A YOUNG angler landed an impressive lake record carp when an enterprising day ticket fishery decided to interact online with self-isolating customers.
Weston Moat Fishery boss Wayne Steele offered a prize for two people to win a 24-hour ticket with bait.
Entrants had to guess how much weight his nine-year-old son, Josh, could catch in 24 hours during what, for most anglers, was the full lockdown period.
Josh went on to catch a 42 lb near-leather carp called St George in a combined catch of 161 lb at the water, near Weston-on-Trent, in Derbyshire.
Wayne explained: “We wanted to keep people up to date on the lake on Facebook, as I’ve been doing lots of maintenance work and building new pegs while the fishery was closed with the coronavirus.
“We were obviously looking after the lake while on lockdown, not breaking any rules, as government guidelines allowed you to look after and manage your own fishery.
“I ran the Facebook competition and our customers had to guess how much Josh could catch over a 24-hour period, and he caught the 42 lb lake record.
“I was helping, but not fishing. We had a great time, keeping mobile and stalking fish from the margins, taking advantage of having the lake to ourselves.
“We then decided on a swim where we had seen a few of the bigger residents swimming around earlier in the day.
“We set up on our bedchairs ready for a night under the stars, just before dark, and snuggled under our shrouds.
“We managed to get four captures through the night, the 42-pounder coming just before daybreak.
“We ended up with 161 lb and the lake record carp, which was too heavy for him to lift.
“I was running a few competitions on Facebook to win free fishing to keep the interest going.
“A lot of our customers could hardly wait to get fishing again once restrictions were lifted,” added Wayne.
Many fishery owners carried on fishing during lockdown, as you were legally allowed to fish on your own water.
When rules for most UK venues were relaxed, Weston Moat quickly opened properly again… but only for a few days, as fish began to spawn. That forced a temporary break.
During that small window of fishing opportunity the lake record got beaten again… by the same fish that Josh caught!
Jamie Reid did it when he landed St George, weighing it in at 42 lb 14 oz.
Weston Moat is likely to reopen again soon as the bout of spawning settles down.
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