As first sessions on a new water go, Darren Belton’s was about as good as they get.
The experienced Kent rod travelled to Wellington Country Park in Berkshire and caught mirrors of 44lb, 42lb 4oz and 38lb.
The Chub and Mainline-backed angler – who has now caught 21 different UK carp over 40lb – initially mistook the first of his haul for something much smaller. He said: “After a few issues with the lake being closed due to an algae bloom, I finally got a chance to fish my first session on my new syndicate water, and what a session it turned out to be!
“On my first night I had a stuttery take that I was convinced was a bream. However, as the rod hooped over I soon changed my mind. A tense battle ensued, but eventually I ended up with a large mirror sulking in the net. On the scales she went 44lb exactly. This was a very special fish to me as it was my 20th different UK 40-pounder.
“The following afternoon a screaming take resulted in a 38lb mirror, and later that night I backed it up with yet another forty, this time weighing in at 42lb 4oz.”
Darren added: “I was buzzing when I got back home, only to find out the incredibly sad news about the death of ex-Chub marketing manager Andy Charlton. It puts a lot of what we do into perspective, and my deepest sympathies go to his wife and family.”