UPDATE: Dave Lane has told Carpfeed the fish he had from Sonning (see ante-penultimate photo in this piece) is NOT the same fish as the one caught from the Thames.
Unsurprisingly, news of Ash Geden’s incredible Thames linear (his second river 40 in three weeks!) has set tongues wagging.
Due to the nature of rivers there’s always a tantalising air of mystery and romance surrounding big-carp captures from running water.
However, many noted fish can be traced back to the lakes they’ve escaped from. The incredible River Aire 50-pounder, for example, was washed into the Yorkshire river from Eric’s Willows Lake.
Through the years there have been plenty of noted nomads, like the infamous Dippy, which was deliberately moved into the River Gipping.
The Thames Valley is full of carp lakes, and incidents like the massive summer floods of 2007 have seen plenty of stillwater fish end up in the river. That summer, the Barnet Fish from Reading DAA’s Whistley Mill was caught 50 river miles away in the Thames at Kingston Bridge.
So, where did Ash’s incredible 44lb 14oz linear come from? Carp legend Dave Lane reckons it may well be from Sonning.
When Rob Hughes shared our story of the fish on Facebook last night, Dave commented: “I’m fairly sure I’ve had this one from Sonning in 2002 at 34lb.
[UPDATE: Dave has now checked his photos and believe it is NOT the same fish. He told Carpfeed: “I have just checked and this is definitely NOT the same carp. There is a bald patch on the tail root of the Sonning fish I had.”]
Sonning, to those unfamiliar with its place in carp history, was the 300-plus-acre home to an incredible fish known as the Eye, which rocked the fishing world when it turned up out of the blue at 52lb in 2000.
The venue is still fishable but was extensively redeveloped to create a rowing course - leaving the fate of its carp a bit of a mystery.
A thread on the Anglers Forum (previously the RMC/Cemex page) suggests a few Sonning fish, including a linear, have ended up in the Thames.
One user, exkingsmeadchef, posted this image showing a linear caught from Sonning and the Thames. Is it the same fish that Ash caught? Perhaps it’s a different linear.
So, the natural question to end on is does the massive Sonning Eye currently swim in the Thames with its former lake brethren? Now there’s a thought…