Dynamite Baits

21 October, 2019 | Carp | Tips | Articles


How to get your kids hooked on carp fishing

When Lee Howard decided to teach his sons how to carp fish, he never anticipated what they were about to achieve. Lee recalls the families exploits from an epic summer of carping. If you’re thinking about taking your kids out on the bank, read on…

family carp fishing


Lee continues…

I first started taking my boys fishing nearly 4 years ago, at the side of the local supermarket is a canal that we always fed the ducks on after we had finished shopping. One day we was feeding the ducks when I noticed a load of roach hoovering up all the small bits of crumb falling through the water underneath the ducks.

That week I nipped to the closest tackle shop and left with a 3mtr whip a few pole rigs and half a pint of white maggots, we was now armed and ready for the weekends shopping trip. Up on the canal we still fed the ducks so it drew in the roach while we got the whip sorted, the kids was all excited as they kept passing my Polaroid glasses to each other so they could see the amount of fish clearly.

That single hour they not only hooked a few roach but it had also hooked the boys especially Alfie. Over the next couple of years we fished a small farm pond for anything that liked sweetcorn with a waggler set up, it was always good fun baiting what ever margin spots they liked the look of and moving around when they seen the swell of a fish with it’s head down.

River bashing…

We also carried on with the canal but that soon drifted to a small river in our village with some nice chub that filled the spot many times over straight after school. Alfie has always been so keen but Charlie had his moments, most of the time he just liked to sit and watch plus eating all the food ha.

chub fishing

The boys found some nice chub on a local river

He started to show more interest when his brother got a small carp rod and borrowed one of my alarms, this was more up Charlie’s street! At the time I was fishing a small deep pit 10 minutes from home, I started taking the boys night fishing at this point and Alfie got to Chuck his rod out at the side of mine.

Our first night I managed a scraper 20 mirror which opened the boys eyes! This place is also rammed with Rudd and roach so Alfie filled his boots with them on our little trips with charlie having his usual dabble in between.

We managed 6 nights that summer and the boys got to see another nice fish towards the end, at this point I decided to treat them both to a little set up each. We spent most of that winter and the following spring fishing methods or singles on the little farm pond and the boys really got to learn the ropes especially Alfie with all the casting in and out with mountains of silver’s on our nights through the previous summer.


Trent View…

The following summer started well with a trip to Trent View where Alfie caught his first 20lb fish in the shape of a beautiful mirror, they was fish all over us that day and I was messing about with a GoPro and caught it all on film.

The boys was desperate to have another go on the little pit, more so Alfie as he loved sitting there catching the rudd so the plan was to start back on in the summer holidays but one of life’s pains got in the way and none of us got chance of getting out until the autumn.

At this point it was all about having fun and the little farm pond captured us again with the enjoyment of catching plenty of nice little scaleys which did the boys proud until early summer this year.

a nice winter scaly for Alfie

A nice winter scaly for Alfie on the farm pond

The little pit…

I still had the ticket for the little pit which still had a fair few months left on it, I had no plans on having another go myself but with the way last year went I thought it was now or never. The boys were well up for it, the main plan was to try and teach them location and observation above all else!

We managed a night around the beginning of June this year and as luck would have it we got the lake to our selves, we spent a good few hours looking around finding a few fish in different places and trying to point out what’s going on to the boys. This pit only has around 25 carp in it but over half are 20+ so the boys eyes were popping out when they seen a few fish!

There were clearly a group of six fish in and around a small weed bed just into the mouth of a 150 yd long channel with another handful dotted around the pegs further up. This channel is only 15 yds wide and fairly shallow and absolutely perfect for the boys to watch the fish close up.

fish in the weed on the little pit

The boys love watching fish in the weed on the little pit

The six fish in the weed had most of the top fish amongst them with two of the three good mirrors and a couple of the better commons tucked away in the pack! We had to have ago but the sun was beaming and all these fish wanted to do was sit and enjoy it with no desire to feed on anything at that time.

The plan was hatched for me to get the boys to bait a couple of spots I pointed out further up the channel for a look in the morning then drop into the peg to the right of the weedbed which covers the mouth of the channel as well as the area the fish were sunning them self’s in.

Charlie got his rods out first with Alfie getting to plop one rod in but the left hand rod was better waded so once he got that one all set to go I waded down the left hand reedline and placed his bait on the money. That night I got to try out our new BBQ while the boys enjoyed catching loads of Rudd, the owner had given them a keepnet and they thought it was great knocking up 11lbs worth in the end.

Charlie mixing ingredients for a successful rudd attack

Charlie mixing ingredients for a successful rudd attack


The big mirror returns…

The following morning Charlie was still fast on as me and Alfie sat watching his feeder tip when his left hand rod gave off a few bleeps as the fish hit a tight clutch! It was the rod I placed for him and the fish was trying to power into the weedbed it was relaxing in the evening before, Alfie held on as I was flapping to get into the chesties all while trying to film it.

The fish now kited left and started to run along the Reed’s, I was wading towards it with the net as Alfie kept it slowly moving my way when I seen what fish it was! It was the big mirror he seen me catch the other year on one of our fishing nights out.

I shouted to Alfie it’s a new pb as he punched the air with a YESS! She weighed 28.13 and it was more of a joint effort but we we’re all absolutely buzzing and blown away!!


alfie with the 28.13 and a pb

alfie with the 28.13 and a PB. Yeesss!!

I’d just got the pancakes cooking when Alfie’s rod went again but this time a jet black tench was the culprit and was more than welcome. We got everything packed down after breakfast with not seeing anything else in the area since all the disturbance that morning and we still had the baited spots in the channel to investigate.

The boys picked a rod each and shared a two rod bar along with a net, mat and a few bits then we went off for a look. We saw two fish over the first spot but we kind off spooked them as I was trying to get the boys to see them so we carried on to the next opening where we found a group of five fish well game on the bit of CompleX-T we popped in the evening before.


The boys chilling in the channel

A run for Charlie..

I let Charlie have pick of two spots I’d eyeballed and he placed his rod in first just off the rod tip to the right, Alfie went next and placed his out the same distance but a little left. He’d just got his bobbin on when his rod ripped round, it caught him off guard being so quick and managed to get it’s head in the Reed’s.

I’d left the chesties in the car so I only had one choice and stripped down to my boxers and went in, the boys found it hilarious although it was all in vain as the fish was long gone. We now started to walk back to the car and call it a day when we decided on one more look in the area we spooked two fish from earlier, you could see they was back before you even even walked in the swim!

We could see a tail lobe waving around in front eating what remaining bait that was left from yesterday so I got Charlie to put his rod together while me and Alfie watched. We could tell they was a good one in among three fish, the water was so churned up you couldn’t tell which one but after a few minutes they lifted up and slowly moved left, this was Charlie’s moment! he messed up on the first attempt.

Another PB..

I quickly cleaned off the weed from his rig and then made sure the coast was clear for his second attempt which went in spot on! We sat back away from the waters edge but within 2 or 3 minutes his rod was ripping off!!

Charlie grabbed the rod and held on as the fish kept going for a few yards then held ground slowly moving towards us, it had managed to get a clump of weed over it’s head which helped us out no end and eventually it was close enough to just net the lot. I saw the shoulders as it went over the net cord and was absolutely gobsmacked as I stared down at another one of the lakes big mirrors and a new PB for Charlie at 27.10.

The little guy was absolutely in bits with a massive smile from ear to ear! We all did to be honest, it was more than we could of asked for on our first visit back.



Charlie with one of the lake’s finest and a new PB at 27lb 10oz


Back for more..

Later that week after school we decided to go back for an evening session down the pit. My plan again was to get them finding the fish and also picking areas to bait ready for the following night’s session. We stumbled across a group of 12 fish spread along a section of the channel covering a good 100 yds so we dug in for a few hours and just watched as the fish was again just happy to sit in the sun slowly moving up and down the channel in front of us before disappearing for a while then moving slowly back.

We decided to bait up the area we were already in for the following night but when we arrived back the whole channel was devoid of fish except a small group in the weedbed in the mouth of the channel. They had definitely moved into the bowl area, a deep body of water where they can get there heads down out of sight.

We spent the next few hours walking back and forth around the bowl with the odd check on the few in the weedbed but we spotted nothing for our efforts so I thought at least there’s a few around the weedbed so we ended up back in the same swim as our first night. The same spots were fished with the boys getting there rods cast out, all except that left hand rod of Alfie’s that I waded in again once he’d got it all sorted.

tying rigs

Prepping for the night

The following morning the rod I’d placed for Alfie buckled over giving off a few bleeps as the fish hit a tight clutch, he did well holding on until the thing decided to shoot towards us then straight out the channel wiping out his other rod.

I just turned the alarm off and opened the bail arm as Alfie steadily brought the fish back towards us. She was beat at this point most probably by trying to get in the weed at the start and it wasn’t long before I got the net under a nice leathery mirror at 21lb. Alfie was bouncing all over!! He couldn’t care what it weighed he was just gagging to get in for a water shot with his monster fish.

Nothing more happened that morning but before we left I made sure we had a good look around although we didn’t see anything I still got the boys to bait where we fished the night and also the barren spots up the channel just in case they turn up there next weekend.

Back in the channel..

We sneaked a peek on the Thursday evening again after school and they had now turned up in the channel area and by the looks of things had already been feeding on the bait we left them at the weekend. We sat and watched them for a good hour with the boys getting really excited, both were picking fish they wanted which was quite funny stood there listening to them both.

I explained to the boys that it’s best to put a handful of bait out tonight as if we was fishing and hopefully not spooking them to much then make our way here straight from school with fingers crossed. We arrived back the following afternoon to find we had the lake to our selves again and with the fish still around the same area I borrowed all our gear half way up the channel and into our plot for the evening.

After several attempts the boys cast there single hookbaits out but I decided against putting any bait in as I felt the fish were clearly feeding, plus all we wanted was a quick bite before we headed off home late the following morning.

At first light Alfie’s left hand rod was away and an absolute pearler of a fish was on the end. He managed to keep it under control close in for a few minutes then it just popped up and into the net. A dark scaley mirror with huge fins lay in the net, we weighted her at 15lb and she is definitely the best fish he’s caught by a long shot!


dark scaly best carp of the summer

Dark, scaly and powerful – the best carp of the summer despite being small

The fish were on the feed…

We left that morning on a real high and couldn’t wait till the weekend to come Tuesday evening after school we found our selves driving back to the lake with a few bits hoping they we’re still in the channel. As soon as we pulled onto the pit the fish was all over the bowl, mainly in the margin on the bank as you drive in.

We stood and watched for an hour walking between pegs 1 & 3. I was stood in peg 3 at one point with Charlie watching four fish when Alfie came running round from peg 2 saying there’s one in the margin, we quickly shot round and there it was a rod length out and a decent one as well.

We had to get on them but I also wanted to bait the other areas up in the channel even though it’s clear the fish weren’t there. The boys scattered around a pint of CompleX-T in the area up the channel with half going on to the far bank as they over gunned the catapult. They also put a few handfuls around the mouth of the channel before heading back around to the other side of the lake to have a couple of hours on the fish.

That evening was mind numbing as the fish just didn’t want to know with another day of basking in the sun, I still scattered another pint of bait around this area as well when the boys started to pack away as they could still be around here as well come the weekend.

A fish called Cluster

We got there after school again that Friday and after half hour in the bowl we hadn’t seen a thing so we all took a stroll up the channel to check on the other areas before heading back down to the bowl for another look.

We didn’t get chance to have another look in the bowl, we saw several fish moving through the area from right to left, we quickly shot round to the next opening to see if they carried on up the channel or had stayed  between the gaps that people fish from. They never swam past and with seeing a few good ones amongst them we decided to drop in the gap to our right for the night.

The boys got there rods put together and within a few casts they had got their baits in ready as I scattered a handful of CompleX-T over each rod.

It didn’t take long at all! Around half hour later i was on the phone to my oldest daughter just checking in and making sure everything is ok when I noticed Charlie’s line picking up then a split second later his rod smashed round as a fish tried to gain ground in the reeds to our left.

Charlie grabbed the rod and just held on for a moment before the fish turned and headed towards a weedbed in front of us but I was already on it wading out with the net to cut off it’s escape plan.

She boiled in front of the weed and I could see it was a big mirror but I thought it was the one he already caught until I got the net under her and realized he’d only gone and caught the third biggest mirror known as Cluster!!

We was all in the buzz of the moment as the boys stared into the net at Charlie’s fish, he was so excited to get her on the bank to hold in his arms, we weighted her at 26.6 but the weight was irrelevant to the boy’s it was all about the visual size and the actual fish it’s self that made the memories.

a carp called cluster

Charlie with Cluster


School holidays = more fishing

We didn’t have to wait long for our next outing as the school holidays had started that weekend so we managed to get back down on the Wednesday for another night in the hope they was still knocking about the channel on the bit of bait we put in as we left last time.

However, a couple of hours walking around the bowl and up the channel and back again we hadn’t seen anything and with us all hungry at this point I decided to set the BBQ up in an area we could see most of the lake and let the boys hammer the Rudd while I cooked dinner.

The coals was just getting warm enough to cook on when I hear a sloshed thump followed quickly by the boys saying that’s a carp dad that’s a carp we saw it!! It was only 30 yds straight out in front of us so I got the boys to put a rod on it each which went pretty well with Alfie only taking two casts and Charlie’s one.

With the BBQ rolling and the only fish we had seen being in front of us I decided to stay put for the night, the boys had a rod each on a show and they was really enjoying giving the Rudd all kinds of hell so it made sense to just sit back and enjoy the moment.


kids fishing for rudd on a summers evening

A summers evening fishing for rudd

The following morning the boys were back out at first light trying to get among the Rudd again when Alfie’s rod just tore off! The fish had the whole bowl to play with and made sure it did as well.

It was an epic battle as Alfie gained line only for it to rip off again and again, he was struggling but held on and it all eventually came good when I bundled his fish into the net.

A lovely mirror of 16.2 known as Cluster’s Mate lay in our net and Alfie was well chuffed after a proper good battle and topped it off an hour later with another beautiful tench before we set off home.

in the water shots

Getting ready to take pics of another catch!

Confidence is high..

We got back down a week later all full of confidence as we were on a roll at this point, as we pulled up straight away we could see a dozen or more fish in a reedy corner of the bowl and moving up and down the left margin.

We had to get on it so the boys got there rods ready as I watched the fish hoping for that split moment the coast was clear so they could chuck in, well it was a disaster!

A couple of casts went in the reed’s and we were lucky to get the rigs back but several casts later and the boys had there rods on the money, only trouble is as the evening passed I knew they had spooked them!

Morning came and went with out seeing a single fish and our roll had been cut as we packed up and headed for home.

We got back down that weekend for another night that actually turned into two. We arrived on the Friday to find we had the lake to ourselves again and within ten minutes it was clear most of the fish were around the mouth of the channel and around the small weedbed tucked into the channel.

We got dug in and the boys got there rods plopped out as I chucked a handful of CompleX-T over the top for them then they settled in for an evening of roach bashing as I did the chef bit.

Fish on…

Half hour later the rod Alfie dropped on the far reedline was away. He grabbed hold as I slipped into the chesties but all was solid so I took hold of his rod and applied pressure but the rig came free and the fish was long gone!

At this point I thought he had been done by a carp but he followed it up with two tench that evening followed by another three through the night so I was guessing it was a tench that got away.

First light came and me and Alfie were shattered with being up and down all night and we was half asleep when Alfie’s rod let on a few bleeps again, thinking it was another tench we got to the rod and in was bent right round to the left but as he picked the rod up the fish came straight towards us making us think it was still a tench at this point until he got it to a couple of rod lengths out and I could see it was one of the big mirrors again!

She didn’t put up much of a fight except for a final lunge towards the mouth of the channel but Alfie managed to turn her and she waddled in like a dog on a lead.

I noticed straight away it was the same mirror Charlie had caught up the channel a couple of weeks earlier But it was still a new one for Alfie and the little chap was buzzing his bits off!

We weighted her at 25.8 and after the pictures Alfie released her in the margin but she swam under some mini pads between us, he was feeling about trying to touch her so I thought I’d film his because if it bolts he will be in for a shock.

Instead the little champ whipped it back out the water cradling her in his arms as if he’s just trout tickled her! It was a fantastic moment I was so glad I caught on film!


kids carp fishing

Alfie with the same mirror Charlie had a couple of weeks previous

The rest of the day was spent hammering the Rudd while watching the carp sun themselves again in the weedbed with out a care in the World.

Knowing this lake is renowned for it’s morning bites if you’re on them and having enough supply’s for a second night I decided we would stay and push our luck. The pit had a majority of nice old dark commons that seem to be eluding us up to this point, not that we was complaining with what we had caught already.

A common at last..

The following morning at first light me and Alfie were sat watching fish all over his rods while Charlie dabbled with the roach. We knew it was only a matter of time before something happened and I remember saying to Alfie a low 20 common would be nice.

I’d gone and made a brew and a couple of hot chocolates for the boys as I was trying to calm the atmosphere but within moments it kicked off!

We rushed to the rods And you could see the big boils rolling on the surface next to the weedbed as it was trying to gain sanctuary but the tight clutch and the fish’s momentum just pushed his head down and cocked his tail up!

This did Alfie a favor as the fish knackered it’s self out before he even picked the rod up, it also allowed the fish to gather some weed around it’s head which calmed matters a little and the fish was slowly guided in as it made a steady zig zag to the net.

As it went in the mesh I seen it was his first common of the summer holidays and at 23.9 with little withered fins and a finger print for a scale it was more than we could of ever wished for.


first common carp of the summer for alfie

The first common carp of the summer for Alfie. The smile says it all!

We headed back a few days later for another night and just like a couple of weeks ago they were in the reedy corner of the bowl again only this time I knew the wraps!

I’d decided before we packed away on our last visit to mark out the spots we fished in this area and also clipped up a few other spots around the mouth of the channel and up the channel where we had caught from before and still trickle bait in.

It took nearly two hours at the end of our last visit and I got the boys to write down the wraps explaining to them that if we find them in these areas again all this work will be worth it.

Trying to get them to do the wraps resulted in a few tangles on their first attempts but they mastered it in the end and when the fish finally gave us a moment the boys got the rods out first cast.

The sun was baking with a steady breeze blowing into us but the fish was again enjoying the sun on there shoulders instead of feeding but rain was due and it absolutely pelted it down through the night keeping me and Alfie awake but not Charlie! He can sleep through hell and come out the other side fresh as a daisy.

Return of the leather..

Come morning there was nothing showing anywhere and with all the rain through the night I was sure the fish had done the off just like our last try in this area. I decided to leave Alfie sat watching his rods while Charlie carried on sleeping and had a quick stroll around the bowl and a little way up the channel but still I couldn’t find anything!

I said to Alfie we might as well stay put and see out the morning and started to crack out the pancakes when Alfie’s right hand rod bent round as the fish kited right, he quickly grabbed hold but it kept going right until it tangled up with charlie left had rod! I quickly took the bail arm off to keep the line as limp as possible so it didn’t cut him off and with the extra weight Alfie did ace guiding his fish towards me with the waiting net.

A friendly face lay in the net as Alfie’s first repeat of the summer the little leather looked back at us, it was a mega buzz and Alfie was all excited to catch her again.

giving a leather a lot of love

Caught for the second time…


Hat trick hero..

Our next visit was a week later and the usual looking around was setting in to the boys, we found several fish half way up the channel but they wasn’t all there so we kept on looking. After an hour or so the boys little legs were tired and we still hadn’t found anything else except for the ones up the channel so we decided to drop in there for the night.

After a few casts with the boys hitting the clips too hard the rods were in place and I’d rained down a few handfuls of boilies. To our amazement Alfie’s rod wacked round as the fish hit a tight clutch, it nearly pulled Alfie’s arms off This one as it tried to get into the reeds. I was trying to get the chesties on while looking up seeing Alfie struggling to lift the rod up high!

By the time I’d got in with the net the fish had started to swim towards us, Alfie did ace turning it into the net as I nearly missed with trying to get it all on film.

I noticed through the fight it was a fish called Grays, the sloping head and the lump on her side gave it away. On the scales she went 27.8 and was the same fish Charlie had right at the beginning of our summer and now put Alfie on all 3 of the lake’s big mirrors.

the hatrick of the lakes big carp

Hat trick complete with all three of the lake’s big mirrors…

The big commons had still avoided him but they was still a few more fish moving up and down the channel so Alfie quickly re chucked his rod which landed spot on first time while I topped up with another handful of CompleX-T.

We were quite taken back by having one straight away at this time of the day as all our bits came just after first light so when the same rod bent over a second time and hour later we were a little shocked!

Alfie grabbed the rod but his arms was still shot up after the first fish and he struggled to keep it out the reeds. I’d just got into the chesties and grabbed the net as Alfie shouted it had got him stuck!

I took hold of the rod and put pressure on it but it was we stuck in the reeds, I got Alfie to run round to the next swim with the net as I waded down the margin with his rod to get a better angle but it was no good. I got Alfie to put the net over my head which the boys found funny and I ended up wading through the reeds only to find the rig stuck solid in the reed’s and the fish was gone!

Alfie was deflated but he got his rod back out even though I’d recked his swim with wading through the spot he got the bites from and to top it off we never saw anything else in that area for the rest of the session.

We stayed put at the time in hope they would come back for a morning bite and around 3am in the morning Alfie’s left hand rod went mental!! A swan had caught the line and proceeded to drag Alfie’s line over his other rod and both of Charlie’s wiping them all out completely.

We was in a right pickle and had to wait a couple of hours before it was light enough for the boys to re-cast their rods but be it the commotion from the swan, the head lamp gleaming on to the small slither of channel in front of us while sorting out the mess or maybe it was me ploughing through the swim the evening before  the fish were long gone.

Come eight in the morning we reeled in and had a good look about the channel in case they were further up but we saw nothing up there.  We did find a few around a weedbed to our right but there was a chap fishing close by so we left them and had a good rummage around the bowl where we saw a single good fish moving up and down the margins.

One fish is better than none I thought so we quickly packed up and headed for the area to fish the final few hours before we had to go. Several casts later and the rods was set but it just wasn’t meant to be this time. We couldn’t complain as among all the hassle we really enjoyed ourselves.

Going for the big common

Our next trip out was nearly two weeks later as we had gone on holiday. We had been down for a look a couple of evenings before and found the big common with a few fish in the weed bed near the channel and a fair few other fish on the other side of the lake.

I was torn between what to do? Shall we just go for a bite or have ago for the big girl? We settled on the latter as the boys set about getting there rods out around the area the big girl was in. She just wasn’t playing ball and just sat in the cover of the weed the whole time we were there.

As the morning ticked by I got the boys to move swims around to where we seen the main group of fish the evening before in a last ditch attempt to wangle one out but we drew a blank on that session, at least we tried and it would of been an ace way to end the summer campaign.

Last night of the holidays..

Our last night of the summer holidays came around and as we turned up at the first peg there were six fish sat to the right in a corner of reed’s sunning themselves. I left the car there to secure the swim as we went to rule out the channel which confirmed that most of the fish was in the bowl plus the fish was still in the area we had moved to on our last session.

We knew the wraps in this swim and the boys got there rods out without any fuss tight to the corner and spread left along the reed’s. With in an hour Alfie’s left hand rod went with an angry tench being the culprit.

He re-cast spot on and I put a few more baits over the top from him as he settled his rod on the alarm. Not half hour later that same rod was away again, the fish swam straight towards us at first and Alfie still had a locked clutch as he was fishing against the reed’s so when the fish woke up and bolted to freedom it nearly dragged Alfie in!

It came to the surface and boshed when I caught a glimpse of a plane upper double mirror, at that exact point the hook hold failed and it was gone! We were all wounded, things weren’t looking good for a spectacular end to the summer and even though we carried on in that area till the morning the fish had moved else where.

School’s in…

School had started back now and the regularity of our sessions was knocked back to the usual one night a fortnight but the boys were keen to get back. Alfie wanted to redeem himself where poor Charlie wanted to just end his blanking spell.

We shot straight to the lake once school had finished and spent a good couple of hours looking around, we knew most of the fish were still in the bowl somewhere but the kept out of sight except for the big girl sat in the same weedbed as the other week with two more fish.

It had to move out and if it did the boys would have there rods in place ready plus with nothing else to go on it was our only option. The boys got the baits spot on and I chucked a handful of bait over there rods as the got there lines sunk and put there bobbins on.

The big common..

Just on dark two fish boshed out over Charlie’s rods and sometime through the night I heard an almighty bosh that got me up looking. I noticed it was right in between Alfie’s rods so surely something had to give?

It was a misty morning and just before the light broke on the horizon I was woken by a panicked Alfie saying his rods just bleeped a few times! I honestly didn’t hear it so we both shot out to see his right hand rod locked round.

He quickly grabbed it but all was locked solid in a small fragile Lilly bed, I was sure it was a tench and it was only a few pads and a carp would of just ploughed through surely?

I took hold of Alfie’s rod and pulled when all came free, the fish swam towards me and just as I said to Alfie it’s a tench and gave him the rod back when the fish broke out the backbone and made a run out the channel and into the deep open water of the bowl.

Alfie was now holding on to a carp but there was no way he could safely bring it back the way it went so I told him to meet me in the next peg and I waded out in the channel holding on to Alfie’s rod and into the clearing where Alfie was stood further down waiting to get his hands on his rod again from a better position.

He did well gaining line only for the fish to rip off a load of line before repeating the whole process another couple of times. Alfie kept on the pressure and I clocked it was a good fish but it was still too misty to see what it was. When it went into the net I still didn’t think it was the big common. I did see the flank of a common roll in but I was shocked to see the big girl looking back at me!

I told Alfie as I waded back in with his new PB all caught by himself this time. We had sat many nights enjoying the BBQ talking about this fish plus others in the lake and now Alfie had caught her and his face was an absolute pearler!!

She weighed 32.4 and was Alfie’s first 30+ at the age of seven, no doubt with the help of his dad’s past experience of the lake and location helped point the boys in the direction of a bite most visits but what a moment!

lakes biggest common 32.4

Mission complete. The big common at 32lb 4oz and a new PB for Alfie

It’s an awesome feeling seeing one of my little boys with an old English, Nottinghamshire common I chased myself a few years back. Alfie spent the next week telling everyone what he had caught regardless of if they wanted to here it or not haha he was and still is on cloud 9 to this day bless him.

It was an epic way to end the summers adventure considering how the end of the holidays went, between them they had an amazing time not only catching a few big fish but also hammering the rudd along the way.

We are going to do a couple more nights over the next month or so until it gets to cold in the hope Charlie can get another to break his blank run and then it’s on to a runs water for some winter fun.

lakes biggest common 32.2b

What a way to end the summer with a PB busting common

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