James Coleman joined Ditchling Common Country Park with the intention of targeting its 40lb common and struck gold with his first fish from the lake.
The West Sussex angler spotted his desired fish during a family visit to the local venue and returned two days later to catch it at a weight of 40lb 4oz.
James told Angling Times: “I went down there for the first time with the family to have a picnic as the grounds are very pretty. While keeping the family entertained I noticed a very large common patrolling along the margins of the reeds and lily pads.”
Before leaving, James baited heavily with Nash Salty Squid boilies and RG Bait 365 pellets.
He continued: “It was a couple of days later before I went back down there and luckily enough I was able to go to the same swim. I checked the spot and it looked cleaned, so I put half a kilo of boilies and pellets in the area.
“I left the spot alone for a good hour and then I saw some movement and ripples coming from the area. I was then able to watch the big common feed for a few minutes before it waddled off up the margin. I gently lowered my rig on the spot where it had just been feeding and waited patiently for 10 minutes before it came back.
“The next minute the rod knocked and the carp took off! It zoomed straight out into the middle of the pond and felt very powerful and heavy. It gave me a very good scrap for 20 minutes before coming to the net – I was really chuffed!”
James presented a snowman rig featuring a Salty Squid bottom bait and a 365 pink pop-up on Rigmarole Camo Hydrolink and a size 8 Gardner Mugga hook.