Is this the next British record carp?

STEPHEN Johnson has become one of the few anglers in the country who can boast of landing a carp over the magical 60lb-barrier after he caught this 60lb 4oz mirror from The Avenue in Shropshire.

The colossal specimen came on the second morning of what was only the 42-year-old’s third session on the 10-acre venue.

With strong winds forecast, Stephen decided to set up in a sheltered area of the lake and cast all three rods just short of a gravel bar which runs down the centre of the lake at around 55yds range.

He had baited the area with a mixture of live and dead maggots and sweetcorn and offered a large bunch of hair-rigged maggots over the top on combi-rigs tied with Kryston Supa Nova and Korda Mouthtrap and size 6 Fox Arma Point hooks.

Fish of 26lb 9oz and 21lb 8oz graced his net during the first day before receiving the all-important bite at 9.20am the following morning.

“I was actually about to reel in and recast just before I had the take as my rigs had been out all night and I hadn’t had any indications,” he told Angling Times. “I knew as I lifted in to it that it was one of the lake’s bigger residents and then once I got it around 10yds from the bank I recognised it as the mirror known as Jona. The fish was last caught in October 2012 at 55lb 8oz so I knew that it would be close to 60lb.

“Everyone gathered round to help with the weighing and I had to stand back and just tried to take it all in. I couldn’t believe it when the scales settled on 60lb 4oz and I still don’t think it has sunk in,” he added.

Jona has for a long time been tipped as a potential fish which could break the existing British carp record of 67lb 14oz.