Chris Froggatt was like a “kid opening presents at Christmas” as he pulled apart the ball of weed in his landing net and revealed this beautiful common.
The 38lb 12oz fish, known as Black Eye, was one of five in a manic dawn spell on Keer Lake at Clear Water Fisheries in Carnforth, Lancashire.
Having moved from swim three to peg 20 after a quiet opening night, the 36-year-old’s first fish of the 48-hour trip was a distinctive 12lb orange koi known as Carrot.
But it was the following morning when the action really got going, beginning with the capture of a catfish and carp of 20lb 4oz and 17lb 10oz in quick succession at first light.
Explaining what happened next, Chris told Carpfeed: “As I was putting the kettle on, I received a few bleeps on the right-hand rod.
“I initially thought it was a liner, but the indicator had risen to the rod and stayed there. I thought, ‘that’s a fish’.
“As I lifted the rod and the line tightened into the fish, I knew immediately that this was a lot bigger than the previous ones.
“Unlike the others, the fish plodded along the bottom, heading towards the close-in weedbed that the others had got into. It was in and not moving.
“I knew this was a big ‘un; I needed this fish. Keeping the line tight, I walked slowly up the bank, trying to move the fish.
“After a few minutes, which seemed like forever, the fish or ball of weed started to move. With the waders on and landing net at the ready I was in the water, easing a ball of weed towards me.
“At this point I was unsure whether or not the fish was still attached. Scooping frantically, I managed to net the giant ball of Canadian.
“I opened up the ball of weed like a kid opening up presents at Christmas! And it felt like Christmas when the golden flank of a big common appeared!”
The fish, which has topped 40lb before, smashed Chris’s pb by 9lb, and was quickly followed by another double-figure common.
“With the weighing done,” said Chris, “we set about doing the pics. And what a job my friend Ben Hesketh did. I couldn’t ask for better shots. What an amazing morning’s angling – it’ll be hard to top that for a while.”
Chris used 15mm Nash Scopex Squid boilies with matching 6mm pellets and 12mm white pop-ups over the top on hinged stiff rigs made with size 6 Nash Chod Twisters.