A big crucian carp was top of Matthew Fernandez’s hit list – but he got a lot more than he bargained for when he smashed his personal best no fewer than six times.
While many anglers were completing this season’s crucian campaign, the Southampton-based rod went in search of his first-ever 3lb-plus fish and struck gold during an incredible 24-hour stint.
Every single fish he landed at a southern stillwater was well over his target weight, with the best of the bunch taking the dial round to 4lb.
Setting up in a swim where he had noticed a number of fish break the surface, he soon located a flat spot around 30 yards out, where he introduced several spodfuls of groundbait and casters.
Plenty of tench found his Method feeder and fake caster hookbait combination during the opening stages of the session, but no crucians showed during the night.
But all that changed at first light when, in a manic morning, the 28-year-old slipped the net under fish of 3lb 2oz, a brace at 3lb 8oz, 3lb 10oz, 3lb 15oz and 4lb.
“The water is a famous crucian fishery, but while I was hopeful of beating my previous best of 2lb 15oz I never expected it to happen six times in a row,” explained Matthew.
“Once I had landed a couple over 3lb in quick succession I felt as though it was mission accomplished, but the big crucians kept coming right until the end.
“To land a 4lb fish was the real icing on the cake, though, and I think it will be a while before I up the bar again,” he added.
More than 40 tench and 10 small carp also fell foul of the approach, the successful set-up being a Method feeder rig made up of 6lb mainline, a 25g Drennan inline feeder and a
4.9lb hooklength to a size 16 Drennan Wide Gape Super Specialist Whisker hook.