A best man is there to support the groom through his big day – and that’s just what Phil Horton did as his mate Carl Sharp banked his second fifty of 2016.
Carl had booked Meadows Lake at Holme Fen in Cambridgeshire for a week-long stag do with a group of friends and hooked into this 52lb 7oz mirror five minutes after Phil arrived in his swim.
“He wasn’t supposed to get there until later that evening,” said West Midlander Carl, “but he managed to leave work early and I met him at the gate just as I was coming back from the shops.
“I was in the Party Point swim, so I told him to double up in there with me. I’d just cast my first rod back out and was wrapping up the second one when I got the bite.”
The Willenhall Angling Direct shop manager, who gets married in Greece later this year, also managed a 46lb 7oz mirror on the penultimate morning of the week-long session.
After a slow start, Carl’s fifty arrived on the fourth day after resting one of his spots.
“There’s a small clear channel at 70 yards down the centre of the lake, which I baited and fished over to begin with, but on the second day I saw fish showing at range and put all three rods on single hookbaits at about 130 yards,” said Carl, who banked a 54lb Rosemere mirror in April.
After keeping his rods at range, the 32-year-old added a bit more bait to the shorter spot but did not fish there until just before his bite.
He said: “I put a single hookbait on the spot after coming back from having a shower and popping to the shops, and it was away before I could get the second rod in.”
Best man Phil was rewarded for bringing a dose of good luck by catching his own forty, at 43lb 12oz, the next day.
Fellow stag-party member Lee Rolfe also caught a personal best of 45lb 2oz.
“It’s just off the scale,” said Carl of the average size of fish. “You can go to France and still have to wade through twenties, so for us to have four fish over 40lb is incredible.”