Lee Symonds looked to the heavens for inspiration as a full moon and a prayer to his late daughter combined in the capture of one of Britain’s most coveted commons.
Having lost his 10-year-old daughter Olivia last year, the Great Yarmouth angler was overcome with emotion as he slipped his net under the Wood Common at 49lb 10oz at Norfolk’s Spitfire Pool.
The 32-year-old, whose cousin Ian Coote caught the water’s other big common at 43lb 8oz during the same trip, told Angling Times: “I lost my daughter last year and the night before I caught the common I put a little status on Facebook praying to my little woman to bring me luck.
“The next day I caught the fish and the emotions were just… I turned to [venue owner] Rich [Wilby] and I was bawling my eyes out.”
It’s the first time the venue’s two big commons have been caught in the same week and Lee is a firm believer in the importance of lunar cycles in producing such specimens.
“We timed the trip on the moon phases and there was a big full moon due. We arrived on the Sunday and on the Tuesday Ian had the Long Common and I had the Wood Common on Thursday afternoon, bang on the full moon. We’ve booked another week for September when there’s another new moon.”
Venue owner Rich Wilby said: “Lee has had a terrible year with the tragic loss of his little girl. I honestly couldn’t think of a nicer guy and someone who deserved more to catch the best-looking common carp in the UK.”
Lee, who runs an artificial-grass company, fished a spot known as the Borehole and also caught a 35lb 8oz mirror known as the Pearl.
He fished DT Baits Cold Water Mix Green Beast boilies and presented a matching washed-out pink pop-up on a stiff hinged rig created with an ESP Cryogen Stiff Rigger hook, Tungsten Loaded boom and Nash Chod Link.
He added: “To have three fish between us in a week was amazing.”