands overlooking the bay.
“I positioned simple pop-up rigs over the top, with no loosefeed. Just seven hours later one of the rods powered off, dragging line from my tight clutch.
“I had quite a job landing the fish as I had to guide it over a shallow bar and past a couple of small islands.
“Thankfully nothing went wrong and as she sailed into the net I turned round to my mate Nick Helleur and told him: ‘That’s her!”