The Farm Pit & The Big Common – Lee Bennett

Posted by: Lee Bennett on May 7th, 2015

“Lee is a young angler and keen photographer from Wrexham, who made contact with the Trakker team via our Facebook page towards the back-end of last year, sending us the odd catch picture and some of his excellent long-exposure work. Lee came over and introduced himself in person on our stand at the Northern Angling Show, back in March, and told us plenty of stories about this particular water, with it’s sparse stock of fish which had obviously captured his attention, and his apparent determination to have his picture taken with one particular resident was admirable to say the least. Half in jest, we asked Lee if he wouldn’t mind writing about his experiences on the water, should he be fortunate enough to make acquaintance with the creature. Well, you can all guess what happened next. A couple of weeks passed, then out of the blue we received a message – “Got it!” – followed by a stream of pictures of a particularly stunning common, and a couple of days later, the short piece of writing below. Enjoy…”

 

It started off with general on-the-bank chat of what may still lie beneath the depths at the Farm Pit. I was shown a picture of a stunning wood-carving of a common, known as The Big Common, and from that day on I made it my challenge to have it in my hands on the bank.

In late November 2014 I did my first night after twelve years of being away from The Pit. I started off fishing a spot I had known to produce a bite back then, but over the years their habits had changed. With the night drawing in fast, my only option was to have a cast about to find another spot clean enough to present my rig. I didn’t feel particularly confident, and the morning eventually arrived, bringing with it the sinking feeling of the inevitable blank.

Mid-December, and I set off to The Pit armed with my marker rod. I spent a full day casting about, and after a few casts I had the great feeling of the lead crashing down on solid gravel. Tightening-up and pulling the lead I could tell I had dropped on a very clean gravel spot which I knew had to be a feeding spot for the carp.

January came around, and by then I had decided to make it my target to catch The Big Common before June, as I knew I would be starting on my new water then. This wasn’t going to be easy, as over the years the stock had gone thin with only around twenty-five carp still left in the water.

On my first real session I got the rods out to the spots I had found on my earlier reconnaissance trip. Putting around twenty baits over two of my rods, with the third rod out with a single hookbait fished on a single Chod, I settled down for the night, finally happy that I was fishing to the best of my abilities. Around 12.30 that night I had my first screaming take, and landed my first carp – a common of 17lb 4oz, which was followed with another at around 6.00am that morning. After this I thought it was going to be a walk in the park for me. Little did I know for the rest of January and February I would blank.

In March I spent three days there landing another stunning common of 21lb 5oz in the small hours during the first night. I got it in the sling ready for pictures at first light, and when I took it out in the morning, I noticed it had left the remains of a feast of naturals in the sling. It suddenly clicked to me why I had only been catching on singles and not on my rods with bait around. I came to the decision I would put all three rods on single Chods from now on.

March 28th I had a phone call from my friend to say can I come down with the camera as he had caught the Big Common. As a good friend, I dropped my plans, picked up my camera and headed to The Pit. I was made up for him but behind my brave face I was gutted, as I knew she generally only came out around once a year and that my chance had gone.

My next session on the bank was very productive, with another two carp and ten tench (one being a new PB of 7lb 8oz). A week later and back on the bank I caught another PB tench of 8lb 1oz and another carp.

May Bank Holiday came around, and I had booked a few days off work as I planned a fishing trip on a local canal. I cut that trip short as the weather conditions were perfect and all I could think about was achieving my target and having The Big Common in my hands.

I arrived at the pit only for there to be another two anglers on, with one of them being on my spot that had produced most of my bites. Not wanting to leave, I had a walk around to try and see some signs of carp, but with no real signs at all to go on, the only thing that really caught my attention were the Wagtails diving on the surface of the lake, taking the hatches off the top. Knowing that the carp have been feeding on naturals, I thought they couldn’t be that far away, so I got the rods out on what was now becoming my regular approach of fishing single pop-ups on Chod Rigs. Around three hours later I had the camera out taking some shots of the slow sunset. I knocked into my rods and the sounds of my alarms interrupted the peace. “What a noddy” I thought to myself, only to notice my middle bobbin pulling up tight. I turned to the water and could see my line kiting to the left. I ran and put down my camera and lifted into it. I knew straight away it was a good fish, as it was moving much slower than the others I’d hooked on here, with a ‘heavy’ feeling coming back through the rod. The fight went on for around 15 minutes, and it was only as I drew it over the net cord that I was able to confirm it as the one I’d been after all along – The Big Common – and only a few weeks since it had last seen the bank. I was straight on the phone to my friends to tell them the good news. As you would expect it took some convincing that I wasn’t having them on. Once I had managed to make them believe me, they rushed down to congratulate me and help take the pictures and weigh her. The scales went round to 26lb on the nose, although the weight of this fish was quite irrelevant to me, as I had achieved what I had set out to do and landed my goal.

That night I landed another twenty-pounder and a mid-double. These were then followed by another PB tench of 8lb 12oz, making the session my best to date down The Pit.

Mission complete!

All the best, Lee.

The Farm Pit & The Big Common – Lee Bennet – Blog – Trakker

“I can see them! They’re inches from my rig but they won’t pick it up!” – a picture sent to us mid-session by Lee, who was getting frustrated by regularly seeing fish ‘getting away with it’ on his spots.

The Farm Pit & The Big Common – Lee Bennet – Blog – Trakker

A 21lb 5oz common, caught back in March.

The Farm Pit & The Big Common – Lee Bennet – Blog – Trakker

“I’ve done it mate! I’ve got The Big Common! I am buzzing!”

The Farm Pit & The Big Common – Lee Bennet – Blog – Trakker

You can see why Lee had his sights set on catching this carp. What an immaculate specimen!

The Farm Pit & The Big Common – Lee Bennet – Blog – Trakker

Lee caught his fair share of good-sized Tench along the way, this one followed his capture of The Big Common, and took the needle on the scales round to a new PB of alb 12oz.

The Farm Pit & The Big Common – Lee Bennet – Blog – Trakker

Another minter from Lee’s time on The Farm Pit.

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The Farm Pit & The Big Common – Lee Bennett

Posted by: Lee Bennett on May 7th, 2015

“Lee is a young angler and keen photographer from Wrexham, who made contact with the Trakker team via our Facebook page towards the back-end of last year, sending us the odd catch picture and some of his excellent long-exposure work. Lee came over and introduced himself in person on our stand at the Northern Angling Show, back in March, and told us plenty of stories about this particular water, with it’s sparse stock of fish which had obviously captured his attention, and his apparent determination to have his picture taken with one particular resident was admirable to say the least. Half in jest, we asked Lee if he wouldn’t mind writing about his experiences on the water, should he be fortunate enough to make acquaintance with the creature. Well, you can all guess what happened next. A couple of weeks passed, then out of the blue we received a message – “Got it!” – followed by a stream of pictures of a particularly stunning common, and a couple of days later, the short piece of writing below. Enjoy…”

 

It started off with general on-the-bank chat of what may still lie beneath the depths at the Farm Pit. I was shown a picture of a stunning wood-carving of a common, known as The Big Common, and from that day on I made it my challenge to have it in my hands on the bank.

In late November 2014 I did my first night after twelve years of being away from The Pit. I started off fishing a spot I had known to produce a bite back then, but over the years their habits had changed. With the night drawing in fast, my only option was to have a cast about to find another spot clean enough to present my rig. I didn’t feel particularly confident, and the morning eventually arrived, bringing with it the sinking feeling of the inevitable blank.

Mid-December, and I set off to The Pit armed with my marker rod. I spent a full day casting about, and after a few casts I had the great feeling of the lead crashing down on solid gravel. Tightening-up and pulling the lead I could tell I had dropped on a very clean gravel spot which I knew had to be a feeding spot for the carp.

January came around, and by then I had decided to make it my target to catch The Big Common before June, as I knew I would be starting on my new water then. This wasn’t going to be easy, as over the years the stock had gone thin with only around twenty-five carp still left in the water.

On my first real session I got the rods out to the spots I had found on my earlier reconnaissance trip. Putting around twenty baits over two of my rods, with the third rod out with a single hookbait fished on a single Chod, I settled down for the night, finally happy that I was fishing to the best of my abilities. Around 12.30 that night I had my first screaming take, and landed my first carp – a common of 17lb 4oz, which was followed with another at around 6.00am that morning. After this I thought it was going to be a walk in the park for me. Little did I know for the rest of January and February I would blank.

In March I spent three days there landing another stunning common of 21lb 5oz in the small hours during the first night. I got it in the sling ready for pictures at first light, and when I took it out in the morning, I noticed it had left the remains of a feast of naturals in the sling. It suddenly clicked to me why I had only been catching on singles and not on my rods with bait around. I came to the decision I would put all three rods on single Chods from now on.

March 28th I had a phone call from my friend to say can I come down with the camera as he had caught the Big Common. As a good friend, I dropped my plans, picked up my camera and headed to The Pit. I was made up for him but behind my brave face I was gutted, as I knew she generally only came out around once a year and that my chance had gone.

My next session on the bank was very productive, with another two carp and ten tench (one being a new PB of 7lb 8oz). A week later and back on the bank I caught another PB tench of 8lb 1oz and another carp.

May Bank Holiday came around, and I had booked a few days off work as I planned a fishing trip on a local canal. I cut that trip short as the weather conditions were perfect and all I could think about was achieving my target and having The Big Common in my hands.

I arrived at the pit only for there to be another two anglers on, with one of them being on my spot that had produced most of my bites. Not wanting to leave, I had a walk around to try and see some signs of carp, but with no real signs at all to go on, the only thing that really caught my attention were the Wagtails diving on the surface of the lake, taking the hatches off the top. Knowing that the carp have been feeding on naturals, I thought they couldn’t be that far away, so I got the rods out on what was now becoming my regular approach of fishing single pop-ups on Chod Rigs. Around three hours later I had the camera out taking some shots of the slow sunset. I knocked into my rods and the sounds of my alarms interrupted the peace. “What a noddy” I thought to myself, only to notice my middle bobbin pulling up tight. I turned to the water and could see my line kiting to the left. I ran and put down my camera and lifted into it. I knew straight away it was a good fish, as it was moving much slower than the others I’d hooked on here, with a ‘heavy’ feeling coming back through the rod. The fight went on for around 15 minutes, and it was only as I drew it over the net cord that I was able to confirm it as the one I’d been after all along – The Big Common – and only a few weeks since it had last seen the bank. I was straight on the phone to my friends to tell them the good news. As you would expect it took some convincing that I wasn’t having them on. Once I had managed to make them believe me, they rushed down to congratulate me and help take the pictures and weigh her. The scales went round to 26lb on the nose, although the weight of this fish was quite irrelevant to me, as I had achieved what I had set out to do and landed my goal.

That night I landed another twenty-pounder and a mid-double. These were then followed by another PB tench of 8lb 12oz, making the session my best to date down The Pit.

Mission complete!

All the best, Lee.

The Farm Pit & The Big Common – Lee Bennet – Blog – Trakker

“I can see them! They’re inches from my rig but they won’t pick it up!” – a picture sent to us mid-session by Lee, who was getting frustrated by regularly seeing fish ‘getting away with it’ on his spots.

The Farm Pit & The Big Common – Lee Bennet – Blog – Trakker

A 21lb 5oz common, caught back in March.

The Farm Pit & The Big Common – Lee Bennet – Blog – Trakker

“I’ve done it mate! I’ve got The Big Common! I am buzzing!”

The Farm Pit & The Big Common – Lee Bennet – Blog – Trakker

You can see why Lee had his sights set on catching this carp. What an immaculate specimen!

The Farm Pit & The Big Common – Lee Bennet – Blog – Trakker

Lee caught his fair share of good-sized Tench along the way, this one followed his capture of The Big Common, and took the needle on the scales round to a new PB of alb 12oz.

The Farm Pit & The Big Common – Lee Bennet – Blog – Trakker

Another minter from Lee’s time on The Farm Pit.

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