16th October 2017

A return to the big fish mecca that is, Bayeswater syndicate lake resulted in Adam Penning cradling his first UK fifty, The Coconut Common…

Penning explains: “I returned to the Bayeswater syndicate a few weeks ago. I’ve had a ticket for a long time but so far, this year had been busy fishing elsewhere. The lake hadn’t fished all that well this year with a lot of uneaten bait being seen from boats and a big number of fish getting caught on zigs. It seemed the fish were well on the naturals and not keen on eating bait.

On my first trip, following some nocturnal manoeuvres I’d managed to find some fish using an area close to the bank. I set a trap, with a big lead, some casters, The Krill Freezer crumb and hemp and left the rod to fish on its own, down the bank. I was certain it was going to do me a bite and so it transpired in the dead of night when I found myself connected to an absolute beast of a fish that managed to snag me on an unseen obstacle. When it was light enough, I got the boat and went out there but the fish was gone.

I baited the both the spots heavily with hemp, Krill pellet, chopped tigers and a few kilos of Krill boilies.

On a water with such huge prizes it was a devastating loss but I took the positives from the event and resolved that if I could get a bite on my first trip then I had plenty to be pleased about. I also knew I had a spot that was visited and a bait mix that was appealing to these fussy carp.

On the second day of the trip, very little was happening; I’d only seen one show at dawn and then some fizzing that had been it. I’d found the fish bubbling up over naturals and fished for them but without response. I spent a full six hours later that day leading around, looking for spots. I knew the lake was clay bottomed and even though the lakebed was totally unremarkable almost everywhere, I was certain that somewhere these great big carp would have made little craters down into the clay. With a bare lead, I cast countless times along a section of bank perhaps 150yds wide. It was boring every cast feeling exactly the same, but I continued to map it out precisely. Eventually I found what I was looking for; close to the bank, an area of super clean clay and very small stones – almost like the pea shingle you’d find in a fish tank. Having found nothing else at all, over a huge area, it made this spot even more significant and I just knew it would do me some bites. The lead came back coated in clay every time – it was perfect!

When I left, I baited the both the spots heavily with hemp, The Krill Pellets, chopped tigers and a few kilos of Krill boilies.

I returned the following week at first light but was unable to get near the fish which seemed intent on occupying an area in the corner of the lake. My good mate Darrell Peck was in there and wouldn’t be moving anytime soon so I returned to my pre-baited spots, in hope rather than expectation.

That session was very, very slow. I didn’t see any fish in my part of the lake and on reflection, I was just treading water. Once again, I baited heavily this time incorporating chopped worm, more caster, chopped Krill boilies, real bloodworm, Krill Active Mix.

I was back at the lake for my third trip this last week. It transpired that the fish were still using the same corner but once again it was pretty stitched up so again, I opted to fish my baited area.

At dawn on the second morning, the fish finally started to show close by and I saw five fish breach within thirty yards of my main spot together with some light fizzing on the spot. Finally, I knew it was game on – something was going to happen! I carefully positioned two bags of Krill soaked maggots on the spot, a couple of feet apart. No other bait was added – the casts were perfect and I wanted everything left quiet.

First light the following morning, a fast take saw me connected to a very powerful fish that lead me on a fair old dance round the lake! Eventually I netted it and I did some self takes with a gorgeous mirror known as ‘GreyC ‘which went 36lbs.

No sooner had I sorted everything out than the remaining rod on the spot picked up quickly – in shock I found myself playing another carp! To begin with the fish kited and felt like a Tench but later, it really started plodding and using its weight. When it finally broke the surface, I saw it was a big common and in my mind, I was sure it was Pin Scale, a forty pounder but one I had already caught last year.

A few minutes later, I managed to get the fish into the net which took some major shuffling but still I had no idea what I had caught. There is a rule on the lake that states you must do the pictures before weighing the fish (to minimise handling) and so, still thinking I had caught Pin Scale again (there was a pimple on the tail that looked very familiar) I set about doing some self takes. After a couple of pics, I thought it was unusually difficult – I couldn’t get the remote around the pec of the fish and was generally really struggling!

At this point I thought this is ridiculous and so decided to weigh it and see what was going on. It just felt so heavy! The needle went straight past 50lbs and on then on a bit more, and this is when I almost had a bloody heart attack!!!

Now the penny finally dropped and suddenly the fish looked and felt enormous. The trance I was in was broken and I slipped the fish into a retainer while I got some help and sorted my head out! I was shaking and needed to go and get a smoke from Steve Bugg (even though I don’t smoke!!)

I was properly in pieces. The Coconut Common wasn’t even on my radar (usually it comes out on a zig) and with its last capture being at 45lbs, I don’t think anybody could have expected it to have been that big. I certainly didn’t!!

My very good mate, Joe Morgan drove down to help me out and did me some amazing pictures – thanks mate. Ginge was also on hand to help so thanks to him too. The fish left us all speechless – it just looked INCREDIBLE! The mouth was genuinely totally unmarked, it really was common perfection.

So, there you have it, my first fifty, a new lake record and a massive milestone in my angling. I felt so blindsided by the whole event that I am still in shock and have hardly slept since!”