Paul Claridge concludes his season with a tale about his purple patch of success on Burghfield lake.
Sam Verstreken – PB Common
30th September 2019
Sam Verstreken has enjoyed a productive season so far but the best was yet to come!
“After a really enjoyable spring with the capture of my number one target for this year, along with some other really nice fish; a long period followed with not enough time to spend on the bank due to other obligations. I don’t have to explain how happy I was to finally get the chance to focus more on my fishing the coming weeks. The first weekend was normally going to be a “try-out’” trip to go and check out a public water in France that I was planning to fish this autumn. However, due to work obligations, I arrived really late home after work on Friday and I decided to not make the long drive to France. Instead I was going to fish a tricky big pit near my home where I’ve spent the most of my time in the last few years. With the conditions that where coming up (full moon), I knew there was a chance that one of the ‘bigguns’ would be caught. I also knew that it was not going to be easy seeing that the lake usually is really busy in the autumn with almost all of the good spots taken for weeks and even months by other anglers.
Another important detail is that you cannot use a boat or bait boat on this 100acre+ lake so the fish have a lot of areas where they can hangout without the risk of being caught. When I arrived at the pit there where 2 spots in my mind that would potentially be free and could offer some opportunity. One of those spots was open so I didn’t think twice and started out unpacking my gear. Seeing the late hour of arrival it must have been 4am before I was fishing but I had the feeling everything was spot on. After a quiet first night I received a visit from a friend of mine in the morning, who told me that the spot that I was fishing was fished by some guys who were planning to keep this swim for a longer period and that they probably introduced quite a big amount of bait. Not the news I wanted to hear unfortunately.
Late that evening I had a strange bite and after picking up the rod I immediately knew what time it was, a big 80lb+ sturgeon had picked up my bait. Normally I would not be happy at all seeing that they can really mess up your swim but in this case it was also a sign that probably the most of the bait was gone. This means I would have a lot more control on the amount of bait in my swim and that really boosted my confidence. That night, in the light of the full moon, I had a viscous take around 3am. After 5 minutes into the fight I knew I probably hooked something special, the fish was slowly taking line and it was really hard to gain anything back. So when the fish blocked himself in a weed bed after 15 minutes, I was really nervous and I thought it was all over. To my relief I was able to get it free and when it first hit the surface I immediately saw it was a monster. Now I was even more nervous and the second chance I had, I was able to net it. When I first looked in the net I knew I’d broken my PB for the second time this year. After weighing, it turned out to be a monster common of 61lb 11oz. This water can really break you, but holds, in my opinion, some of the finest carp in Belgium and I’m more then proud to have caught my second one of the A-team from this pit. Happy days!”
A 25lb Tungskin Hooklink and size 6 Curve Points holding firm in tough conditions!
Well done Sam, great result once again!