Matt Byron recalls a very special day when he came face to face with Sutton at Hone Peach Common.
I have been fishing since early childhood and I am fortunate to have many great memories surrounding what ultimately is a passion of mine and a big part of my life. I think for various reasons some memories just stand out more than others though, I remember catching my first ever fish when I was no more than 5 years old, that rod tip pulling round unexpectedly whilst holding the rod, just staring out across the lake, shouting out for my grandad to come and help! I remember my first ever double figure carp and how shocked I was when I caught my first glimpse of it on the surface before my dad netted it, I was absolutely buzzing for weeks! These are all feelings and memories that remind me of why I love my angling so much, even in adulthood , every now and again we are lucky enough to catch that particular fish that is just that little bit extra special and meaningful, a fish that gives you that huge buzz and really brings out the little boy in you that was so excited all those years ago. I have been fortunate to have had a few fish over the years that have brought me such feelings, but to date the one that stands out the most has got to be ‘THE PEACH COMMON’ from the notoriously difficult SUTTON AT HONE LAKE 2 or Devon road as it is now more commonly known. Still my uk personal best at 45lb 4oz however the weight was just a bonus really, it’s a real old, historic creature and one I dearly wanted to catch and from a proper water that once upon I time I could only hope to fish, so definitely one that I still look back at and feel so lucky to have caught it. The capture came off the back of a bit of a good run of fortune, and as anyone who fishes Sutton will tell you, these moments don’t come around that often so if you start to get rewarded then you do have to try and keep it going as long as possible because you really do not know where the next bite is coming from, to think that evening, sitting in traffic on the way to the lake, I very nearly turned around and went home! Something in me though told me to keep heading for the lake, I eventually turned up to the lake nearly an hour later than I normally would, but luckily they are a good bunch of guys on there and the swim had been left alone as they knew I had been fishing there. The traps were set and to be honest I really was surprised when the bite came as it wasn’t to long after putting the rods out, other takes including mine at the time were coming right at the end of the evening shortly before you have to be off the lake by 10:30, so to see that tip pull round so soon was a bit of a shock! It was actually a real slow bream like take so I lifted into the fish with a degree of disappointment as I was half expecting that dull, lifeless feeling of a slimy snotty on the end, however when I felt that heavy weight followed by three strong tugs on the line as the fish shook its head, I knew this was not only a carp but a large one too! Netting the fish at the second attempt, when I finally turned on that head torch and looked in the net, I knew what it was but at the same time couldn’t believe it was happening for me! To think this was a carp that I had seen in photos in years gone by and never really thinking I would get to wet a line on Sutton, to say I was blown away was an understatement! A special lake, a special carp and a new PB, surly don’t get much better than that and will always be one of those extra meaningful memories that I know angling gives to so many of us .