The 50-year-old forgotten carp

Posted by Simon Crow
1309 days ago

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Check out Simon Crow’s story of a 50-year-old forgotten carp, a forgotten lake with just two fish and the quest for one of the most historic northern carp of all.


Pinky lives in North Lincolnshire and is said to be over 50 years old, living in a forgotten pit which only contains two carp. The other fish is around 25lb 12oz which I caught in August last year. I've been chasing Pinky on and off ever since.

It's been a bit of a battle of the mind chasing Pinky. It's hard sitting through the blanks, especially when you know you may be well away from where that one carp is. On a clear sunny day he shows himself quite a lot, cruising up and down, but he does like to travel all around the lake on most days.

The lake has a lot of history and has been carp fished since the 1970s. Paddy Webb in the Carp Talk office caught Pinky in 1978 when it was a double and also has photos of his mate holding it in 1982 when it weighed 16lb. As I understand it, the lake was almost forgotten about for many years during the 1990s and turn of the millennium, other than a few poachers. It became very overgrown and hardly anyone accessed or fished it until last year when it was sold to new owners and some areas of the bank were cleared. Pinky was then caught weighing 37lb and later in the year he went 38lb 8oz, but it wasn't until some of the pictures started filtering out that older generation anglers recognised it.

The lake is still very much wild with lots of reeds and bushes, an absolute paradise of a venue for anyone who likes traditional carp fishing. I started back on there in March after the winter, but I didn't start putting any time into it until I'd seen Pinky and knew it was still there. There have been fish movements in the area for a couple of years and a big common from the lake was moved last year. I then saw Pinky in mid-March but couldn't get him to drop his guard so went onto my syndicate water which was fishing well. Once I caught my target fish from there I went back on the 'forgotten pit' and stepped up my trips. I chased him around the pond a few times, pulled my hair out a bit with him too.

Only the day before I caught him I posted on Twitter that he was a ‘tosser’ because I’d found him in a bay where he never normally goes. It was hard setting up in that bay because it was very overgrown, but somehow I managed to do so very quietly without spooking him. Then just as I got the rods unpacked, he decided he wanted to leave the area! It was very frustrating.

However, I was back the next day when I went on to land him in the evening just as I was having my tea. He put up a great fight for an old fish and on the bank I cared for him better than I ever have done any carp. I was on my own so shot only six pictures on my remote and a minute of video footage before releasing him, watching all of the time. He went off very strong but I admit I was worried about him because he is so old. I ended up popping back to the lake the next day for a look, to see if I could find him. I was so pleased to see him sunning himself in the margins within minutes of arriving, resting with the other fish looking none the worse for wear.

What a great fish he is, a true history carp, not just for the north but also for the country since there can’t be many carp in the UK which are as old as him!