Sandhurst 30 for Darren Norman

Popular winter day-ticket water produces a stunner

Darren Norman took advantage of Sandhurst Lake’s winter form to catch this superb common.

The 32lb 10oz fish came during a two-night stay at the Hampshire day-ticket water.

The 32lb 10oz chestnut-brown common.

The 32lb 10oz chestnut-brown common.

Darren, from Rochester in Kent, said: “For my first trip of the year I decided to go to Sandhurst as I know it’s got decent form in the winter.

“Luckily for me my friend Marcus [Howarth – see pic below] was already up there and had managed to catch some fish, which made location a bit easier for me!”

The 43-year-old, known to many as Tinpot, found a clear area at 70 yards but had to brave some testing conditions before the fish arrived.

He said: “The weather was horrendous with solid rain all day, which turned to snow in the afternoon with a freezing strong wind blowing straight into the swim and a temp of -6c.

“I’ve got to admit I was seriously questioning what I was doing out in such awful conditions but that all changed when just before first light I had the bite I was praying for.

“A good fight followed but slowly I tired it out and landed an absolutely stunning dark common of 32lb 10oz to start the year off nicely.”


Sandhurst is a great winter water with a good head of fish to over 40lb. Darren and Marcus Howarth (below) fished close to the main entrance on the Swan Lane side of the lake where the water is around 6ft-7ft deep.


  • Stiff rig
  • Hooklink: ESP Ghost
  • Hook: Size 5 ESP Stiff Rigger
  • Bait: 20 spods of chopped Sticky Manilla, sweetcorn, Manilla Active Mix, Manilla Cloudy Liquid, hemp and maggots