Long common is Penning's winter prize

Long common is Penning's winter prize

Adam Penning capped a memorable winter campaign with this lengthy common weighing 42lb.

Back in November, the Carpfeed contributor identified the carp as his winter target and has fished the busy Essex club water it lives in at least once a week for the last four months.

“She’s about 4ft long and with the most amazing head and over-slung mouth,” said Adam, “In my opinion one of the most incredible commons in the country and I couldn’t believe I’d caught her!”

Explaining his approach to the venue, the angling author and consultant said: “It’s a water that has reasonable winter form and a good stock level. I wouldn’t class the lake as being too difficult, so I decided from the outset that the only way I was going to have a chance of catching the big girl would be to play the numbers game.

“On my final session I managed to breach the magical 50th-fish barrier I was aiming for, making it my most successful winter campaign in a very long time!

“I was buzzing when the 51st fish turned out to be a common of 38lb and I wondered if it could get any better.

“Three hours later it did, when after a twitchy bream-like bite I finally hooked my target fish which put up an epic 35-minute battle in the crystal-clear water.

“After ten minutes or so I caught sight of the fish, so the fight was pretty tense from then on.

No wonder Adam’s smiling. What a fish!

No wonder Adam’s smiling. What a fish!

“Eventually, though, fish number 52 was in the net, the big girl at an impressive 42lb!

“Interestingly I caught her from a spot very close to the bank where I had seen a large fish cruising past previously, whereas all my other captures had been from open-water areas.

Adam used what he described as “the most basic rig imaginable”, consisting of a 1oz lead and a braided knotless-knot hooklength.

He used a small Sticky Manilla wafter hookbait topped with maggots and a small PVA mesh bag of crumbed Manilla and pellets.

A great shot of a great fish

A great shot of a great fish