THIS jumbo carp, and others, made for a fitting send-off to an in-form angler's Uncle Brian.
Carp ace Craig McEvoy ended a brilliant year with the personal best common called Ellie of 56 lb 4 oz, but he nearly packed up early.
Wednesbury, West Midlands-based Craig caught the fish in another top session on Shropshire’s The Avenue.
He told Angler’s Mail the full story about what was an all-action visit, for many reasons. And it had a sad ending…
Operations manager Craig, 40, explained: “I nearly packed up at 3am on the first morning when my Brotel (bivvy) blew away.
“I was lying in my bed and heard this deep roar, but didn’t think anything of it, as I had the winter skin on and both doors all battened down.
“That was until suddenly, bang! The Brotel was away, I was lying there with the wind ripping over me and things being blown everywhere.
“It was touch and go with going home, but I managed to retrieve the ‘brolly’ and tie it to a tree facing away from the water.
“Two hours later I was back in the sleeping bag, and I am glad I stayed.”
The Avenue fishing success
Craig continued: “The common is my sixth UK 50 this year, and 11 40s. I was simply ‘blown away’.
“All have been caught on limited time, a total of 27 nights this year. The carp gods have been more than kind.
“It was an unbelievable winter session, as I added The Tank at 40 lb and others of 35 lb 8 oz and 37 lb 4 oz.
“Ellie’s previous biggest weight was 56 lb, so she’s at a new best weight and is my new UK PB common.
“It took me 40 years to catch my first UK 40 lb common, and then a ‘50’ weeks later. Crazy!
“I used Dynamite Tigernut pop-ups over their matching crumbed freezer bait, and crumbed Red-Amo boilies at 70 yards.
“This was added to their hemp and maize and lots of Red-Amo liquid and Tigernut Evolution Oil. I used 5 kg of bait.
“The rig was a take on the combi that I call twisted combi, a little adaption using PVA sleeves over the braid to eliminate tangles, injected with Evo Oil.”
Sad ending for epic trip
Craig revealed: “But one sad thing was when I slipped back the 37 at the end, I saw I had missed a call from my dad. I called him back and he answered upset.
“I knew in my heart of hearts what was coming; my uncle Brian had passed away.
“He was more like a brother to me, as I was brought up by my grandad, his dad.
“He was one of life’s true gents, and had been battling motor neurone disease for the past couple of years.
“It dawned on me that while I was playing that fish, my uncle was passing. I knew that was his way of saying goodbye.”
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