• Posted: 29th March 2023
  • Author: Team DNA
A winter of hard work and blanking were soon forgotten for Leon Kerslake when he got his hands on a fish he had coveted for so long!
Knowing the conditions were starting to turn in his favour, the Nottinghamshire-based carper set out for a 48-hour session on his local venue and got his just rewards with a brand-new personal best, a magnificent common known as Big Girl at 32lb 2oz.
“I put a lot of effort into the lake over the winter with nothing to show for it – I didn’t even see a carp show,” admitted Leon.
“My last capture was from back in October, but knowing what swims about in the lake kept me going back. I saw the weather was starting to change for the better, so knew it wouldn’t be long before the carp started to feed. Plus, the frogs had started to appear, which I knew from past experience was also the time the carp would be on the move.
“So, after noticing the changes, it was time to get the rods out and get down to the lake, starting on a Thursday with me going up to put some bait in an area I had in mind. After finishing work on the Friday, I got to the lake around 7pm, getting the rods out in the dark.
“At 3.45am, the left-hand rod produced a typical bream indication. I’m not one to complain about bream, as at least I know my rig is working and the spot has some sort of fish life around it, and where the bream are, the carp are usually not too far away. So, after getting the rod back out on the spot, it was back to bed for me and it wasn’t too long later at 7am that the left-hand rod ripped round again, knocking the pod over in a blink of an eye! I was hooked into my first carp of 2023. It plodded about slowly, coming towards me, then made a run for it once it got over the deep margin. With me gaining line, she went for one last mad run and it was game over. I saw it was a decent fish, but little did I know what I had in my landing net.
“With help from Scott Mason, who kindly reeled in and came round from the other side of the lake to give me a hand, we got her into the sling and up on to the mat. Instantly after moving the sling away, I knew which fish it was, Big Girl! We put her on to the scales and she came in at 32lb 2oz. I didn’t know what to do with myself. All the time, all the effort and all the blanks went out the window. Buzzing would be an understatement.”
The set-up that did the business was an 18mm SLK Hard Hooker tipped with a 12mm pink pop-up fished over a mixture of 15mm and 18mm SLK boilies coated in SLK Liquid Food and dusted in SLK Stick Mix.