Match weights soar in mild autumn

Unseasonal warm temperatures saw some huge weights of match carp to 373lb taken last weekend.

Despite the onset of November, temperatures reached almost 20°c and anglers were still catching fish close in, in the margins and up-in-the-water. Many commercial fisheries remain heavily coloured and no severe frosts have put the carp off feeding properly yet. 

Top of the pile were the results from Alders Farm near Milton Keynes where the start of its not so aptly named winter league produced a staggering seven weights over the 200lb-mark. Leading the pack was Ricky Quick who took a staggering 373lb 15oz fishing close in with pellets to land carp to double figures from the complex’s Ash Pool.

Robbie Williams put 230lb 12oz on the scales at Frant Lakes in Kent, where luncheon meat did the damage, and Sussex’s Framfield Fishery saw weights to 216lb 8oz. At Gold Valley, one of the UK’s oldest and most famous commercial carp waters, Anthony Flint topped the pile with a weight of 204lb 12oz, taken on both the feeder and the pellet waggler shallow. And although weights weren’t quite as high in the Midlands and the North, it still needed 184lb to win at Decoy Lakes near Peterborough and 170lb at Hayfield Lakes in Doncaster. 

Leading Fisheries Management Consultant Dr Bruno Broughton said that the metabolism of cold-blooded fish is closely linked to water temperatures.
“This autumn has been characterised by a long, warm 'tail', with mild conditions and an absence of overnight frosts that would otherwise bring water temperatures down, hence the prolonged sport,” he explained. “Although there are differences between fish species, each has a cut-off lower temperature below which little food is consumed and growth virtually ceases. In carp, this tends to occur when water temperatures fall below about 7-8oC - which we haven't experienced so far. I’d urge anglers to keep taking advantage of this and fill their boots before we need thermals!”

So how for how long can we expect these mild temperatures to hold? According to the Met Office at the time of going to press, daytime temperatures  are set to remain above average for at least the next week, and ‘near or perhaps above average’ up to Thursday 28 November.