On Sunday whilst on my way to a local game fair I received a telephone call from a very excited former student of mine who I haven’t seen for a couple of years. As I was driving at the time, although on “hands free”, I wasn’t able to give him the attention that he deserved but he phoned me again later that evening and told me the full story, his excitement unabated.

Russell in 2002
Russell on one of my courses in 2002

Russell was one of my first students, he did his basic course in July 2000 and was always ready for one of my days out but college and, I suspect girls, soon got in the way and he let his fishing take a back seat. He has recently returned to the sport and on Sunday morning caught a new personal best. He phoned to tell me as he claimed that “I’d taught him him all he knew”. Below is an excerpt of an email he sent me later, complete with a photo.

Hi Martin,

I was fishing the new Abbey Lake only 10 mins from my house. It was only the second time I’ve been there. I hadn’t been fishing and caught a fish since about 2006.

On the 1st trip I only got either a line bite or a nibble I couldn’t tell. After that trip I thought about how I could improve. So on the 2nd trip I took a rod with a marker float and I also used a feeder with carp pellet inside to lure the carp in.

I had 2 rods, 1 with a boilie and the other a lobworm and I got there at 7:00 a.m.. The bait was in the water by 7:30 and I sat patiently enjoying geting back to fishing. It was only 8:10 when when I was looking at my rods when I saw the rod start to bend and I was just thinking no way it is going to happen. After a second the indicator went up and it was taking line out and I was ready so I stuck and knew I’d hooked into something big.

It bent the rod right over 90 degrees, just like I got told, they fight like mad it took line and stopped and kept taking line then holding the tension for 3-4 mins. I didn’t dare reel in because it was still tugging like a rocket. As it eased up a bit I started to reel it in a little bit at a time and now had it half way in when it went all the way to the left of me for the trees. I used everything I learnt and just about kept it of the trees. I then had it rocketing back out again when it did a masive arc went all the way from the left now all the way to the right, under my other line round the tree to the edge of the swim and into reeds I was thinking no way am I going to lose it now. I just took the other rod off the stand and put it the other side while holding masive pressure on the fish as it was going deeper into reeds.

Now I had a new dilemma as I had a fish round the other side of a tree and into big reeds so I thought i don’t care I worked hard for this and went into the water only about a foot deep for the 1st 10 foot from the bank. I tugged and held pressure so tight for about 10 – 15 second thinking its going to snap then wow the fish comes out and finally its worn out a bit as I saw a big fish I knew it was a mirror now only making me more determind to get it. I reeled it right up 1 foot from my net then oh my god he went like mad when he saw the net and took more line out for 5 foot and that was its last fight and as I got it closer and netted it.

Weighed the mirror at 14lb 5oz – my biggest fish ever, also 1st fish I caught in 2 years only my 2nd mirror carp and 1st fish to break the 10lb mark.

I added the photo for you I hope you like it.


Russell holding a 14lb 50z carp at Abby Lake

This type of feedback is just one of the rewards of my work with young people.

Well done Russell, I hope we can fish together again soon.