Bait consultant Mark Hallin started his campaign at Rockford Lake in fine style with this 45lb 12oz mirror on just his third night at the Ringwood venue. The 38 year old from Portsmouth, tempted the fish on a single 20mm Cultured Carp Baits ‘Fruits of the Sea’ boilie glugged in 'Fruits of the Sea' Liquid Bait Compound using a 5oz lead on a silt rig. Over the last few years Mark has been concentrating his efforts on the public lakes in France, enjoying fish up to 64lb and it was only his third session in the UK this year. But the session didn’t start too well for Mark who takes up the story...
“After picking up a few bits and bobs from the local shops before the session I nearly didn’t get to the lake at all. My car decided to pack in, so after joining the AA and waiting for them to fix it, I was finally on my way. When I eventually arrived at the lake a very kind bird decided to empty the contents of its stomach on the top of my head as I was getting the gear out of the car! I’m led to believe this means good luck, but I can assure you that wasn’t what I was thinking at the time!
"I’d been to the lake a week before to take a look and to do a couple of nights, but with very few swims available I had to drop into one of the few unoccupied spots. The session was spent sussing out the venue and how I was going to approach it for the forthcoming season. This time, however, with it being slightly quieter midweek I managed to get into a swim I quite fancied and after a quick lead around got the rods out just before dark with both hitting spots at about 150 yards range. With the rods out at last and seeing the odd fish show in the area I felt quietly confident. After the drama of the day I spombed a couple of kilos of bait over the rods and retired to the comforts of my bivvy.
"I’d had a couple of hours shut eye when my right-hand rod went into meltdown. On hitting the fish I was met with solid resistance and I could tell from the slow, methodical plodding that it was a good fish. The Korda Wide Gape size 6 hook held firm and I managed to net it at the first attempt, when I peered down into the folds of the net I knew it was a special fish. At 45lb 12oz it beats my UK PB by nearly 6lb.”