It was Northey Park, quite a few years ago now. At the time, the famous common known as Kitch was around 44lb and there were a few nice backup 30lb fish too. It wasn’t as well-known back then, in comparison to when Kitch went 50lb anyway. I ended up catching Kitch on opening day of my second season, along with a fair few others. I gave it a rest before returning after Kitch died. It is a lovely venue and one I always loved fishing.


Like most big pits that are set in a pretty rural and open place, it isn’t the most comfortable place to fish, but I love the nature of big lakes. As you mentioned, I have fished a few of the busy lakes that are a lot smaller, although I have enjoyed it, there is something about fishing lakes that are bigger and a lot harder to fish in some cases.

It is more the logistics of this one that makes it hard. But once you are here and are out in the boat, it is me against the fish and I like that. There are much bigger fish to fish for and in safer locations too, so it takes a certain type of person to actually want to come and fish somewhere like this.


Well you don’t want to be leaving the motor near the lake that’s for sure. To get your kit out and hide the van, it is a proper nightmare. I am lucky that I leave my labourer with the gear while I hide the van, if I didn’t have that I would have to risk leaving it while I went off and hid it.

You don’t need a boat a lot of the time, but I feel a lot safer boating off and fishing away from the public paths. There are a lot of public footfall around the place and you only have to look at the amount of litter to understand that they aren’t just having a picnic.


I have had quite a few and that is from being out the way too. I have been shot at with an air rifle. There has been a lot of cars vandalised, burnt out and even shot up. Mine was nearly blown up last year, when a group of people decided to set some bushes on fire and my van was next door to it. When I went back to it the following day my white van was black from the smoke and smelt like an ashtray. Luckily it didn’t go up, but that is why I don’t park near the lake anymore, it isn’t worth the risk.


They aren’t huge, which is why you don’t get many people wanting to take the risks to actually fish for them. I would say there is one common that at the right time of year pushes 38lb, other than that there aren’t too many bigger fish. It isn’t the size of them that intrigues me though. They are old fish and are in immaculate condition, as you would expect for a lake where they don’t get caught all the time.


I had heard rumours about the place and you never know what to believe. I walked it in March and it grabbed me from the off. I looked passed the rubbish and could see a stunning looking pit. I think any big pit is nice and this was no different.

I started fishing in April and it was tough. I did see the odd fish and realised that I needed a boat to get on the fish and be away from the drunks at night. I baited when I could and as the spring developed, the lake was alive with naturals.

I didn’t catch my first carp until the 2nd of May. I noticed that the fish were showing off the side of an island and I managed to prep it for a few weeks and had a bit of a redletter-day, catching 5-fish. Looking back now the 33lb mirror could well be the biggest mirror in the lake, but what a carp and buzz it was to catch it.


I chose to just use boilies. I didn’t want to lug around loads of bait with me and I was more concerned about getting them to just pick up what I was going to use as a hookbait. I took 5kg of Krill with me for the weekend and made a point to always come home with an empty bag. Whether it be from catching fish or baiting spots, I wanted it to go out every week for them.

The lake is really rich and with a low stock of carp, I wanted to put something in that would be an easy and tasty meal for them. A fishmeal bait will give them a rich meal, saving them the effort of gorging out naturals for hours on end.

I didn’t do anything to the bait, until the algae bloom set in during the summer. It went like pea soup and you couldn’t see a thing. It was then that I decided to add Krill Liquid to the bait, just to give it that extra smell in the coloured water.


I had heard rumours of a high-thirty common and I did see one in the spring that I would have put around the 40lb mark. It was difficult to know though, as there was also quite a lot of activity from otters. I had found a few fish, some with classic otter marks and others just a skeleton. It was a ticking time bomb as to how long the fish would last and the one that you think you are fishing for could be gone.

It wasn’t until the 16th of June though, that the doubts in my head were brushed aside. I was fishing from one of the islands that had access to quite a few bars running off it. I had been baiting the ends of the bars, wading out and lowering my rigs in to the slightly deeper water. The fish loved the shallow areas when the sun was out and on those warm days, you could almost guarantee that they would be there.

I woke early morning to a screaming take, jumped in the waders and was locked into battle with a powerful fish. It was the big common that I had seen in the spring, all 39lb 15oz of it. She was clearly full, but in amazing condition. Sadly, we found that one dead later that year, which did have signs of otter damage. It was heart breaking to see, such a special carp that lived peacefully in a big pond for years.

I continued to fish it and caught regularly from those shallow areas. The fish were spending a lot of time there and with the bait regularly going in, they were happy to feed too. I caught 6-fish in 48-hours, with some cracking ones in that group too.


The lake turned green and began to stink, but I managed to get back in the same swim and kept the bait going in. I got everything out quickly and easily on the Friday night and the weather forecast had given it warm all weekend, which was prime for those bars. The clarity of the water made it a pain, but I knew the routes to walk along the bars, knew where I needed to step over the gullies and carefully placed three baits on the end of the shallows. Like normal, I had to wait for the following morning before I got a bite. It was a cracking fish, over 38lb and absolutely pristine. Huge rubbery lips, in perfect condition and the reason why I put myself through all that hard work to catch it.


I had one more that session, but things took a turn. I found the big common dead and the fish seemed to vacate the area. Things slowed up and I was feeling exhausted, so fancied giving it a break and going elsewhere. I had fished most weekends and the hassle of it all had taken it out of me. I fancied a bit of easier fishing, not for catching fish, but for somewhere that I could pull up, get the gear out and go fishing. I did a few nights over on St Ives Shallow Pit and enjoyed relaxing a bit.


I did a bit on another set of lakes, which held some special old carp. I caught quite a few fish from the lakes, the best being a mid-thirty scaly mirror, which was absolutely incredible and a great achievement to say the least!


To me, the looks and specific carp mean everything to me. If there was a 23lb mirror and I loved the look of it, then I would join a lake to fish for it. I am not interested in chasing 50lb carp wherever I go, catching a carp that blows me away by its looks is what it’s all about.