Mike Salisbury’s Suffolk Water Park Madness!


As a teacher I just love October half term – more fishing for me when the fish are usually getting their heads down! The “Big Fish Lake” at Suffolk Water Park would be my destination this time – I’d done a few short overnighters last year on it but didn’t manage to catch so this time I was resolute that I would not be going home empty-handed. When I arrived on Sunday evening there was a strong yet cold westerly wind blowing across the lake, and after a a chat with the bailiff I learned that the lake had been fishing well, with the majority of the catches coming in the area in front of the tackle shop. I decided that I would fish with minimal kit on this first night in the “Cafe Swim”, and if nothing happened I would move early the next morning. The night passed uneventfully, so at first light on Monday I made my way over to swim 10 (Little Point), as there was a south-westerly blowing in that direction and I felt this would be a good point to intercept roaming carp on the back of the wind.

My approach was pretty much identical to the way in which I have been fishing other waters for the past few months – a 15mm Washed-Out Triple-N Pop-up on a multi-rig, fished over a bed of chopped Triple-N boilies and Growlers. I staggered the rods at intervals, working back from the far margin to mid-water so that all angles were covered. I started catching pretty much straight away….bream! One after the snotty swines were wiping me out, and come Tuesday morning I was quite despondent about the lack of Cyprinus and abundance of Abramis brama! Nevertheless I kept going, and as dusk drew in the voracious bream had finally stopped. As night fell, I then received some very sad news – my mother-in-law Beverley had just passed away after a short battle with cancer. Things had now taken on a very sombre note, and whether I caught or not really didn’t matter much anymore.

Well, I would like to think that from up high Beverley had other ideas for me, and she had one spectacular parting gift. Around midnight the rod that was placed midwater blasted off and I was soon wading out into the margins to do battle under the moonlight. As I edged the fish over the next cord I knew it was a “special one” for sure, and at 30lbs 10oz it certainly was. As it transpired I had landed “John’s Common”, a known fish that rarely graces the bank, but now it was mine! It was truly an emotional moment, and after some pictures and video I slipped back what was now my UK PB common back to the depths of the lake.


I got the rod back in position and drifted off to sleep, but not for long. At 3am the far margin rod was away, and this time the result was a mint 26lbs 4oz common. I really couldn’t believe my luck, or perhaps it wasn’t luck and it was fate that everything it happened the way it did that night. Either way I won’t be forgetting it any time soon.

Tight Lines

Mike Salisbury
Bait-Tech Carp Consultant


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