Sport at commercial carp venues up and down the country has been surprisingly slow in recent weeks, but that looks set to change soon if Stewart Lister’s exploits are anything to go by.
The South-West match ace compiled the biggest weight of the year - a massive 337lb 3oz - during a session at Mawgan Porth fishery near Newquay in Cornwall, where he averaged a carp a minute for the duration of the five-hour contest.
The 53-year-old, who lives in nearby Bolingey, came within just 6lb of breaking the venue record, but it could have been all so different for the fishing tackle wholesaler if he hadn’t made a bait change just 30 minutes into the match.
He said: “I planned to fish and feed maggots, but I only took six carp in the first half hour as my float was bobbing about with finicky indications, probably line bites. Once I put a pellet on, the pole was nearly wrenched out of my hands!”
Having found the winning formula, Stewart was then presented with a new problem: he only had a single pint of 4mm feed pellets in his tackle bag, so he had to dig out three tubs of soft hook pellets and mix them in with this to create enough for the rest of the contest. Stewart fished the match using just the elasticated top section of his pole straight out in front of him in 2ft 6ins of water.
“The fish live close to the near-bank platforms and some of the venue experts fish right next to the wooden staging with half a top kit. I started getting line bites so came 6ins off the deck and started catching very quickly. I don’t usually count fish but managed 25 carp in the last 20 minutes, so I’m guessing I averaged around 60 per hour,” said Stewart.
The prolific match saw a host of other big weights out to the scales, with second and third-placed Roger Cannock and Andy Partridge taking 286lb 3oz and 227lb 4oz respectively.