Rubbing his pop-ups in soil gave Paul Hargreaves the edge he needed to bank one of Spitfire Pool’s treasured commons.
The 47lb 12oz Long Common, which once went nine years without capture, tripped up last week at the tricky Norfolk venue run by Rich Wilby.
It was initially hard going for Manchester angler Paul, 34, who told carpfeed: “The weather had made a drastic change as temperatures plummeted to just above freezing at night and only just reaching double figures during the day.
“Bitterly cold winds and high pressure made the fishing extremely difficult. The fish were simply not feeding and did not look interested in the slightest.
“I had my chance one afternoon when the long-awaited sun finally made an appearance. I found a handful of carp residing in the back bay bathing in the rays of the sun on the back of the wind.
“After climbing the trees a dozen times the patrol route was noted and the plan was put into action. A single short pop-up in the right spot would get theire attention and would be a good bet for a pick up.
“My trusted Impulse Peppered Squid white pop-ups were chosen for the assault but the colour was a little too blatant for this job, so a rub in the soil soon gave me a more dull natural edge.
“A quick scout up the tree and the rig was sitting perfectly right on the spot. A couple of hours later the rod screamed off in meltdown. After a mental and hectic fight the fish eventually kissed the spreader block.
“She was very long and filled every inch of the mat. She lay there in the sun like a glittering bar of gold.”