CHRIS BEASLEY RELIVES A MEMORABLE SAGA OF WHEN HE CAUGHT A SPREE OF LINEARS, INCLUDING THE KING OF THEM ALL.

CHRIS BEASLEY RELIVES A MEMORABLE SAGA OF WHEN HE CAUGHT A SPREE OF LINEARS, INCLUDING THE KING OF THEM ALL.

2013

I first acquired my White Swan ticket back in 2013. A friend put me in contact with Simon (who runs the park), and the very next season I found myself on the banks of Dinton Pastures, settling in for my first night. Great timing really, as that would never be the case nowadays!

Back then, it wasn’t just the waiting list that looked different, the stock did too. The main targets when I first joined were The Twin, Bernie’s Linear and the one I really wanted… Apple Slice. In my eyes that carp was the best in the land, an ancient old mirror which looked as though it had been carved out of wood – it was dark mahogany in colour and had great big apple slice scales along its flanks, just a mega carp! The likes of ‘Triple Row’ and co were mid to upper thirties at the time, and although still lovely carp to look at, very rarely were they talked about. In fact, ‘Son of Triple Row’ made an appearance during my first night on the complex, some guy fishing opposite had it at 36lbs. That first night was kind to me too and I went on to land four carp, including a cracking fully scaled mirror of 38lbs. I remember thinking “this isn’t too bad” but in true White Swan fashion I blanked for the next couple of months!

I spent that first year getting around the lake, slotting in as I arrived after work on the Friday night. Although I still managed a few more by winter, it was frustrating fishing. It wasn’t until my second year that I could really get stuck in when a change in job meant I could get down on the Thursday night. This gave me a lot more options when choosing swims and meant I could get back into certain areas. By now the “A-Team” had a couple more members and that second season a good friend, Bungle, had ‘Triple Row’ at 44lbs, which put it on the radar of many more anglers, and not just those with tickets. It was strange because it had done forty already but with several of the older fish in there doing bigger weights, ‘Triple’ would almost get forgotten about. Another fish which had now caught people’s attention was the ‘Son’. In just over a year it had gone from being another mid-thirty mirror, before popping up at 43lb.

I’d been enjoying the new Thursday night starts and felt like I could fish more effectively, but this one particular week I couldn’t actually get down until the Friday. There had been a strong south-westerly wind pumping up to the top end of the lake for a couple of days, so I had a good idea of where I needed to be, but unfortunately this area was understandably busy. I set up as close as I could and spent that first evening watching the fish show further up the lake. By morning the fish hadn’t moved but one of the anglers was reluctantly packing down. I wasted no time in getting the gear round there and stood at the water’s edge watching big sheets of fizz coming up, just rod lengths from the bank. Two rigs were soon flicked out to where I’d seen the bulk of the morning’s activity, along with a few handfuls of Krill boilies and I sat back feeling extremely confident. At around 7pm that evening one of the bobbins smacked against the blank as the rod hooped over. The swim was really overgrown with a big set of overhangs either side of the swim, so I kept the rod low and just pumped, making sure not to give it an inch. It couldn’t have been on for any more than 30 seconds before I had it in front of the swim and in the deeper water. As I lifted the rod this big orange thing bobbed half out of the lake and before I even had time to notice which fish it was, it was in the net! It didn’t take too long to recognise which one I had caught though – the first of the “proper” ones for me… The ‘Son of Triple Row’.

After the ‘Son’ capture, I was actually able to keep some bait going in on that zone and was left alone to do my thing, managing a bite most trips, until eventually the action subsided. It turned out to be a much better season than the previous, and although ‘Apple Slice’ was yet to make an appearance, I was more than pleased with how the year had gone.

2013

I first acquired my White Swan ticket back in 2013. A friend put me in contact with Simon (who runs the park), and the very next season I found myself on the banks of Dinton Pastures, settling in for my first night. Great timing really, as that would never be the case nowadays!

Back then, it wasn’t just the waiting list that looked different, the stock did too. The main targets when I first joined were The Twin, Bernie’s Linear and the one I really wanted… Apple Slice. In my eyes that carp was the best in the land, an ancient old mirror which looked as though it had been carved out of wood – it was dark mahogany in colour and had great big apple slice scales along its flanks, just a mega carp! The likes of ‘Triple Row’ and co were mid to upper thirties at the time, and although still lovely carp to look at, very rarely were they talked about. In fact, ‘Son of Triple Row’ made an appearance during my first night on the complex, some guy fishing opposite had it at 36lbs. That first night was kind to me too and I went on to land four carp, including a cracking fully scaled mirror of 38lbs. I remember thinking “this isn’t too bad” but in true White Swan fashion I blanked for the next couple of months!

I spent that first year getting around the lake, slotting in as I arrived after work on the Friday night. Although I still managed a few more by winter, it was frustrating fishing. It wasn’t until my second year that I could really get stuck in when a change in job meant I could get down on the Thursday night. This gave me a lot more options when choosing swims and meant I could get back into certain areas. By now the “A-Team” had a couple more members and that second season a good friend, Bungle, had ‘Triple Row’ at 44lbs, which put it on the radar of many more anglers, and not just those with tickets. It was strange because it had done forty already but with several of the older fish in there doing bigger weights, ‘Triple’ would almost get forgotten about. Another fish which had now caught people’s attention was the ‘Son’. In just over a year it had gone from being another mid-thirty mirror, before popping up at 43lb.

I’d been enjoying the new Thursday night starts and felt like I could fish more effectively, but this one particular week I couldn’t actually get down until the Friday. There had been a strong south-westerly wind pumping up to the top end of the lake for a couple of days, so I had a good idea of where I needed to be, but unfortunately this area was understandably busy. I set up as close as I could and spent that first evening watching the fish show further up the lake. By morning the fish hadn’t moved but one of the anglers was reluctantly packing down. I wasted no time in getting the gear round there and stood at the water’s edge watching big sheets of fizz coming up, just rod lengths from the bank. Two rigs were soon flicked out to where I’d seen the bulk of the morning’s activity, along with a few handfuls of Krill boilies and I sat back feeling extremely confident. At around 7pm that evening one of the bobbins smacked against the blank as the rod hooped over. The swim was really overgrown with a big set of overhangs either side of the swim, so I kept the rod low and just pumped, making sure not to give it an inch. It couldn’t have been on for any more than 30 seconds before I had it in front of the swim and in the deeper water. As I lifted the rod this big orange thing bobbed half out of the lake and before I even had time to notice which fish it was, it was in the net! It didn’t take too long to recognise which one I had caught though – the first of the “proper” ones for me… The ‘Son of Triple Row’.

After the ‘Son’ capture, I was actually able to keep some bait going in on that zone and was left alone to do my thing, managing a bite most trips, until eventually the action subsided. It turned out to be a much better season than the previous, and although ‘Apple Slice’ was yet to make an appearance, I was more than pleased with how the year had gone.

I was yet to catch the illusive 'Apple Slice'

I was yet to catch the
illusive 'Apple Slice'

and from the swim’s platform (which extends out into the lake), I could see ‘Triple Row’ twisting and turning with my white pop-up hanging from its mouth. Knowing what I was now attached to and watching as the fish tried everything to rid itself of my hook, I just wanted it in the net. It was fair to say I was crapping myself by now and my legs had turned to jelly! After what felt like forever, I managed to turn the big mirror and as I lifted her up in the water I reached for the net and in she went! I went to get my mate Tony, who was fishing further down the bank and if I’m honest, after that it was all a bit of a blur! Celebrations took place that night with plenty of nice food, beer, and all in good company. That’s what it’s all about!

It was a funny spring that year, and although I had caught ‘Triple Row’ it turned out to be pretty slow, without any more action coming my way until the end of April. It wasn’t long before the lake had closed for spawning and spring was over. Once the lake had reopened, I got down Friday lunch time for a quick night. A good mate, Byron, was telling me how he had plenty of fish in front of him and that I should go next door. I’m not going to lie, I thought it was just a ploy to get me down there for a social, but after not seeing much elsewhere I took a walk down to check it out. I was only in his swim for a matter of minutes and soon realised he wasn’t having me on. Without wasting any time, I had got set up next door and after a quick lead about I had two traps set. I remember going for a walk a couple of swims down to my left and found some fish milling about, I was close to going back and reeling in to have a go for these fish in the bay, but then I heard Byron shouting for me. One of my rods was away, they hadn’t been in long so you could imagine my surprise as I sprinted the short distance back to the rod! On picking it up, I could see my line cutting up through the water as the fish kited. By now I’m in the water playing this carp and suddenly it swam straight towards me, eventually passing me and forcing me to do a complete ‘180’! I was now facing my own swim, playing this carp which has almost beached itself in the shallow margin. Luckily, it wasn’t too much longer, and Byron was able to net the fish without any dramas. We couldn’t believe what we found laid in the bottom of the net, a linear known as ‘Jon’s’, which hadn’t yet been caught from White Swan. It had been moved in from one of the other lakes on the complex a year or so before. The funny thing is, is that swim I was fishing was where it had been put in the lake. It was like it had never left.

2014

Going into my third season, I felt like I now had a good understanding of the lake and was feeling quietly confident. My first trip back the following year was in mid-March, and it looked bleak. Not even so much as a bubble broke the surface and after a few laps I decided to pull off and fish elsewhere for a couple of weeks. Two weeks later, I arrived nice and early, but by midday I still hadn’t seen a thing. I was down for a couple of nights – with a cold northerly blowing I made the decision to do the first night on the back of it. The swim gave me a good view down the length of the lake, so if they were about I fancied my chances of seeing them. By the following morning I hadn’t seen or heard anything and come midday I had itchy feet. After several more laps I eventually saw the first fish of that year shuffle out 40 yards from the bank, in a swim known as ‘Spotters’. I stood there watching for another ten or so minutes and saw another two crash out but slightly more to my left. Not wanting to waste an opportunity and with plenty of other keen anglers looking for a move, I dropped my bucket next door and ran back to get my kit. With the fish still showing and not wanting to ruin my chances by leading up, I flicked out three single Krill White Ones on Multi Rigs and just felt for drops. Despite seeing the odd show throughout the day, nothing had occurred by the evening. I decided to leave the rods as I was confident they were all fishing. I remember waking up the following morning feeling slightly dejected and thinking the chance had passed. As I sat there pondering my next move the middle rod went into meltdown! I picked up the rod and the fish hit the surface in 15ft of water, before charging across the lake to my left sending out a massive bow wave as it did so. This was on a Friday morning, and by now the lake had become fairly busy and I could see a couple of anglers stood on the far bank watching as the fish charged off. After turning the fish towards me I caught a flash of yellow as a good mirror twisted on the surface. It wasn’t too long before I had the fish holding bottom, in the deep margin in front of the swim. The water was crystal clear and from the swim’s

2014

Going into my third season, I felt like I now had a good understanding of the lake and was feeling quietly confident. My first trip back the following year was in mid-March, and it looked bleak. Not even so much as a bubble broke the surface and after a few laps I decided to pull off and fish elsewhere for a couple of weeks. Two weeks later, I arrived nice and early, but by midday I still hadn’t seen a thing. I was down for a couple of nights – with a cold northerly blowing I made the decision to do the first night on the back of it. The swim gave me a good view down the length of the lake, so if they were about I fancied my chances of seeing them. By the following morning I hadn’t seen or heard anything and come midday I had itchy feet. After several more laps I eventually saw the first fish of that year shuffle out 40 yards from the bank, in a swim known as ‘Spotters’. I stood there watching for another ten or so minutes and saw another two crash out but slightly more to my left. Not wanting to waste an opportunity and with plenty of other keen anglers looking for a move, I dropped my bucket next door and ran back to get my kit. With the fish still showing and not wanting to ruin my chances by leading up, I flicked out three single Krill White Ones on Multi Rigs and just felt for drops. Despite seeing the odd show throughout the day, nothing had occurred by the evening. I decided to leave the rods as I was confident they were all fishing. I remember waking up the following morning feeling slightly dejected and thinking the chance had passed. As I sat there pondering my next move the middle rod went into meltdown! I picked up the rod and the fish hit the surface in 15ft of water, before charging across the lake to my left sending out a massive bow wave as it did so. This was on a Friday morning, and by now the lake had become fairly busy and I could see a couple of anglers stood on the far bank watching as the fish charged off. After turning the fish towards me I caught a flash of yellow as a good mirror twisted on the surface. It wasn’t too long before I had the fish holding bottom, in the deep margin in front of the swim. The water was crystal clear and from the swim’s platform (which extends out into the lake), I could see ‘Triple Row’ twisting and turning with my white pop-up hanging from its mouth. Knowing what I was now attached to and watching as the fish tried everything to rid itself of my hook, I just wanted it in the net. It was fair to say I was crapping myself by now and my legs had turned to jelly! After what felt like forever, I managed to turn the big mirror and as I lifted her up in the water I reached for the net and in she went! I went to get my mate Tony, who was fishing further down the bank and if I’m honest, after that it was all a bit of a blur! Celebrations took place that night with plenty of nice food, beer, and all in good company. That’s what it’s all about!

It was a funny spring that year, and although I had caught ‘Triple Row’ it turned out to be pretty slow, without any more action coming my way until the end of April. It wasn’t long before the lake had closed for spawning and spring was over. Once the lake had reopened, I got down Friday lunch time for a quick night. A good mate, Byron, was telling me how he had plenty of fish in front of him and that I should go next door. I’m not going to lie, I thought it was just a ploy to get me down there for a social, but after not seeing much elsewhere I took a walk down to check it out. I was only in his swim for a matter of minutes and soon realised he wasn’t having me on. Without wasting any time, I had got set up next door and after a quick lead about I had two traps set. I remember going for a walk a couple of swims down to my left and found some fish milling about, I was close to going back and reeling in to have a go for these fish in the bay, but then I heard Byron shouting for me. One of my rods was away, they hadn’t been in long so you could imagine my surprise as I sprinted the short distance back to the rod! On picking it up, I could see my line cutting up through the water as the fish kited. By now I’m in the water playing this carp and suddenly it swam straight towards me, eventually passing me and forcing me to do a complete ‘180’! I was now facing my own swim, playing this carp which has almost beached itself in the shallow margin. Luckily, it wasn’t too much longer, and Byron was able to net the fish without any dramas. We couldn’t believe what we found laid in the bottom of the net, a linear known as ‘Jon’s’, which hadn’t yet been caught from White Swan. It had been moved in from one of the other lakes on the complex a year or so before. The funny thing is, is that swim I was fishing was where it had been put in the lake. It was like it had never left.

After that summer my mate Paul Eaton managed to catch the one we really wanted, ‘Apple Slice’ and to share that moment with him was definitely one of the highlights of my time on White Swan. Sadly, I wouldn’t get my chance at ‘Apple Slice’ as it died a few months later. I was gutted. Like I have already said that carp was the best in the land in my eyes, just a mega creature and although there were so many great carp in that lake, that was the one I really wanted. I know it might sound crazy, but I pretty much decided then and there that my time on White Swan was done. When she died, so did my buzz for the lake.

2015

I had a year away from the Dinton complex, flitting around the Reading lakes and catching up with some good friends. The following year saw me secure my Black Swan ticket and once again I found myself on the banks of Dinton. Black is completely different fishing from White Swan and came with a new set of challenges and some incredible carp coming through. The buzz was real! That first trip went exactly the same as on White, four carp banked and although they were all fairly small, it was a great start. By the end of summer, I had managed a lot of fish, but mostly small ones with only one fish over 30lbs.

I’d been doing a bit of time in a particular swim and with the conditions looking prime for that area booked a bit of holiday to get ahead of the weekend crowds. I turned up, and knowing I had three nights took my time to get everything set up for the carp’s arrival. Everything went lovely and I was feeling extremely confident. Two days passed and I was left scratching my head, despite seeing plenty of carp in the bay, all I had to show for my efforts were a couple of bream. For the final night, I decided to change it up a bit and found a new spot close to where I’d seen a good fish show early that morning. With the fresh spot baited and everything going smoothly,

I settled in for my final night feeling much better. As dawn started to break I received a liner on the rod which was on the new spot, and this was shortly followed by some sheeting up and a couple of shows. They were definitely still about but this had been the case for the last couple of days. By 9am that morning I was contemplating packing up and as I stood there sipping tea the rod on the new spot was away! On picking up the rod I quickly realised something wasn’t right. I hadn’t noticed but a massive, half-sunk weedberg had drifted over my line and settled without giving me so much as a bleep. With the pressure of the fish pulling from one end and me pulling from the other, this great big weedberg had now surfaced. Not wanting to risk getting cut off, I put the rod down and started stripping away as much of it as possible. By the time I had this great mound of weed off the line, the fish had kited down to my left which made the whole scenario even worse. There was a crazy amount of floating weed down to my left, which was a good 3-4ft deep in places and stretched 30 yards off the bank. The fish had now gone under the weed bed and made it to the snags. It just felt like the worst possible situation to be in, and it really couldn’t have gone any worse. I put my life jacket on and jumped into my Bic, towing myself out to the edge of the weed. As I slowly inched towards the snag, removing the weed from the line as I went, I wasn’t even sure if the fish was still on. After 10-15 minutes I was now able to reach down and grab my leader and as I did, I caught a glimpse of this great big linear which powered off back towards open water only to find itself in more weed. I went into panic mode, and I’ll be completely honest, the next few minutes went by in a blur. Eventually I had to hand-line the fish and a huge ball of weed to the net, half expecting the fish to fall off at any second. Once everything was in the net I started stripping the dead weed away and there she was, ‘Saddleback’! What an unbelievable creature and I feel blessed to have landed her given the whole fiasco… but when your name is on them…

2015

I had a year away from the Dinton complex, flitting around the Reading lakes and catching up with some good friends. The following year saw me secure my Black Swan ticket and once again I found myself on the banks of Dinton. Black is completely different fishing from White Swan and came with a new set of challenges and some incredible carp coming through. The buzz was real! That first trip went exactly the same as on White, four carp banked and although they were all fairly small, it was a great start. By the end of summer, I had managed a lot of fish, but mostly small ones with only one fish over 30lbs.

I’d been doing a bit of time in a particular swim and with the conditions looking prime for that area booked a bit of holiday to get ahead of the weekend crowds. I turned up, and knowing I had three nights took my time to get everything set up for the carp’s arrival. Everything went lovely and I was feeling extremely confident. Two days passed and I was left scratching my head, despite seeing plenty of carp in the bay, all I had to show for my efforts were a couple of bream. For the final night, I decided to change it up a bit and found a new spot close to where I’d seen a good fish show early that morning.

With the fresh spot baited and everything going smoothly, I settled in for my final night feeling much better. As dawn started to break I received a liner on the rod which was on the new spot, and this was shortly followed by some sheeting up and a couple of shows. They were definitely still about but this had been the case for the last couple of days. By 9am that morning I was contemplating packing up and as I stood there sipping tea the rod on the new spot was away! On picking up the rod I quickly realised something wasn’t right. I hadn’t noticed but a massive, half-sunk weedberg had drifted over my line and settled without giving me so much as a bleep. With the pressure of the fish pulling from one end and me pulling from the other, this great big weedberg had now surfaced. Not wanting to risk getting cut off, I put the rod down and started stripping away as much of it as possible. By the time I had this great mound of weed off the line, the fish had kited down to my left which made the whole scenario even worse. There was a crazy amount of floating weed down to my left, which was a good 3-4ft deep in places and stretched 30 yards off the bank. The fish had now gone under the weed bed and made it to the snags. It just felt like the worst possible situation to be in, and it really couldn’t have gone any worse. I put my life jacket on and jumped into my Bic, towing myself out to the edge of the weed. As I slowly inched towards the snag, removing the weed from the line as I went, I wasn’t even sure if the fish was still on. After 10-15 minutes I was now able to reach down and grab my leader and as I did, I caught a glimpse of this great big linear which powered off back towards open water only to find itself in more weed. I went into panic mode, and I’ll be completely honest, the next few minutes went by in a blur. Eventually I had to hand-line the fish and a huge ball of weed to the net, half expecting the fish to fall off at any second. Once everything was in the net I started stripping the dead weed away and there she was, ‘Saddleback’! What an unbelievable creature and I feel blessed to have landed her given the whole fiasco… but when your name is on them…

2021

I’ve enjoyed some mega fishing on Black since the capture of ‘Saddleback’ and despite still having a lot of the better fish to go at, had intended fishing elsewhere this spring. Partly to have a break from the banks of Dinton, but also because I really want to catch a particular fish from this other water – as we know; they don’t last forever. The problem with this other lake however is that it’s extremely busy with very few swims. I’d gone for a walk round on several occasions but was unable to get anywhere near where I needed to be, so would find myself making the drive back to Dinton. This was to be the case on one particular trip back in April… On seeing the forecast for the days ahead, I had a good idea of where the fish would end up on Black Swan. With the swim becoming free (and it was looking pretty uninspiring elsewhere!), I settled in the same plot I’d landed ‘Saddleback’ from, some three years earlier. I’d fished this swim a lot over the years, so it was no surprise when the rods went out with minimal fuss. I decided rather than fish all three rods tight on a spot I’d spread my bets. Each rig was baited with a 12mm Mulbz pop-up and fished over a handful of bait. Once the rods were sorted and everything had settled the odd fish started to show, and I settled in for the evening feeling confident of a bite.

During the early hours of the following morning, I had a few sharp bleeps which woke me up. As I was laying there waiting for the alarm to melt off, I could make out the sound of a clutch spinning at a crazy pace.

I crashed out of my bivvy, making my way down to the offending rod which was now in total meltdown and discovered the rod had actually been pulled off of the alarm. I was almost scared to pick up the rod, the clutch was spinning that fast! As I lifted the rod, I could feel it was a powerful fish and I slowly managed to steady its initial run. By now there must have been nearly 200 yards of line out in the lake. I was starting to worry, as to the right of the swim there is a great big aerator which Simon had installed last year. If the fish kited around there, then that would be game over. As I pumped the fish back towards me, I prayed for it to kite left, but it didn’t kite at all and just came back in a straight line! Just as I had it in front of the aerator it kited hard right, seconds earlier and I would have definitely been cut off! By now Myles (who was set up next door) was stood at the back of my swim having heard the commotion. He grabbed the net and joined me at the front of the swim. As I lifted the rod, I turned my headtorch on to see if I could catch a glimpse of what fish it was. I could feel its head knocking and said to Myles that I think I might be a small one. With that, this huge linear hit the surface just feet from the bank! We knew instantly which one it was, there was no mistaking it, ‘Spike’. Before I even had time to panic, Myles had it safely in the net! It’s hard to put those moments into words really. Such an incredible carp, a fish of a lifetime really – to share those moments with good friends just completes it. Paul came down for first light and the three of us just marvelled at one of Dinton’s finest… The king of all linears.

2021

I’ve enjoyed some mega fishing on Black since the capture of ‘Saddleback’ and despite still having a lot of the better fish to go at, had intended fishing elsewhere this spring. Partly to have a break from the banks of Dinton, but also because I really want to catch a particular fish from this other water – as we know; they don’t last forever. The problem with this other lake however is that it’s extremely busy with very few swims. I’d gone for a walk round on several occasions but was unable to get anywhere near where I needed to be, so would find myself making the drive back to Dinton. This was to be the case on one particular trip back in April… On seeing the forecast for the days ahead, I had a good idea of where the fish would end up on Black Swan. With the swim becoming free (and it was looking pretty uninspiring elsewhere!), I settled in the same plot I’d landed ‘Saddleback’ from, some three years earlier. I’d fished this swim a lot over the years, so it was no surprise when the rods went out with minimal fuss. I decided rather than fish all three rods tight on a spot I’d spread my bets. Each rig was baited with a 12mm Mulbz pop-up and fished over a handful of bait. Once the rods were sorted and everything had settled the odd fish started to show, and I settled in for the evening feeling confident of a bite.

During the early hours of the following morning, I had a few sharp bleeps which woke me up. As I was laying there waiting for the alarm to melt off, I could make out the sound of a clutch spinning at a crazy pace.I crashed out of my bivvy, making my way down to the offending rod which was now in total meltdown and discovered the rod had actually been pulled off of the alarm. I was almost scared to pick up the rod, the clutch was spinning that fast! As I lifted the rod, I could feel it was a powerful fish and I slowly managed to steady its initial run. By now there must have been nearly 200 yards of line out in the lake. I was starting to worry, as to the right of the swim there is a great big aerator which Simon had installed last year. If the fish kited around there, then that would be game over. As I pumped the fish back towards me, I prayed for it to kite left, but it didn’t kite at all and just came back in a straight line! Just as I had it in front of the aerator it kited hard right, seconds earlier and I would have definitely been cut off! By now Myles (who was set up next door) was stood at the back of my swim having heard the commotion. He grabbed the net and joined me at the front of the swim. As I lifted the rod, I turned my headtorch on to see if I could catch a glimpse of what fish it was. I could feel its head knocking and said to Myles that I think I might be a small one. With that, this huge linear hit the surface just feet from the bank! We knew instantly which one it was, there was no mistaking it, ‘Spike’. Before I even had time to panic, Myles had it safely in the net! It’s hard to put those moments into words really. Such an incredible carp, a fish of a lifetime really – to share those moments with good friends just completes it. Paul came down for first light and the three of us just marvelled at one of Dinton’s finest… The king of all linears.

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