Over a Decade

14th September 2022

Sticky staffer, Andy McFarlane puts an end to a long spanning campaign in search of Ladywood Lakes’ largest resident!

Persistance is a great asset to have in carp angling, so long as you keep on going, there’s always a chance. This is exactly what Sticky’s very own video editor experienced recently, when he finally slipped his net under a carp he had wanted in his album for 11 years. Living in a day ticket lake with a large stock, the incredible common certainly made Andy wait. But it was worth all the heartache that came before it!

"I have been an angler for 25 years, never did I think I would hold a carp as big or as impressive."

Andy told Sticky:

“I arrived for my yearly long session on what has become a bit of a regular stomping ground for myself. Ladywood Lakes in West Yorkshire has seen me trample it’s banks for 11 years on and off, and with good reason. The fish have come on leaps and bounds since the early days, with a current stock rivaling some of the biggest players in the country, let alone up in’t North!

“I chose a peg I was comfortable with, but all didn’t go to plan. During the first 3 nights of my four night session, I pulled my hair out. There was nothing I could do to buy a bite… well from a carp anyway. It seems jack pike love the taste of a Manilla wafter when wound in at pace!

“During the 3rd evening, I had a bite as it got dark. The fish ripped line straight away, which for me signals; it’s a good one. Forty, fifty, sixty yards of line went before disaster struck and the hook pulled. I honestly thought the big man upstairs had it in for me!

“I regained composure eventually and reset the traps. I was fishing a new spot I had never found before. A lovely gravel seam which lead to some silt. It seemed perfect.

“The night time temperatures cooled right down and I ended up waking up dejected at missing such a good opportunity. Morning bite time came and went, but with the odd fish evident in the area, I had a little bit of confidence.

“Sure enough, at around 8.30am on the fourth morning, I recieved a few bleeps down, before an angry carp ejected the lead and tore off into the deep water. I lifted the rod and it slowly came towards me, like a dog on a lead almost. It got within 20 yards of the bank and turned, taking line quickly but with such power. The fish do tend to fight hard in the lake so I wasn’t too nervous at this point.

“After 15 minutes of gaining line for it to only be taken away again, I had a feeling I couldn’t shake. The lake’s big ‘un was notorious for fighting just like this and I had witnessed it myself… could it be? Sure enough, a crusty back, covered in scales cemented it in my mind. It was the fish I had first set eyes on 11 years ago!

“My legs went to jelly and I went into full concentration mode. The fish tired and coughed some water and there she was all four feet of her! I waded out to meet her with the net and lifted the folds around her before letting out a huge sigh of relief and a shout.

“I was so over awed I couldn’t control myself. I had a Yorkshire forty in my net! Something I never thought would happen.

“We weighed her up at 46lb on the dot, which smashed my personal best by over 13lb. After calming down, Tom came down to do the photos and I got the obligatory soaking too. What a morning, 11 years in the making!”