Two winter 30lb carp from Orchid Lake

Marcus Clark unlocked the potential of arguably the country’s most in-form carp fishery with the capture of two 30lb commons from Orchid Lake.

The Oxfordshire gravel pit has been consistently producing big fish in recent weeks and Marcus succeeded in a small bay away from the crowds.

The Northants rod took commons of 30lb 12oz and 31lb 8oz using just a scattering of bait soon after switching swims.

The 27-year-old told Angling Times: “It was very busy when I arrived so I went into a swim called No Man’s which leads into the All Alone swim. I sat there for the night but nothing seemed to move through, so as soon as the guy in the All Alone moved out I moved in.”

Having clipped up his rods to two snaggy areas, Marcus decided to rest the frequently fished swim for a couple of hours.

“I knew people had been fishing it and putting bait in so I put half a tin of sweetcorn on one spot and about 20 boilies on the other.

“At about 10pm the rod cast to the far snag ahead of me pulled up then dropped back, before giving another couple of bleeps. I hit it and kept the rod low but it really didn’t want to come away from the snag. I saw it about five minutes before I netted it and I knew it was a chunk.”

At 1pm the next day, Marcus’s right-hand rod, slung to a marginal snag, yielded the larger of the pair of thirties.

“To get two thirties in January, and for both of them to be commons, is pretty special,” said the welder and fabricator.

Marcus used sweetcorn and Active Bait Solutions Maple Nut wafters as hookbaits on rigs featuring ESP Stripteaze and Carp R Us Centurion 2000 hooks.