Watching a Yateley Car Park 40 take your bait in the margins must be one of the pinnacles of British carping, so no wonder it was the stuff of dreams for Michael Whitney.
This 41lb mirror, known as Kinky Back, was stalked in the crystal-clear shallows of the historic Hampshire complex and gave the 36-year-old captor a moment to savour.
“This is hands down the most amazing moment of my fishing life,” Michael told Carpfeed.
“To stalk a fish from the Car Park is something you dream about, and for it to be a 40-pounder on a 6ft rod, I don't know how I'll top it.”
The electrician from Woking had been baiting a close-in spot on the rock-hard venue for a while, but stumbled across four fish feeding on it last weekend.
“I shot back to my swim and set up my 6-footer, and crawled back to the spot,” said Michael. “After waiting for the fish to move off it I lowered the rig down by hand to where they had been feeding.”
The original four fish – all relatively small stockies – did not return, but three carp around 30lb did.
“I could see my bait on the bottom and they were moving back and forth, hoovering as they went.”
Having been joined by another angler, Michael then noticed “two even bigger lumps” join the fray.
He said: “After a while I noticed the two bigger fish were not coming near where my rig was placed
“I put it down to them being that much bigger that they just weren’t comfortable coming into the shallower section.
“I took a gamble and quietly swung the rig back out into the deeper water.
“This time around it was just the two big girls that came back in.
“I was shaking now with excitement and fear every time they approached the rig.
“After just a couple of passes, the whole spot went black as both fish covered our view.
“Then, before I even knew what was happening, my rod was bent double!
“I gave as much as I could to stop the initial run, and after a couple of turns of the handle, the fish popped its head above the water.
“With one last lift of the rod she flopped back towards us. I just about gained 2ft of line when my hero Charlie came in from nowhere and salmon swooped her into the net!”
Michael added: “Only when I took the weight of the sling to lift her out did I first get the feeling that this could be a bit special.
“As we peeled back the NSR retainer we knew straight away it was Kinky Back. At 41lb and in her gorgeous summer colours she was in mint condition.”
RIG AND BAIT
- Standard hair rig
- Hook: Assassin Tackle Wide Gape
- Hooklink: 6ins of ESP Tungsten Loaded
- Loosefeed: Crushed 16mm Sticky Krill boilies, Bloodworm pellets and red maggots
- Hookbait: Evolution Carp Tackle Maggot Cluster glugged in Manilla bait spray