This immaculate 37lb 6oz mirror was a just reward for Paul Webber who made a 260-mile roundtrip to fish Christchurch Lake on the Oxfordshire Linch Hill complex.
During a lap of the lake the park warden from Honiton, Devon spotted a group of six fish hovering over a dinner plate-sized clear area in the weed further along his margin.
“I spent three hours flicking out the odd grain of corn and Sticky Krill boilie and watching the carps reaction,” the 32-year-old said. “Every now and again one of them would drop down and pick up a couple of pieces before moving off again.”
Once the fish had vacated the area, Paul returned to his swim and waded out so that he could accurately place his rig, which was baited with a balanced 12mm dumbbell, on the tiny clear area.
“The fish in Christchurch are incredibly ‘riggy’ and I’ve watched them ‘getting away with it’ on several occasions. To try and overcome this I used a short 2ins supple braid hooklink and a 5oz drop-off inline lead. This would ensure that if a fish picked up the bait the weight of the lead would set the hook home almost instantly.”
An hour later his theory was proved correct as his alarm burst into life.
“The fish weeded me up a couple of times but I eventually guided it over the net. On the bank I recognised it as one of the biggest fish I’d seen over the spot earlier and it is by far one of the best looking carp I have ever caught. I certainly don’t mind the travelling when the fish look as good as they do in Christchurch.”