Captor of 51lb Fryerning carp admits: ‘She was much bigger than I thought’

One of Fryerning Fisheries’ three fifties surprised its captor after an early-morning battle.
Mark Shildrake caught the mirror known as the Boss at 51lb during a weekend session at the Essex venue but did not initially appreciate its size.
“At first I didn’t think she was that big,” said the Chelmsford angler, “but I then carefully lifted her out and placed her into the cradle and realised the fish was much bigger than I thought.
“A nearby angler kindly provided a tripod and the needle on my scales that had already been zeroed shot round to 51lb!”
It was the second time the 53-year-old insurance broker had caught the mirror, having been the first angler to land her at over 50lb last year.
“I believe it’s only the third time she has been out over the past 18 months,” said Mark.
Explaining his tactics, he added: “I turned up early on Saturday morning to find the lake quite busy and with the wind pushing towards the dam-wall end. I decided to fish a middle swim called the Logs, feeling the fish wouldn’t be on the end of the wind because it was so strong.
“I fished three rods over a spot baited with roughly a kilo of DT Baits’ Cold Water Green Beast spread over the area by a Spomb. My chosen bait was a white Cold Water Green Beast wafter, as I’d had success earlier in the year on it, landing another fish called the Wood Carving at 44lb.
“Nothing happened during the day or early evening other than a few bleeps as the Stow bobbins were blown around.
“However, at around 2.30am I was woken  up by a single bleep on the middle rod. A minute later the right-hand rod bleeped once, twice and then turned into a single toner,” he said.
“I struck into the fish and it kited left then right, but after 10 minutes and several powerful runs I was able to
net it successfully.”