Britain’s biggest and best-loved day-ticket common carp is dead. The huge fish, named Benson, became the target of hundreds of anglers across the nation after being the UK’s first common to break 60lb.
Sadly the body of the old warrior, which topped 64lb at its peak and was the most famous resident of Bluebell Lakes complex, in Tansor, Northants, was found floating on the surface of its home, Kingfisher Lake, last week.
It is the second time this year that Bluebell has been hit by tragedy following the demise of The Creature – the venue’s other carp to break the 60lb barrier, back in May.
Fishery boss Tony Bridgefoot has admitted to being completely ‘heartbroken’ by the news, but with a 50lb-plus mirror currently on-site and two other fish not far behind, he’s adamant that the complex will not suffer.
“I felt sick when I discovered the body of Benson. To lose your two biggest carp within the space of three months is an owner’s worst nightmare – it’s very hard to take,” said Tony.
“We don’t know what the cause of her death was, but I’ve found lots of unsoaked tiger nuts and almonds scattered around one of the pegs. These baits are banned on the complex, so I just hope this has got nothing to do with it.
“Many anglers have come here because of Benson and The Creature, but I still have a ‘50’ and two other fish which could reach that weight by the end of the year, along with countless fish over 40lb, so there are still loads of huge fish for customers to target.”
Big-carp expert Frank Warwick was a regular visitor to Bluebell and has spent many nights on Kingfisher Lake in search of Benson. He believes the passing of the mighty common is a significant loss for day-ticket carping as a whole.
“I was gutted when I heard the news, as I would have loved to have posed for the camera with it one day,” said Frank.
“Benson gave the average angler the chance to catch one of the biggest fish in the country for the price of a day ticket, which was very rare and a breath of fresh air in carp fishing.
One man's quest to catch Benson
UK Carp magazine editor Steve Broad caught Benson back in 2003. You can read his account of the impressive capture by clicking HERE.
Care must be taken
As yet the reason behind Benson's death is unknown, but there is speculation that it may be due to incorrectly prepared particles, which are banned at Bluebell Lakes.
Using particles correctly means preparing them correctly, and to find out how to do this, take a look at our guide HERE.