1 Michael Jones – 1,514lb
2 Michael Corsini – 1,341lb
3 Nathan Gooderham – 1,020lb
4 Douglas Richardson – 947lb
5 John Hague – 928lb
6 Louis Johnson – 612lb
The biggest weight in the history of world competitive fishing has been taken at a colossal 1,514lb.
Arran’s Lake in Essex has a reputation for producing monster catches in summer, but even the most ambitious of expectations were obliterated when Michael Jones netted more than 350 carp averaging 4lb during a six-hour contest.
That wasn’t the only talking point on the day, because Michael Corsini took what is now the second-biggest match weight anywhere in the UK, an incredible 1,341lb for runner-up spot. And spare a thought for sixth-placed Louis Johnson, who didn’t win a penny despite bagging 612lb.
Warm temperatures and a gentle ripple greeted the field on the day. The match was split into two three-hour events with a weigh-in at half time to conform with fishery rules.
Using pellet 5m out, Michael Jones put 705lb in the net in the first session, stepping up his efforts after the break to collar another 809lb.
Runner-up and match organiser Michael Corsini relied on corn close in and recorded 582lb in the first half and 759lb in the second. He told Angling Times: “We all knew that big catches were going to be on the cards, but never in our wildest dreams did we expect weights like these.
“It was a literally a fish-a-chuck and by the end of the match I was so exhausted that I felt like I’d run a marathon!
“You couldn’t get the bait in quickly enough and during each half I had 10 keepnets in the water to conform with weight limits, reducing the amount of space I had to fish into.”
News of the huge catches has divided opinion in the match angling world.
Some people are claiming that the big-weight culture has gone too far, but Michael disagrees with the criticism.
“People have this perception that fish are dragged in on stupidly heavy tackle and in bad condition, but that couldn’t be further than the truth,” he said.
“I use 0.21mm line and a sensible elastic. It’s all about the technique of getting fish in, rather than piling on a ridiculous amount of pressure that could cause them damage.
“The fish are always breeding, which shows they are happy in their environment, and the owner regularly nets out smaller carp to create space for the bigger ones.
“Sensible rules and good fishery management are applied, and I’d say that Arrans is just a special and unique fishery.”
Several other matches are set to be staged in the coming months, with a winter league also pencilled in at the complex.
You can find out more or book a spot by calling Michael on 07522 149186.