Feathering bait to deeper water brings in personal best specimen carp

Matt Downing proved that you don’t have to spend hours with a marker float or introduce kilos of expensive bait to fool one of the biggest fish in the lake after smashing his personal best with this 49lb 9oz specimen.

After arriving at Kevin Nash’s Church Lake in total darkness, Matt literally ‘felt his way’ into his short overnight session by clipping four-bait stringers on to his rigs and finding clear spots by carefully ‘feathering’ each of his 4oz leads down to the lakebed.

The tactic did the trick, with one of his rods, that was positioned over a slightly deeper area in around 10ft of water, screaming off at 5am the next morning. The big mirror is one of the Essex water’s biggest residents and easily beats his previous best of 38lb 8oz.

 “All I did was cast the rigs out and feel for a ‘donk’, rather than just blasting them out and hoping for the best,” said Matt, who is a key accounts manager for tackle and bait giant Nash.

“It was a pretty cold night so I felt confident that the bait in the deeper water had more of a chance, because it’s often this type of spot that produces once the weather starts to turn.”

There was nothing complicated about the 23-year-old’s rig. He put his faith in a 20mm Nash Mach 1 shelf-life boilie fished snowman-style with a pineapple pop-up, mounted on a size 7 Nash Fang hook.

The angler, who lives in Fen Drayton, Cambs, used 15lb mainline to beat his catch, which came from an area around 30yds from the bank.