Giant from a secret lake

A secret lake produced a 40-pounder apiece for two friends during a hectic few minutes.

Josh Hammersley and Ashley Irvine both banked the specimens at dawn on the previously untapped water.

Josh managed a 40lb common, a fish which his angling partner banked earlier in the summer at 41lb 7oz, while Ashley landed a 42lb 5oz mirror.

Bedfordshire rod Ashley told Angling Times: “The first bite on the secret lake this time was mine at 5.30am. It roared off and by the time I picked up the rod the fish had run about 40 yards up the margin.

“The fight was slow to start with and the fish came right back up the margin with no problems and I thought it was a small one, but when it came about two rod lengths out all hell broke loose.

“It made three long runs, taking about 30 yards each time, but finally I slipped the net under a big mirror. I still didn't realise what I had until she rolled on her side – the depth of her was unreal.”

Moments later Josh’s rod was away and a tense fight ensued in the weedy swim before the large common was secured.

“I looked over Josh’s shoulder and looked in the net,” said Ashley, “I had to look twice but it was the 41lb 7oz common that I had two months earlier.”

“I said to him ‘it’s the big common’ and I think he was in a state disbelief as he knew he had smashed his personal best!”