Ben Allen catches Royal Forty

THE sought-after Royal Forty has upheld its tradition of being caught on June 16 – this time the lucky captor being Ben Allen who banked it at 44lb 14oz.

It was the third season that the Shepperton, Surrey-based rod had targeted the famous Richmond Park Lake inhabitant and the fish was the result of his first bite from the lake.

Three days before the new season started the 28-year-old baited a spot at 40 yards range with 2kg of Obsession Carp Baits Red Fish boilies and then fished a single cork ball pop-up during the session. This was mounted on a hinged-stiff rig tied with 20lb Korda Mouthtrap and a G-Force Straight Point hook.

“My mate had lost a fish earlier that morning and the Royal Forty is usually always the first fish to be caught from the lake when it opens for the new season,” Ben told Angling Times.

 “He was devastated and as such when I received a take I certainly didn’t think it was the Royal. It came in fairly easily but when my mate waded out to net it he saw the distinctive dorsal fin and we knew exactly what I was attached to.”

Once on the bank the fish broke Ben’s previous best of 37lb 4oz. “The fish is a really special one as it’s believed to between 40 and 50 years old,” he added.