On only his fourth session on Monk’s Pit in four years, James Vincent landed this lake record 51lb 8oz mirror.
It was the first time elusive specimen had visited the bank of the Cambridgeshire venue since September last year and it was fooled by the 38-year-old JRC consultant who followed his instincts and used a simple but effective rig which virtually guarantees to hook any fish which picks up the hookbait.
When he arrived he soon found a few fish breaking the surface fairly close in and he wasted no time getting set up in the swim.
“Most of the anglers on the lake all fish towards the middle, but I always try to do my own thing because if you do the same as everyone else you’re only ever going to have the same results,” said the Suffolk-based rod. “I didn’t have a clue what was out in front of me so I cast out three single hookbaits while I had a chuck around with my marker rod to see what I could find. After about 15 minutes I discovered a small spot which was just screaming out for a bait. The lake is very weedy but I got a really firm drop and when I dragged the lead back a few feet it pulled into the weed. It wasn’t just a clear silty area, it felt really hard as if carp had been feeding on it and I just knew I had to put a hookbait on it.”
With the light starting to fade, James decided to position two rods on the spot over around 50 – 60 freebies and leave the third where it had landed earlier as a single.
The all-important bite came just four hours later and a typical big fish fight commenced. “It just plodded around and I eventually landed it in the moonlight. At this point I had no idea which carp I had in the net but I went to get the bailiff who was fishing a couple of swims down to give me a hand with the weighing and pictures. It was only when we lifted the net out of the water that we realised how heavy she was. When the scales pulled round to 51lb 8oz it set not only a new English PB for me but also a new venue record.”
James’ winning presentation consisted of a 16mm Berkley Gulp Tuna and Spice boilie mounted on a long hair with a coated braid hooklink and a size 8 JRC MBT 1 Connect hook setup as a line-aligner rig. This was fished in conjunction with a 3oz zip lead on a safety clip system.
“This is a rig which I have the utmost confidence in. The line-aligner style tubing guarantees that the hook flips over and grabs hold when the carp picks up the bait. The long hair of about an inch helps with the separation between the hook and hookbait and makes it much more difficult for the hook to be ejected as it automatically drops down towards the bottom lip.”
The huge mirror was originally stocked in 1999 by Mark Simmonds at three-years-old and weighing only 5lb, but was actually feared dead by some members because it hadn’t been out for over a year. “I hadn’t fished the lake since September 2009 due to concentrating on other venues and work and family commitments. To catch this fish on only my fourth session was incredible. It just goes to show that if you do your own thing and follow your instincts and not what everyone else is doing you can have some great results,” he added.