Chris Beasley recalls his last two seasons on the famous Dinton Pastures’ White Swan, where he landed two incredibly special, scaly characters.

Dinton Pastures’ White Swan was one of the most prestigious big fish waters around in the 1990s. Containing a huge number of forties and indeed a few fifties, it drew the attention of every big fish angler in the country. Thanks to a strict stocking policy, despite many of the old originals passing away, the lake contains over 350 carp, with many still over the 40lb mark. Some of which are simply to die for!

The lake itself is 24 acres in size, and considering the stock, you would be forgiven for thinking the fishing is easy! But that couldn’t be anything further from the truth. Over half the lake’s stock go uncaught for vast amounts of time, and this combined with it being a public park make it a tricky place to master.

Bright pop-ups are great to get a few bites early year.

I kept my fishing simple; moving round the pond with chod rigs, baited with bright pop-ups. It seemed to be a great way of getting a few bites early year. I caught a few more and suffered only the one fish loss, but before I knew it Simon closed it for spawning and that was it until the summer.

After a successful return following spawning, which produced a few stockies, down in the shallow end of the lake. This area was perfect for the summer months, and despite the angling pressure in the area, the fish didn’t seem to mind.

One Friday afternoon I finished work, the lake was busy, and it was chucking it down. I found a few fish showing on a warm wind they were ripping the bottom up, with sheets of fizzing erupting a transit van sized plume of bubbles over certain areas. I had a quick lead around and looked for the softer but clear areas. Lots of people seem to look for the harder gravelly spots; I wanted to fish in the silt and cast a bottom bait into it too. Just a Krill Dumbbell tipped with a bit of a pop-up to give the rig a bit of buoyancy. I also made sure to put a bit of putty on the point of the hook to help it fall down perfectly once the carp had picked the rig up.

I put out around half a kilo of Krill boilies and sat back and waited. A couple of hours later the line pulled up tight and the rod curved round. I knew straight away that it was a good fish. It completely flat rodded me and charged straight towards a set of snags to my right! I had to apply much more pressure than I would have liked, but I had no choice. I placed the rod as low down as I could and desperately tried to pump the fish away from the snags. After a couple of minutes the fish just popped up in front of me, just yards out. I grabbed the net as the fish seemed as shocked as I was, scooped her up and I just froze. I was speechless for several minutes, just peering into the net at one of the best-looking carp I have ever laid eyes on.

Before I knew it, Tony Roberts came wondering into the swim and he asked what I had got. I still couldn’t speak, but eventually muttered out the words ‘Son of Triple Row’. We weighed the fish in at 43lb 4oz and she looked absolutely immense. It was a pleasure just to hold such a special carp!

Before I knew it, Tony Roberts came wondering into the swim and he asked what I had got. I still couldn’t speak, but eventually muttered out the words ‘Son of Triple Row’. We weighed the fish in at 43lb 4oz and she looked absolutely immense. It was a pleasure just to hold such a special carp!

I made sure to put a bit of putty on the point of the hook to help it fall down perfectly once the carp had picked the rig up.

Once I returned the fish, I got the rod back out as quickly as I could. A few hours later, into darkness, I managed to land a fish known as the Pretty One at 34lb. Again, two hours passed, and I had another fish on the same rod, this time a 22lb common. I couldn’t seem to get a bite on the other rod. I tried putting two rods on the spot, but it never seemed to work. Whether the line lay was wrong or not, I don’t know. I decided to just fish the second rod down the margin and sessions on from that, I continued to catch fish.

Soon the swim became too popular and I just couldn’t get back in the area. Once the autumn came, I decided to take a break for the winter and recharge the batteries on a local club water, which was successful as well. But I was eager to return to Dinton.

In years gone by, the lake had been known for producing one of the big fish at the end of March. So, I began fishing there again and after walking around for a good five hours looking for fish. I didn’t, so set up in a swim that gives you a good view of the lake and it would give me a chance of being able to see anything.

The following afternoon I packed down and went for a walk. I met my friend Tony halfway round the lake and we proceeded to do three or four laps. We ended up in a swim and a fish came clean out. Tony claimed the swim and I decided to go a couple of swims down.

Another cracker from the spot, it was getting better and better.

I cast a couple of multi-rigs armed with Krill White One pop-ups 40 yards out to the bottom of the shelf. It seemed to shelve up further out in the lake and I wanted to be in the silt in the deeper water. I sat there at 6am the following morning staring at my rods. I saw the bobbin rise ever so slightly before tightening up. Without taking any line, the fish was immediately on the surface. I could see it was a fairly big fish but wasn’t quite sure. It ploughed back down deep and kited round to my right.

It came in pretty easily, and just a rod length out I could see the fish swimming past me. I couldn’t believe my eyes, it was a carp known as Triple Row, a fish that had only been caught a dozen or so times in its life. I could see it twisting and turning in the clear water with my little pop-up hanging out its mouth.

It was a bit nervy to say the least, especially with the wind picking up, making it an almost impossible task landing it. Thankfully though, I bundled it in and I could not believe it. I made sure to secure the fish in the net before running down to Tony. He was fast asleep but not for long, as I shook him while trying to get out some gibberish about a huge scaly carp in my net.

Chris packed quite the crowd that day.

It took a while for him to actually believe me, but when he did, he came around and I began to chill out a bit. Loads of lads came down including the owner to make sure the fish was in great condition, which it was. I felt the pressure, but thankfully she was well behaved. On the scales she went 45lb 14oz. The lads did me the honours with some cracking pictures and she swam away safely. What an incredible place!

Chris packed quite the crowd that day.

It took a while for him to actually believe me, but when he did, he came around and I began to chill out a bit. Loads of lads came down including the owner to make sure the fish was in great condition, which it was. I felt the pressure, but thankfully she was well behaved. On the scales she went 45lb 14oz. The lads did me the honours with some cracking pictures and she swam away safely. What an incredible place!

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