After an obsession lasting a full year, carp angling legend Terry Hearn this week finally banked a fish he believes is ‘the highlight’ of his illustrious career.
Weighing in at a massive 47lb 14oz, the ‘Burghfield Common’ was tempted by the 37-year-old Surrey rod after a painstaking campaign at the notoriously difficult 94-acre CEMEX Angling-owned Burghfield Lake near Reading.
The fact that the giant has only been caught on five previous occasions in the last 12 years is testament to the challenge facing those who decide to pit their wits against it. And in a typical display of determination, Terry left no stone unturned in his pursuit of the remarkable fish.
Hours spent walking and cycling round the banks of the Berkshire pit, looking for its most sought-after inhabitant played a crucial part in Terry’s quest, as he explained.
“I found the big common for the first time in 10 months after arriving at the lake on Tuesday, so I set up in a swim 150yds down the bank,” he said.
After baiting a spot just 10ft from the bank with a handful of Dynamite Baits Marine Halibut pellets, chopped Red Fish boilies and Frenzied Tiger Nuts, Terry then positioned a double tiger nut hookbait over the top.
Two 20lb-plus fish graced his net on the first day, but he had to wait until Saturday morning before he received a take which, although he didn’t realise it at first, saw him connected to the carp of his dreams.
“It was a really explosive fight under the rod-tip, and I actually had the fish in the net within a minute. When I went to scoop it up though, the fish was so long it actually came out of the net. It was then that I knew it was the big common. A few minutes later I had it beat, and it was a moment I’ll never forget when I pulled back the mesh and saw it laying there,” said Terry, who used a size 4 Drennan Continental Boilie hook tied to a 25lb coated braid hooklink.
Never one to rest on his laurels, Terry has already started planning his future campaigns: “I’ve had a few walks around a couple of quiet big pits which hold big carp and the Drennan Cup is also something I’ve thought about having a stab at. This would be the ideal year to do it.
“Depending how my winter fishing for species like perch, barbel and dace goes, I may well give it a serious go.” Terry Hearn has a carping CV most anglers could only dream of, catching countless 40lb-plus carp and six over the magical 50lb barrier.
Here’s a few of the highlights:
Bazil: 45lb 6oz, Yateley North Lake.
Mary: 55lb 13oz, Wraysbury.
Two Tone: 50lb 13oz, Conningbrook.
Black Mirror: 48lb, ‘The Mere’.
Fat Lady: 51lb, St Ives Lagoon.
Heather the Leather: 48lb 2oz, Yateley Car Park Lake.
Sid: 51lb 8oz, Dinton.
Black Eye: 50lb 1oz Chad Lakes.