Man on fire!
It only feels like a few weeks since we were reporting Luke Belton’s complex record of 81lb on Lac de Premiere. In fact, it was only a few weeks! So, imagine Luke’s delight when his latest overnighter on his Essex syndicate saw him break his UK personal best with his second UK fifty, a mirror weighing in at 54lb 8oz.
Luke takes up the story: “I got down to the lake around 7am to drop in a swim after my mate, Ian, as he had caught a couple. He kindly told me one of the spots he had caught from, so I put one rod on that and another on a spot we were both familiar with. I wasn’t sure what to do with the middle rod. I knew there was a bar in front of this swim, where I had caught my first UK fifty from, but with the water level being down, it was within reach of the swans, so that was a no-go. After leading about around the bar for about half an hour, I found a lovely silty area of roughly 6ft at the same distance of 14 wraps, but off to the left of the bar, so I decided to put the middle rod there with a pink 15mm Secret 7 Half Tones pop-up on it, with roughly 50 18mm SLK freebies over the top.
“The day passed uneventfully and it was soon dark, so I settled in to watch the football before calling it a night. Then, just before dawn broke, the middle rod absolutely ramped off! As soon as I bent into the fish, it went on a 40-yard run! After weeding me up twice and a slow heavy fight back, I finally got her under the tip, where she ploughed up and down for another 15 minutes at least. I’d gain a bit of line and she would take it straight back before eventually flopping over the cord. By this time it was practically light, so I quickly got her safely in the sling to recover before having a quick cuppa and quickly packing up for work, before getting two lads on the lake to assist with weighing and photos.
“Incredibly, she went 54lb 8oz and was a new UK PB for me and my second UK fifty, not what I was expecting after just smashing my French PB last month. What a year it has been!”