It’s been a tale of two fifties at a northern day-ticket water in recent weeks.
Hitting the bank at Eric’s Willows Lake, in West Yorkshire, were two very different creatures – one camera-shy, the other less so.
Three Scale, weighing 52lb 10oz, came out for the third time in quick succession to Brian Latham during a week-long session.
“This fish has seen the bank quite often of late,” said Brian, who also had a 29lb 15oz mirror and a 20-pounder, “but it’s in great condition and gaining weight after a good spawn.”
The other fifty to be caught at Willows recently has been much more cautious – incredibly going uncaught for more than five years when it weighed 40lb 6oz!
Venue regular Danny Johannessen netted the fish during an overnighter in peg 1 and immediately realised it was one he didn’t recognise.
Danny, who fished a single Mainline Banofee pop-up on a Ronnie rig, alerted fishery boss Tom Broomhead and handed him the camera.
Danny said: “We weighed the fish at 53lb 12oz and retained it in deep water near the outflow while we waited an hour for sunrise to get the shots by the lily bed. We were like kids on Christmas Eve, but still didn’t recognise it!”
Tom, who searched all the catch reports he had collected in three years of running the lake, said: “I contacted the remaining syndicate members for guidance and learned that as far as I am aware the fish was last landed at 40lb 6oz on April 7, 2011, by Kevin Rogerson and was regarded as the Original Scar Fish. We then suffered the floods in 2012 and it hadn’t been seen since.”
The capture takes the number of fifties in Willows to six.
“Absolutely epic,” said Tom, “a truly heartwarming moment to weigh in and do the honours with the camera.”