It’s a well-worn saying in angling that effort equals reward, but this addition to Adam Matthews’ photo album is proof of just that.
The Wood Carving Common, an incredibly long fish of 58lb 2oz, had not been caught for almost a year at Kevin Nash’s Copse Lake until the Kent angler put in a Herculean shift to avoid a blank.
Taking advantage of the venue’s new open-access policy, Adam booked a five-day session and initially opted to fish the neighbouring Church Lake before switching to the Copse on day three.
“All week I’d been lapping it every so often and leaving some small areas of bait where I thought they might feed,” said the YouTube tech blogger.
“However, they all remained untouched so it was now going to be a stalking effort – trying to find one and catch it on the move.”
Adam found one fish, estimated at 45lb, and tried to tempt it with freelined maggots and bread to no avail. The following day the same fish did oblige but it tore off through some lilies and snapped the line.
“It was a real low after so much hard work,” said the 38-year-old, “I’d probably made over 200 casts of the freelined bait. I went and sulked.”
Having regained his composure, Adam, who estimates he walked around the lake 200 times, opted for a different approach and presented a maggot rig on a clay spot close to an island.
“Thirty minutes later the receiver went off and I ran around the lake and picked up the rod, only to see that the fish was weeded up no more than 15ft in front of me. I could see it. As a lover of the common carp over the mirror I knew immediately that it was the one I wanted the most.
“After a small fight getting it out of the weed my friend Neil came running round, leapt into the water and netted it. My heart was absolutely thumping like never before and the adrenaline was flowing.
“It came up just shy of 60lb, and while everyone seemed slightly disappointed it didn’t hit the magical 60 I sat there just staring at this whale of a fish, so long that it didn’t even fully fit in the 1m 20cm monster cradle that sits in every swim.
“This was the catch of a lifetime. Being in such a special place just made it even better.”