January 08, 2023 2 min read

Where it all started - When I was about 10 years old my parents separated. Where my dad lived there was a small stagnant lake opposite his house. I wanted to give fishing a go, this is when my obsession started. I caught a small perch first time out.

After that I didn’t catch anymore fish from that lake, even though I tried. Back at my Mums house, I told my friends about my new found hobby and to my surprise some of them had been with their parents too and were up for giving it a go with me. Fast forward 15 years I have a young family so don’t get to go as often as I’d like, but given half the chance, I’m gone whatever the weather.
My favourite venue was Thatcham Angling 3 Lakes on a club ticket with carp up to 40lbs. Sadly this is no longer the case due to oxygen crashes. I had countless great trips on long lake and learnt everything I needed to know and how to fish with confidence there. My two most memorable trips there were when I targeted a carp for the first time. Horden’s was a lake that I had fished but had never really had any big ones and only done the odd social on. My cousin was starting to get into fishing and asked to come with me. I knew the lake as there were a couple of big ones in it and a 40 common that I wanted. The first trip to the lake in early spring I found the big ones in some snags but the swim was occupied. I chatted with the guy and could see he was fishing nowhere near them, he told me he was leaving lunchtime so I waited. As soon as he was gone, I set up in the swim, I knew exactly where to cast my rod.

I watched the second biggest common in the lake (34lbs) take my hook bait just an hour after the guy had blanked the swim. That session saw me catch two 30lb’s, one 28lb and a double! It was an epic night! The next time I went saw me have two more carp that I wanted, I had them both within four hours of being there. I found the big common in a snag near the same snags as my previous trip. The first I pulled out was the mirror which I hadn’t originally seen but it ended up in my net. With only the common to go a member that had witnessed my first night’s success said to me “If you catch Vern the 40, ‘I’m pushing you in”. The rod went just as he left my swim! I never did tell him. I’m not sure why but Vern was under weight, rumours have it he was 44lb previous to me but 37.6lb was good enough and the best fight I’ve ever had!

Favourite style/approach - Spodding particles and sitting over big beds of bait when I feel it’s going to work. Much more enjoyable than chasing them around the lake.
Favourite species: Carp
Mirror personal best 37lb 12oz
Common personal best 37lb 6oz
Favourite bait - Tiger nuts in Betalin