TERRY HEARN

Carpworld - - EDITORIAL -

It was the sum­mer of 1990 and with my driv­ing test passed and the L plates whipped off my first pride and joy, an Es­cort 1.3 Es­tate, I would no longer be re­stricted to the clos­est parks and ponds reach­able by bus and moped. Now the whole world was my oys­ter. I could drive to the back of be­yond, all the way to the other side of Sur­rey – specif­i­cally, Lang­mans Lake, in Wok­ing...

I could see it was huge as it slurped down the floaters not six feet from the bank. A lit­tle bit fur­ther out were the pads, dense and thick, piled high on top of each other. The outer leaves jos­tled and quiv­ered as the gi­ant re-en­tered their cover, brush­ing against the stems. Now was my chance. A gen­tle un­der­arm flick landed the free-lined double Chum hook­bait mid-chan­nel be­tween the bank and the pads. Soon they plucked and jos­tled again... closer, closer, please keep com­ing... Sud­denly there it was, break­ing through into the chan­nel, long and wide, and head­ing straight for my hook­bait... Shak­ing hands, breath held, time frozen... slurp... wal­lop!

A huge ex­plo­sion, a spin­ning reel han­dle, and power like I’d never felt be­fore. No chance of slow­ing it, cer­tainly not on the tackle of yes­ter­year. I just prayed for the 11lb Syl­cast and size 6 Dren­nan Su­per Spe­cial­ist hook to hold firm. Ten yards or more dis­ap­peared from the spool, through the outer edges of the pads and be­yond. The wa­ter was shal­low and so sec­onds later I was fol­low­ing it, throw­ing the land­ing net ahead of me ev­ery few paces. Bit by bit the line pinged free from the pads, un­til, even­tu­ally, I was past them and in di­rect con­tact with the big­gest carp I’d ever seen, let alone hooked. Please God, please let me land it...

Whilst time froze at the mo­ment of the take, for those last few sec­onds it passed in a flash. I was stuck in thick silt up to my waist in wa­ter, sun in my eyes, monster carp wal­low­ing about be­neath the tip, but some­how, into the net it went. To me, at just 18 years of age, it was a huge, and I knew it had to be the lake’s big­gest com­mon, the one all the big boys fished for. It blew me away in the wa­ter, but the im­pact it had once I had it on the bank was way more last­ing. Thirty pounds and two ounces, from an era when 30lb com­mons were the fish to be dream­ing of.

Twenty eight years later, the buzz lives on.

The 30lb 2oz com­mon from Lang­mans Lake in Send, Wok­ing in 1990 Ex­cuse the qual­ity of the shots. I had to pho­to­graph them whilst still in the al­bum as I doubt they’d sur­vive be­ing re­moved, and they’re the only pics I could find

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