Winter fifty

A FISH that rarely makes an autumn appearance showed just how big it can go in the colder months by tipping the scales at exactly 57lb.

The huge mirror was banked by Matt Jackson during the final night of a weekend session on a southern gravel pit.

The 25-year-old factory worker said: “It’s never been that big before and it’s been known as a bit of an autumn dodger — people always wondered how big it would go if it was caught at this time of year.”

The Salisbury rod fished from Friday to Monday over the Bonfire Night weekend, and had the take just before daybreak on the final morning.

“It’s quite a rural area so there were loads of fireworks going off to begin with and that killed it for the first two nights,” he said.

But a twitchy take on Monday morning, followed by a difficult fight through a weedy swim, eventually yielded the prized capture.

“It’s a pretty tough water,” said Matt, “top rod last year had nine fish and some people only get one or two a season, but this year I’ve had 22 bites and landed 18 different fish — but this one really was the icing on the cake.”

Matt fished a CC Moore Odyssey XXX pop-up on a stiff rig over 3kg of freebies at 150 yards’ range next to a weedbed.