On the day anglers gathered to remember one of the sport’s most recognisable bailiffs, the complex he oversaw threw up two of its most prized assets.
Del Smith Memorial Day at RK Leisure’s Horton complex was marked by the capture of two special Kingsmead One residents for Ross Ryder.
The Dynamite Baits-backed angler caught the One at 33lb 10oz and another mirror of 37lb 8oz.
It was a fitting tribute to longstanding Horton bailiff Del, who died last year aged 67.
“The lake was packed with people travelling down to attend,” said Ross, who dropped into the car-park swim on Friday afternoon before going looking for fish on Saturday.
Finding fish in the margins near the Bream swim, Ross moved his gear round and placed a single rod in the area.
“Roughly an hour and a half after chucking the rod out I noticed some ripples coming out of the shallow left-hand snag line slowly creeping towards the spot.
“A few minutes later the bobbin rose slightly and the line started to pick up tight. After lifting into the rod the fish decided to head straight towards me.
“Frantically trying to keep up with it I was sure it was a bream doing the typical surrender, turning side to side not knowing what to do.
“The line finally tightened again and the fish swirled on the surface just a few yards out, I didn't get a good view of what was on the end but a jet-black tail flicked over confirming it was actually a carp.”
Ross rang RK media man Rupert Whiteman to take pictures, and he arrived in the swim after photographing the unveiling of a Del Smith memorial.
Moments later, Ross received another take and banked a Sutton-strain 37lb 8oz mirror.
Speaking about his capture of the One, Ross said: “This really is a once-in-a-lifetime fish and to brace it with my Sutton fish I certainly felt overwhelmed, filled with joy and excitement.”
Ross presented a 15mm Dynamite Monster Tiger Nut wafter on a fluorocarbon D rig.