It was a bit of an epic Saturday morning” is how Dan Taylor described the extreme lengths he went to to land this giant 47lb 12oz common.
The 28-year-old came up with an ingenious plan to hook the fish just a foot from the bank in an unpopular swim containing a “savage gravel ledge” that severely hampers line lay.
But that was just half the battle at the Kent syndicate, as the fish surged through five weedbeds and led him a merry dance in a boat before eventually succumbing.
“It’s an unpopular swim that no-one fishes because it basically contains a cliff face and a savage gravel ledge,” said the tree surgeon. “But I’d seen this big common in the area a week before and decided to prebait.
“I had to give it a bit of thought to be able to fish the swim, but in the end I put a second buzzer bar on a storm pole and draped the slack line over it to avoid the ledge.
“Having prebaited, I placed just a single hookbait on a really short hooklink and a big lead in the edge. At 5am I woke and hadn’t had anything and I was just making the first tea of the day when I received the take.
“The lake is about 90 per cent weed at the moment and the fish powered through it all, hit the surface and just ground to a halt.”
The Ashford angler took to a boat and patiently kept the fish moving through a succession of weedbeds before it “absolutely powered off around the lake”.
Eventually, though, Dan won the battle and was able to admire a fish that had not been caught this year. “It was last caught at 52lb,” he said, “but it doesn’t matter about the weight – it’s a huge fish and must have been 4ft long.
“It took a bit of thought and process to catch it, which made it all the more rewarding.”