A granite carp god weighing 3.5 tonnes has already smiled on one angler after taking up residence at a popular venue.
The imposing statue, modelled on the famous Easter Island heads, was levered into position with help from bricklayer Carl Baxter, who then got his rods out and banked two fish for 87lb, including a 50lb 6oz common.
The 8ft-tall good-luck charm was placed on the dam wall at Fryerning Fisheries’ Main Lake in Essex by owner Chris Knowles, who believes anglers shouldn’t take themselves too seriously.
“As anglers we are always praying to the carp god,” he told Angling Times, “and if we don’t, we’re in trouble!”
Chris said the head, which cost £3,500 and took three months to create, reflects his outlook on fishing and life.
He said: “A mate of mine designed it and I got him to put a couple of scars in the back which anglers can rub for good luck as they go past.
“I honestly believe that if you go fishing with a positive attitude, then nine times out of 10 you will do well. I’d been in this game for 33 years when I dug the lake and this is just one of those silly things you do. It’s a bit of fun – I think people take life too seriously sometimes.”
One of the carp god’s first duties was to look on as Carl Baxter, who had helped position the statue, caught Mommon at 50lb 6oz and then an elusive and old mirror known as Riddler at 36lb 12oz.
The 42-year-old from Ipswich in Suffolk said: “It’s my second UK fifty and a fish I dearly wanted after fishing the venue for 18 years. I fed heavily every night, only fishing the spot at night after resting it.
“87lb of fish in two casts – wow!”
Over the course of his 72-hour session, Carl fed 8kg of Activ8 in mixed sizes with a throwing stick and fished matching pop-ups on chod rigs to a silt patch next to a lilybed on the far-bank margins 100 yards away.
“It’s my first time using Mainline for several years after using other baits, and forgotten favourite Activ8 did me proud,” added Carl, who is also known by the nickname Bertie.
Venue boss Chris told Angling Times another lump of granite is waiting to be chiselled into a skull which may be placed on neighbouring Valley Lakes.