01 Shaun Harrison
They don’t come more heart-wrenching than Shaun’s half-an-hour battle with a brute from Laroussi. “I lost it at the net knowing it was the big ‘un. In fact, when it was next caught it weighed just over 70lb!”
02 Rob Hughes
The angling entrepreneur had a lengthy scrap with a Birch Grove common some ten years back. Hughesy summary was, “it wasn’t so much the painful 45 minutes it took to get in, but more because it was freezing cold, snow on the ground and only having half-a-rod-length gap in the ice-free margins to play it.”
03 Lewis Porter
The fight was so prolonged and savage, Lewis actually considered biting the line to relieve himself from the agony. “It was a 36lb common that I caught off the top on a 9lb hooklink and size 10 hook. Luckily I stuck it out and eventually, a whole 50 minutes after hooking it, I got it in the net.”
04 Lee Jackson
Jacko’s greatest battle dates back to September 1984 when he was fishing a lake in the Colne Valley. “I got the bite at around 2pm and the fish came into the margins surprisingly quickly. However, from then on, the harder I pulled, the more furious it fought. 55 minutes later I was certain it was foul hooked.” With the pain growing, Jacko decided enough was enough and grabbed the line and pulled the fish up by hand. Turns out it was hooked square in the bottom lip!
05 Damian Clarke
When Damian Clarke rocked the world common record, he almost set one of the longest fights too. In total, Damo battled with the 88lb common for just over 2hrs. He then had to lift the 4ft long monster...
06 Martin Locke
It was over 8hrs and took place in February at Savay. Lockie’s buzzer had packed up and when he realised at 11pm, one of the reels was virtually ‘spooled’. The fish was still on though, and after hours of pulling “a weedbed that was the size of a car”, he found a pair of lips! “After I cleared the weed and netted the fish, I check the time and it was 7:00am!”
07 Dave Magalhaes
Dave tells of a hellish battle where, after spotting some very big fish on top and hooking the one he was after, he was taken through a thick weed bed and was unable to get it back through from the far side, leaving him in a stalemate situation. “I had a genius idea and managed to use my marker rod bit-by-bit to break up the weedbed.” Eventually at 2:00pm three hours after hooking it at 10:58am he lifted the net around a 39lber… Happy days!
08 Phil Thompson
And now we come to the greatest battle of them all. August 22nd, 1990, Horton Church Lake, Berks. Just after dark, Phil Thompson hooks into a carp. He plays it through the night and by six o’clock the following morning he’s taken to the boat and travelled over half-a-mile, using the electric motor at times in order to keep up with it. By ten o’clock, thirteen hours after hooking the fish, it happened: the line parted. “Eight hours playing it on the bank, followed by another five in the boat and not once did we see that fish,” summed up a knackered Phil.