ONE of the country's top all-round anglers is enjoying his time carping... and followed up a December 60 lb 8 oz mirror with this 57 lb 8 oz common.

Berkshire’s Wellington Country Park is where Neill Stephen has been focussing his effort on the heavyweight carp front.

Neill was chuffed to tempt his target fish The Chestnut Common as it hadn’t been out for over a year… before it slipped up three times.

“I was really blown away by this one – Welly’s Chestnut Common at 57 lb 8 oz,” said local Neill.

“It is a fish I have dreamed about, but never thought I would be lucky enough to catch.

“After 15 months without a capture it went on a rather friendly spree doing three captures in as many weeks.

“Mine was the third, and I was absolutely ecstatic to be third in that line.

“I was finding it tough this spring but, as ever in fishing, it only takes one bite to change everything.

“Thanks to Wayne for the pictures and for sharing the moment.”

“Welly not easy” – Neill Stephen

Neill continued: “Welly is never as easy as it appears – there is a consistently high standard of angling on the syndicate.

“The fish can be completely random with no practical way of singling out specific ones, and the line between catching and not catching can feel very fine – sometimes a lottery.

“This is a long way of saying I just feel incredibly blessed that this one turned up.

“Thank you Welly, truly a lake of dreams and a very special place to have angled,” concluded the Bupa worker.

The Chestnut Common fell to a home-made pop up with a size 4 hook on a combi rig, over a light scattering of 20 mm baits.

Neill also hit the headlines in February when he came within a whisker of the grayling record with a 4 lb 3 oz giant taken on a Killer Bug nymph.

The 42-year-old co-holds the British perch record with a 6 lb 3 oz monster as well as having chub to 9 lb 5 oz, 40 lb-plus pike, 17 lb-plus barbel, 4 lb rudd and a 3 lb 8 oz roach.

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