After 16 years of trying, Ian ‘Chemo’ Russell has caught his first ever 30lb-plus carp from the Richworth Linear Fisheries complex with this 44lb 2oz mirror. And it was a critically-balanced maggot rig which finally brought an end to his long wait for one of the specimen carp which the Oxfordshire day-ticket site has become famous for.
The Avid Carp consultant and angling coach has been targeting Manor Farm for the past 12 months and over the last few weeks he had been catching steadily using single hookbaits at range. Despite the regular action he had struggled to get among the lake’s bigger residents and, never one to rest on his laurels, he knew that a change in tactics was required.
After spotting several massive carp show at close range on a previous visit, Ian plumbed the area with his marker rod looking for carp-holding features. Eventually, he found a small, firm area at 70yds range that he was convinced was caused by feeding carp.
On his next session on the busy water he decided that a switch to maggots may be the best way to get one of the lake’s big girls feeding.
He baited the feature which he’d found with a gallon of wrigglers and then cast out a 10mm red Avid Carp High Lite hookbait tipped with around 15 maggots over the top. Before doing so, however, he trimmed-down the High Lite to critically-balance the setup and make sure that the hookbait was just hovering off the lakebed. “With this presentation I know that as soon as a carp starts feeding over my bed of bait and comes anywhere near the rig, the chances are the hookbait is going to fly into its mouth,” explained Ian.
The decision paid-off and in the early hours of the morning his right-hand rod burst into life. “The fight was absolutely incredible, lasting at least 30 minutes. I could tell from the way it was fighting that it had to be one of the lake’s A-Team. Every time I thought I had it under control it would start tearing more line off my spool. Eventually, after a few heart-stopping moments, a massive mirror emerged from the depths and I bundled it into the landing net. I couldn’t believe it when I realised that it was the much sought-after Spike.”
Incredibly, despite catching countless carp to over 40lb from various other waters, he had never managed to bank a thirty from Richworth Linear which has been a regular haunt of his for almost two decades.
“I’ve fished on the lakes here for over 16 years and have caught hundreds of carp but for some reason the thirties have always eluded me,” Ian told Angling Times. “I’ve had anglers I’ve been doing tuitions with catch them but they just never came to my rods. Hopefully, now that I’ve had this one I won’t have to wait so long for my second,” he added.