ONE of Britain's most experienced carp anglers was 'crowing' about this catch... what a stunning big fish!

Simon Crow had a feeling something was going to happen at the mega tough Spitfire Pool in Norfolk – and the next morning banked the stunning Wood Common at 53 lb 4 oz.

The 48-year-old from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, explained: “Spitfire’s been fishing really hard this year, mainly due to the amount of weed in there.

“It’s such a rich water, the 12 residents in the one acre pool don’t need to take bait.

“Nothing had been caught since last September, and the big two hadn’t been out for two years.

“I did six nights a couple of weeks ago and I knew when I walked on the banks it was going to be hard. I wasn’t surprised I blanked.”

“We’d timed it right” – Simon Crow

Simon continued “This trip, however, it looked completely different.

“When I saw owner Rich Wilby we both said something was going to happen, and it did.

“Having spoken to previous captors of the Wood, they’d all told me they’d seen it prior to catching it.

“I’d only seen it once before when I filmed it one sunny day while I was up one of the trees a couple of years ago.

“Despite searching for it on every visit, it’s surprising how these carp hide themselves away.


Spitfitre is no easy lake - and the common carp Simon Crow tempted had eluded capture for two years.

Spitfire is no easy lake – and the common carp Simon Crow tempted had eluded capture for two years.


“On this occasion I saw it in the back bay on my first circuit.

“My mate Chris Felton, who was fishing with me, managed to film it and we both knew we’d timed it right.

“The first rod I put out was in the back bay where I’d seen the Wood, opting for a single hookbait of a DNA Baits SLK Dumbbell Corker Wafter.

“The fish has a small mouth and as I tested the bait in the margins it looked perfect.

“I put no bait out at all, just the single, because I’d seen lots of uneaten bait in some of the margins from the lads who fished last week.

“All evening I was plagued by the swans touching my line as they grazed on weed between my rod and the hookbait.”

Heavy thud and a big boil

Simon added: “They carried on feeding in the night and the following morning.

“So when I had a couple of bleeps at 9am, I casually strolled to the rod expecting to see one of them on my line again.

“This time, however, they were at the opposite end of the lake.

“I gently lifted the line wondering if I had a nuisance rudd on the end, only to be met with a heavy thud and a big boil over where my bait was.

“The fight didn’t last long, and when I saw a massive common hit the surface I knew it was either the Wood or Long Common, and both weigh close to fifty.

“As the fish went into the net I actually thought I had the Long because it was so big.

“I then saw the tell-tale white tips of its fins… and let out a silent punch to the air.

Thumbs up for a very special capture – Simon Crow with the epic common carp ready to be photographed before being carefully returned.

“It’s hard to tell anyone who’s never fished Spitfire how hard it is,” revealed Simon.

“It might be a small water but they just don’t need to eat bait.

“What a special few minutes it was with one of the UK’s most special carp,” he concluded.

Simon Crow is the former editor of Carp Talk, the specialist weekly magazine which sadly closed last spring. He’s currently a consultant for the brand Avid Carp.

GOT A STORY, OR VIEWS OR GREAT PHOTOS? You could appear in print and online with us! Email pix with info to:

Big value subscriptions to Angler’s Mail magazine are now at a Bargain Price! Get the deals here ▶️

You’ll then get Angler’s Mail magazine delivered to your door, or the door of a friend/relative. And it’s at discounted rates… to suit all pockets.

There are great deals for the print version and for the digital version, too.

You may also like to read these Angler’s Mail stories…

Northern carp record broken!

The 37-year-old offshore scaffolder from Castleford, West Yorkshire, tackled the day ticket venue just two miles from his house with…

Britain’s biggest common carp

Mike O’Neill landed the giant common carp called Tarka from RH Fisheries’ The Avenue syndicate in Shropshire. The lake is the…

Monster common carp

The 44-year-old from Harrietsham, Kent, said: “Buzzing wasn’t the word, and now my time is done there, as the lake…

61 lb day ticket common carp!

The politician namesake tempted the fish – called Lee Jackson after the former British record holder – from Strawberry Fields…