Two different carp came within spitting distance of the British record as milder temperatures put the big girls on the feed.
Matt Bryant bagged the Parrot at an all-time high of 64lb 2oz just days after George Copley caught Elphicks’ Big Girl at 66lb. The same two fish, believed to be the biggest living carp in the country, were also caught just days apart back in October but have now edged nearer the 67lb 14oz record.
Matt Bryant, who had the Parrot for the sixth time from Cranwells Lake on the Wasing estate in Berkshire, said: “It’s put on a pound over the winter so next autumn you just don’t know how big it could be.
“This is the sixth time I’ve caught it but I can’t help which fish I catch. I’m after one called Floppy Tail but you can’t target it so I’m waiting for it to turn up.”
Matt’s 24-hour session, his first on the venue since November, also included two 19-pounders and two twenties. He said: “It equals my previous best session on the lake but that wasn’t at this time of year. Between 8pm and 9pm I had four runs – it was unbelievable.”
The 25-year-old police officer fished Mainline Cell boilies on Korda Hybrid hooklinks and ESP hooks at 120 yards.
Details of George Copley’s capture of the Elphicks mirror are scarce, but Phil XXXX, the Kent fishery’s owner, told Angling Times: “I didn’t verify it because I wasn’t here but I did go round and scrutinise them [George and his angling partner] and they assured me three sets of scales were used and everything was zeroed, so I can only take their word for it.”
The fish fell to a Nutcracker boilie from Urban Baits.