Finding unfished-for monsters is hard enough these days, but catching them is another matter entirely.
Marcus Fretwell has done both this summer, banking unknown commons of 40lb 2oz, 34lb and 32lb from a Cambridgeshire gravel pit.
The 25-year-old scaffolder said: “This is a new lake for me to fish. I have walked it for a couple of years but was under the impression there wasn’t anything worth going after in there. While walking it with the family a few weeks ago I saw a decent-sized fish jump, a few smaller ones in the water and on the way to leaving the lake I saw a really big one jump!
“I was back the next night to bait up where the fish had been showing. I had a quick check while walking with the family the next day and was pleased to see the fish were feeding on my bait, so after a quick trip to drop the family off home I grabbed my gear and was back there and set up within the hour.”
After a night spent battling the crayfish, Marcus got his first bite at 4am and eventually landed the fish 20 minutes later after getting it through two weed beds.
“I was happy to see it was a cracking-looking common although it was definitely the smaller of the fish I had seen, so imagine my surprise when I placed it on the scales and the needle read 34lb!”
A week later, the Cambridge angler returned for a two-night session and found fish jumping near an island. Within a couple of hours a 22lb mirror was in Marcus’s net, but the action then slowed until the following evening.
“I had a run at 6.30pm and it took a good 20 minutes to get it in the net. It looked a chunk so I rang my brother and he came to help. We placed it on the scales and it was 40lb 2oz. I chuffed with that as it is a proper unknown 40-pounder!”
A week later and Marcus’s trio of uncaught chunks was completed with the capture of a 32lb common. All the fish fell to Sticky Krill boilies and chod rigs tied with Korda components.