Cancelling a trip to France proved a blessing in disguise for Ashley Balley as he banked three British 40s in five days.
Choosing to cancel his cross-channel trip due to his wife’s pregnancy, Ash booked a week off work to fish a lake in the New Forest Water Park.
Breaking it up into a two sessions of three and two nights, he managed 15 carp including two 42lb commons and mirrors of 40lb 2oz and 38lb.
“It’s trips like these where one could say this was yet another trip of a lifetime,” said Ash.
Timing his trip to coincide with a full moon, the session began on Saturday morning.
Having seen three fish show, Ash quickly cast one rod out and baited with four pouchfuls of boilies.
Just 30 minutes later he received steady bite.
“Before I knew it,” he said, “the fish was swimming towards me at some speed.
“A massive common flanked up under my rod tips and then made some big powerful runs straight back out to the middle of the lake! I was straight into my waders and out into the water at full depth.
“It wasn’t long until I was scooping up a huge common into the net.”
The fish, known as the Football Common, went 42lb 6oz and gave Ash a new pb.
After a quiet night, a 24lb mirror signaled the start of a busy day that resulted in a total of six fish including a 34lb common and a mirror called Crinkle Tail at 29lb 8oz.
Another silent night followed, before the morning bite time brought the Immaculate Common at 42lb and three other fish.
“This left me on 11 fish over three days,” said Ash. “It was time to head back home to the wife, puppy and baby. I was next back down for a further two nights on the full-moon Thursday.”
A 20-pounder kicked off the second session of the week, but the following 24 hours were quiet, so Ash went for a wander.
“I came across half the stock swimming around the shallows. With the way my luck had been going I got the floater gear out and bagged my first thirty off the top! How’s your luck?!”
Back in the main swim for the night, a 12.30am bite produced a 38lb mirror and, just as Ash was packing away in the morning, the Nutsey Mirror produced an epic half-hour battle and tipped the scales at 40lb 4oz; its first capture in over a year.