Brace of 40lb carp top off brilliant week of specimen fishing

Teacher Andrew Hanahoe made the most of the Easter school holidays by banking a brace of cracking forties from a Cambridgeshire stillwater.

Targeting Grenville Lake near Huntingdon for a five-day session, the 35-year-old took mirrors weighing 43lb 5oz and 42lb 12oz after presenting his hookbaits on a shallow plateau at 95yds range which he baited with 10kg of 18mm CC Moore Live System boilies.

Andrew had to wait until late afternoon on the second day of his trip for his first bite, but he wasn’t complaining after he saw which carp he was attached to.

“Due to the exceptional clarity of the water I could see the fish’s two-tone colours and knew exactly which one it was,” said the Biggleswade-based rod. “This fish was one of my targets for the year after witnessing Max Cottis catch it last autumn.”

After photographing the 42lb 12oz specimen, Andrew baited heavily with another 10kg of bait in the hope that some of the other large residents of the 72-acre lake would be close by.

“Over the next couple of days I could feel the area I was fishing over gradually getting firmer and cleaner so I switched from chod rigs to my trusted bottom bait rig with a Live System bottom bait and a 12mm Northern Special pop-up fished snowman style on a 6ins ESP Two Tone hooklink and a size 6 Korda Kaptor Wide Gape hook.”

This produced a 24lb 14oz mirror but then the action dried up. “I started to think that my chances of catching a few more fish were slipping away, but I needn’t have worried because in the early hours of the morning I was awakened by a screaming take.

“I was on the rod in a flash but the fish had already taken a lot of line and felt like a heavy, dull weight. The fight really kicked off under the rod-tip and it was a good 15 minutes before I had the fish under control. Netting it in the dawn twilight I knew I’d got a result,” Andrew added.

At a weight of 43lb 5oz it was not only the second-largest fish in the lake but completed the first-ever brace of Grenville forties.