Simon Crow banked the incredible Wood Common at 53lb 4oz two years after its last capture.
The majestic fish is one of just 12 carp in Spitfire Pool in Norfolk – a 1.5-acre lake which hadn’t produced a single fish since last September until the former Carp-Talk editor struck gold.
“It’s hard to tell anyone who’s never fished Spitfire how hard it is,” the 48-year-old told Carpfeed, “It might be a small water but they just don’t need to eat bait.”
The Avid consultant added: “I did six nights a couple of weeks ago and I knew when I walked on the banks it was going to be hard. I wasn’t surprised I blanked.
“This trip, however, it looked completely different.
“When I saw the owner Rich Wilby we both said something was going to happen, and it did!
“Having spoken to previous captors of the Wood, they’d all told me they’d seen it prior to catching it.
“I’d only seen it once before when I filmed it one sunny day while I was up one of the trees a couple of years ago.
“Despite searching for it on every visit, it’s surprising how these carp hide themselves away. On this occasion I saw it in the back bay on my first circuit.
“My mate Chris Felton, who was fishing with me, managed to film it and while setting up on Tuesday evening we both knew we’d timed it right.
“The first rod I put out was in the back bay where I’d seen the Wood, opting for a single hookbait on a short 6ins rig. The fish has a small mouth and as I tested the bait in the margins it looked perfect.
“I put no bait out at all, just the single, because I’d seen lots of uneaten bait in some of the margins from the lads who fished last week.”
Simon was plagued by swans touching his line all evening, but the hookbait stayed in place.
He continued: “When I had a couple of bleeps at 9am I casually strolled to the rod expecting to see one of the swans on my line again. This time, however, they were at the opposite end of the lake.
“I gently lifted the line wondering if I had a nuisance rudd on the end, only to be met with a heavy thud and a big boil over where my bait was!
“The fight didn’t last long, and when I saw a massive common hit the surface I knew it was either the Wood or the Long Common, both of which haven’t been out for two years and both of which weigh close to 50lb!
“As the fish went into the net I actually thought I had the Long because it was so big. I then saw the telltale white tips of its fins and let out a silent punch to the air!
“I called Rich Wilby straight away, and he and Chris came over to do the weighing and share the memories. What a special few minutes it was with one of the UK’s most special carp.”
RIG AND BAIT
Hookbait: DNA Baits SLK Dumbbell Corker Wafter
Rig: Avid Captive hooklink, 4oz Avid Outline Extremity lead, size 6 hook, Avid Ringed Lead Clip
Gear: 12ft 3.5lb Avid Extremity Rod, ACR 12000 reel, 15lb Avid Outline