Every now and then a catch takes place which epitomises the unpredictable nature of carp angling, and the rewards on offer for those prepared to head off the beaten track and plough their own furrow.
In May 2000 Reading-based angler Glynn Gomersall was walking round a large, deserted Berkshire pit, looking for signs of a huge carp that was rumoured to inhabit its weedy depths.
Over the previous two years Glynn had spent countless hours doing the same, with nothing to show for his efforts.
He had embarked on the quest to track down the mythical fish after hearing sketchy reports of a big mirror weighing 45lb having been caught there. Having drawn a blank, he was beginning to doubt that the fish existed… until he stumbled across the sign he’d been looking for.
Glynn told Angling Times: “I was sitting on the bank, having a rest. It was one of the most barren spots on the entire pit, one I’d passed millions of times without giving it a second glance.
“Then the waves died back, and as I stared into the lake I realised that the big, pale shape of a fish was drifting through the water, right at my feet. I broke up a few boilies and tossed them into the water. The fish upended, and started munching.”
Glynn raced home and grabbed a rod and net, and on returning set up a long leadcore rig, threaded two halved boilies back-to-back on the hair of the hook, and flicked the rig out to where he’d seen the big fish feeding.
After an hour without response, he peered up over the cover he was sitting behind, only to see the water erupt as a big fish powered off.
“I thought I’d spooked it,” he said, “but then the slack line was taken up, the rod-tip heaved round and the clutch on my reel started screaming.”
For 10 minutes the fish circled around the small bay, shaking her head and making small runs, but eventually he teased her into his waiting net.
“I’d looked at the picture in Angling Times a couple of years previously and had memorised every scale.
“At last I knew she was alive – the mythical carp did exist!” said Glynn.