Kingsmead 1 – The Up Front Sutton aka The Ugly Sutton
A number of Sutton strain fish were stocked into K1 many years ago and as time has moved on they have flourished. Being relatively slow growers it has taken a while for a few to reach the 40lb mark, whilst others have stayed at lower weights. Irrelevant of their weights, this Sutton strain, with its tendency to have smaller heads, big shoulders and unique scale patterns make them a little different to the other fish, and they have definitely become sought after by members. The Posh Sutton and Lucky Sutton are probably the most desired amongst the anglers, but there are some stunning smaller specimens to be had. In the summer last year I went through a bit of an unlucky spell on the Church and with confidence low, I headed over to Kingsmead 1 with floater rod in hand.
I had found a large group of fish congregating in Dog Bay on the surface, sat above some very thick Canadian weed and it was hard to ignore them. A few spods of floaters soaked in Mainline Activ-8 syrup switched them on almost straight away, and they were confidently slurping down freebies in the knowledge they were safe considering the amount of weed in the bay. I only had light line on but thought it was worth a go and very quickly managed to hook and land a small but stunning, dark black common. I had also noticed there were a few of what appeared to be larger fish, picking off the floaters that had drifted away from where the majority had settled, and one fish in particular had large shoulders, a huge mouth and was mopping up all the farthestreaching pellets very confidently. I was sure it was one of the larger Suttons. I cast way past the main group towards where this fish was patrolling and within ten seconds of the floater hitting the water it unusually homed in on my bait. As it approached I could see the shoulders come out of the water, the mouth opened and my hookbait got sucked straight in. I was sure it was nailed before I even struck but as soon as I did, it dived straight into a thick weedbed. From what I could see there were three large weedbeds between the bank and the fish and with light main line it almost seemed an impossible task. I held the pressure on as much as I dared and slowly had it moving, only for it to bury itself in the second weedbed. The same approach was applied and once again, I had it moving before it buried itself in the third weedbed. This time it felt like my luck was up but after keeping a steady but gentle pressure on for a few minutes it slowly broke free from the weed and was in the clear water in front of me. I could see it was a large Sutton and I knew straight away by its distinctive shape it was the Upfront Sutton. It was going to be my day or so I thought until a small pike that was sitting in the shallows to the left decided to investigate the commotion. Just my luck I thought, as it homed in on my controller float and started to attack it. Surely it was just a matter of time before it would cut through my line. Surprisingly, as the carp started to come towards the surface the pike darted off and I safely managed to land a new PB surfacecaught carp, at a little under 40lb – my luck was in.
As the ‘aka’ name suggests this fish is like Marmite to some – you either love it or hate it. With the small head, thickset shoulders and bulky, upfront body shape, tapering away to a lovely broken linear scale pattern and small tail, I think it’s a really unique fish and one I am very happy to have in the photo album.
As I started by saying, there are many special fish on the Complex, across all its waters, and those that have been lucky enough to fish here have caught fish which have their own sentimental value, for one reason or another. There is no doubt that the Complex was and still is a very special place. With the current stocking programs, the RK team and their continued investment, and the members that continue to support the syndicates, I am in no doubt that it will remain one of, if not the best, big carp Complex in the country for many years to come.
ABOVE Kingsmead 1’s Ugly Sutton – one I’d dearly wanted and now a new FLOATER-CAUGHT PB
LEFT Sunset on Kingsmead 1