Biggest common in the UK leads flurry of Avenue giants

Biggest common in the UK leads flurry of Avenue giants

A 64lb common led the way as a Shropshire venue produced three fish over 54lb in two days.

The Avenue switched on in style with a string of big fish gracing the banks.

Mike O’Neil bagged the biggest with the capture of Tarka at exactly 64lb. He followed it up with a 46lb 11oz mirror for an incredible brace of 110lb 11oz.

 Britain's biggest-ever common at 64lb

Britain's biggest-ever common at 64lb

It's the heaviest recorded weight for Tarka and is the biggest living common in Britain, beating the 63lb 4oz capture of the Lee Jackson Common from Strawberry Fields in Kent three years ago.

The 42-year-old Liverpudlian told Carpfeed: “I was just gobsmacked, I was overwhelmed.”

Mike, who is in his second year on the venue, added: “I hoped to catch a 50 in the UK, but I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d catch a 64lb common.

“It was a slow, weird take, but when I hit into it it took off and went over the central bar and over the other side of the lake.

“I could feel the line rubbing on the bar and thought I’d lose it, and then the two swans decided to swim across the line!

“In the end I had to net it from the next swim down because it had taken me all over. The first time we saw it was when its shoulders broke surface 10yds out, and the two lads behind me just went eerily quiet!”

Mike used a Mainline Essential Cell hookbait on a combi rig made with Korda hooklinks and a Fox curve-shanked hook.

John Lee and Carl Sharp also got in on the act with fish of 54lb 12oz and 55lb 12oz respectively.

 Jon Lee's 54lb 12oz common called Ellie

Jon Lee's 54lb 12oz common called Ellie

Carl’s fish was his fourth UK 50-pounder in the last 16 months.

The Angling Direct store manager, who used 10mm PCF Squiddly Diddly pop-ups with mesh bags, told Carpfeed: “In the net it looked colossal, and weighing 55lb 10oz it beat my previous pb by 3oz, which was a great feeling.

“It's great to get amongst a few a little earlier into the season this year, as last year proved that the lake is not as easy as some think, with captures few and far between for the actual rod hours put in.”

 Carl with Black Scar

Carl with Black Scar