An eight-year hunt for one of the finest day-ticket commons in the country ended for Rich Beardmore on his 30th-birthday session.
The pristine 47lb common capped a "weekend that will never be forgotten" at Quarry Pool on the Baden Hall complex in Staffordshire.
Local angler Rich told Carpfeed: "I chose to fish Quarry for my birthday and did a five-night session.
"After blanking the first two nights and seeing fish showing in the area I was fishing I changed tactics and chose to fish zigs as you could see a few hatches happening.
"This gave me my first bite at 1am on the third morning, weighing in at 28lb 6oz, and half an hour later the second at 25lb 14oz.
"Later that morning, at about 10am, I had one off a baited spot at 100yds weighing in at 24lb 8oz, but then it went quiet for a while until the next morning at about 10.30am when I had a stunning common of 15lb 14oz."
Another quiet spell followed, but then Rich began seeing fish showing closer to the bank and so cast a rod at them.
"Twenty minutes later I had a slow take and struck into something big," he said. "After seeing the fish roll in the margin and seeing it for the first time I realised it was her.
"Things went silent until she was safely in the net, but then I just had to yell out! After eight years of chasing her I finally had the pleasure of catching her.
"That weekend will never be forgotten."
This is still one of the very best commons around, and without much fat on her there's the potential she could top 50lb this year. Rich has enjoyed regular success at Baden Hall, but this is the one he really wanted. It's the perfect birthday gift!
RIG AND BAIT
- 4.5ft zig rig
- Hook: Size 8 Korda Mixa
- Hookbait: Fox Zig Aligna