THE ONE I MOST WANTED!
Good, solid angling over a sustained period and a timely tactical change saw Luke Belton rewarded with one of the finest commons Essex has got to offer.
Sitting at the very top of Luke’s most-wanted list for a number of years, the 46lb 4oz golden common known as Mailou was the end result of a lot of hard work put in over the course of 15 nights’ angling on his Essex syndicate, giving him a moment he had longed for – and a new PB common in the process!
Luke takes up the story: “When I rejoined this syndicate after a couple years off, I said to myself I would fish harder than I ever have before and only target the areas where I knew this fish came from at certain times of the year, even if I hadn’t seen anything. Little did I know that would result in me having an absolute hatful of fish along the way!
“Since the start of May, I have been down most weekends and in 15 nights have managed to catch 46 fish along the way. A mix of Bug boilies and buckwheat with Milky Malts over the top have been my go-to method, fishing on gravel every session, as this fish just does not seem to get caught in the silt and loves a white pop-up.
“The lake has been really quiet since the weed has come up and I have had the place to myself nearly over the past few weekends, and this particular session started the same as the others, with fish coming through the Friday night. Around 11pm, 2am and 4am seem to be regular bite times since spawning, but come lunchtime the next day, and despite seeing fish on the spot, I hadn’t had another bite and couldn’t help but think I should have had her. Something triggered me to make a change from the Milky Malt pop-up, so I adapted my spinner rig to fish it with a small Milky Malt wafter tipped with pink plastic corn.
“The results of the rig change were instant and I was quickly into a run of fish. My good friend, Grant, turned up around 6pm and while he was setting up I had a mid-twenty common that he photographed for me. With the fish slipped back, the same rod was back on the spot and it wasn’t long before it started picking up slowly and instantly I knew it was a good fish. It came in on the top above the weed before smashing me under the tip. Grant was ready with the net and when she rolled he looked at me and it just went silent until she was in the net. Mailou was finally mine, 46lb 4oz of golden common carp and the end of a gruelling but enjoyable pursuit!
“I have to give a massive thank you to my amazing fiancée for putting up with me going so much; there aren’t many women on the planet who would put up with it. Time to take a step back, spend some time at home and start taking my eldest boy for his first few night sessions!”