After putting a hold to my fishing for around 3-4 years because of my military career as well as being extremely busy, I had got to a point where I had to get back into what I’d always loved growing up. The passion for carp fishing never left me but was on pause while I had to pursue a career, so with that I looked through all my neglected gear and thought “right I need a full revamp”. Luckily I had a good mate of mine, Max Leggett working for Total Fishing Tackle and with his help managed to get my gear built up again, ‘when you have no net or mat, something has gone wrong’. So with my new Nash Scope Rods and gear, I headed to more of a runs water with a good head of fish, just to build up my confidence and get a fish in the net. I’d first heard of Berners Hall Fishery through Max and TFT, and thought I’d like to give that a go. I fished twice without any success, nothing. Admittedly I was somewhat unprepared for what Berners had to offer.

I went and returned more prepared with a better idea of how to go at this lake, I turned up early that day, 8am exactly, and proceeded to walk around the lake, with nothing being seen on the first time around I went on a second lap and with that saw a fish show 3 times off an area in the teeth of the wind in front of a swim known as ‘Bailiffs’. I chucked a lead out but first only found weed, I kept at it and eventually found a clear spot that the fish must have been feeding on. I hastily set the rods up and got them out, although proving tricky in the wind. I managed to spomb some bait in and around the area with some hemp seed and Sticky Baits Krill. I then sat back and watched the water, the fish showed time and time again on the spot but with no bites, I started getting impatient. I eventually reeled them in and had some weed on the hooklink, the wind must have taken it slightly off course and missed the clear patch by a close margin, so I clipped up using the distance sticks and swapped one rod from a white pop up to a bottom bait rig using one of the new size 4 Korda Kamakura Krank Hooks with a 16mm Krill Wafter to match the hatch. The wind was picking up by the minute so with a few attempts I got them on the spot and decided for a big hit of bait seeing as they’d probably been eating what I put out before.

I sat back and ordered a Chinese as they deliver to the lake. An hour and a half went by and my phone rang, “Hi there, I have your order at the gate” as I stepped outside the bivvy on the phone to the driver, my right-hand rod ripped off and just as I was gonna bring them in and run for my Chinese! Now I was in a bit of a dilemma with this carp putting up an epic fight around the lake, and the man with the Chinese waiting for me at the gate! I was stuck, he’d have to wait. After 10 minutes the fish bobbed up to the surface and knowing the guy was going to leave any minute, I slightly rushed the carp more than I’d normally do into the net, then secured it into the retention sling and run to the gate. I knew it was a good’un but didn’t quite know how good until I got back and saw this huge great Common in my sling, being my first fish from Berners let alone undoubtedly a new PB! I rang Max who not so long ago left the office’s and gone home. His words were “I’m not coming all the way back if it’s just a scraper 30” I replied, “Come to see for yourself!”

Luis Welton - Buster at 40lb
‘Buster’ 40lb

Within the hour he was down with his camera and scales, I will never forget the look on his face when I unzipped the sling and a unit of a Common was laying there. Max knew it was a fish known as ‘Buster’ and what weight could be around, as a fellow employee caught it last, almost a year ago to the date at 38lb 6oz! But were shocked as the scales doubled round to the 40lb Mark, I was lost for words, first fish and it was Buster at a huge 40lb!!!

I’d like to thank Max for the pictures and Total Fishing Tackle with help building my gear. All that’s left to say is “Who’s next!”

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