Earlier in the year I fished a very special northern venue called The Forgotten Pit. That particular water contained only two carp, both of which I was fortunate to catch, topped by a 50-year-old mirror known as Pinkie weighing 37lb 12oz. For many years the pit contained three carp, but sadly someone moved its biggest resident at some point last year.
There were all sorts of rumours going around about where he’d moved it to, and just after I caught Pinkie I was fortunate to get a sighting of it whilst walking another venue close by. In the gin clear water it was clearly the missing common! Its split dorsal fin was the give away, plus its huge length and size that was close to 40lb.
Ever since that sighting back in May I’ve been fishing the water consistently, working my way through the dozen or so residents that live there, hoping to one day hold that magnificent fish. I knew it was as old as Pinkie as my friend Paddy Webb had given me photos of it from the 1980s when it weighed only a double.
I chipped away at the stock using the ever reliable Key Stabilised which had already produced me the biggest fish from two different waters this year. I had some magnificent fish, most from close quarters fishing only a few rod lengths out amongst the numerous reedy bays that make up the venue. Some of them were absolute stunners, including a couple or really nice linears and a very striking apple sliced big scaly mirror.
By the time the summer was drawing to a close I’d doubled up on most of the residents, including catching one fish four times. I couldn’t seem to get the one I wanted and I had very few sightings of it throughout the year. I lost a fish in early September which I thought may have been ‘the one’ which prompted me to switch bait and try the new Key Cray. Although I’d had some in my freezer for quite some time I’d never used it. It seemed the perfect time to switch baits as I knew the common was a wily old thing and I didn’t like the thought of continuing to use a bait that I’d potentially lost it on.
First time out with the Cray I had a mid-20 mirror, and a week later during an overnighter in between work I finally ended my campaign with the amazing common! It fought hard amongst the reeds after picking up at first light, but after a ten minute battle it was in the net. At 38lb it was a colossal northern carp and it was the perfect ending to another memorable carping chapter.