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

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