Guy Turnbull relays the tale of two incredible forty-pounders he was lucky to land just two weeks apart.

Over the last few years I had become obsessed with this small, intimate little pit of an acre and a half, with a stock of just six carp. Being a former trout fishery, it was clear and quite weedy, but the vast majority of the lake was over 20ft deep. As a result the fish spent an awful lot of time in the edge and it was amazing watching the lake’s stock, whilst learning their habits. It was the biggest mirror in the lake I set my sights on, a lovely, deep brown mirror of over 40lb. It was one of those fish that almost changed its character after spawning, so I set my sights on a spring capture. With predation and time

not on my side, I decided enough was enough, and wanted to out and out target the pit this past spring.

Being so small, I could always find the fish if the weather was warm. Unfortunately, though, the big girl had a bodyguard that often scuppered any chances of catching her! I used to bait quite a lot of spots and if I saw her and the bodyguard feeding, I would lower a rig in. The fish would come back and the smaller one would flank on the spot continuously until the bigger one would melt off.

Over the last few years I had become obsessed with this small, intimate little pit of an acre and a half, with a stock of just six carp. Being a former trout fishery, it was clear and quite weedy, but the vast majority of the lake was over 20ft deep. As a result the fish spent an awful lot of time in the edge and it was amazing watching the lake’s stock, whilst learning their habits. It was the biggest mirror in the lake I set my sights on, a lovely, deep brown mirror of over 40lb. It was one of those fish that almost changed its character after spawning, so I set my sights on a spring capture. With predation and time not on my side, I decided enough was enough, and wanted to out and out target the pit this past spring.

Being so small, I could always find the fish if the weather was warm. Unfortunately, though, the big girl had a bodyguard that often scuppered any chances of catching her! I used to bait quite a lot of spots and if I saw her and the bodyguard feeding, I would lower a rig in. The fish would come back and the smaller one would flank on the spot continuously until the bigger one would melt off.

EVEN THOUGH EVERYTHING WAS PINNED DOWN AND AS INVISIBLE AS I COULD GET IT, THAT FISH SUSSED IT OUT EVERY TIME AND COST ME SO MANY OPPURTUNITIES.

As I got everything up and running, things took a turn for the worst! Having baited a few areas really heavily with Krill boilies, hemp and tigers, I really had the spots rocking. But one day, I found the big girl clearly very stressed in a large weed bed. It soon became apparent it was tethered! Thankfully, we managed to free her, treat her mouth and return her. This left me in a dilemma, as I wanted to leave the fish to recover. So, I decided to have a go for a lovely scaly mirror on the same ticket.

I dropped on the new lake for my next session, but I was armed with lots of knowledge. I knew where the big one loved to feed. A tall gravel bar that came up from 9ft to just 4ft. Thankfully, I managed to secure a swim in the area and proceeded to spod the area with lots of particles but plenty of boilies as well, due to the high population of bream.

I had a few of the lake’s really nice ones, to over 30lb, but near the end of the trip it was to get even better!

Following a bream like bite, on my rod placed in the deeper water to the side of the bar, I lifted into the fish and immediately thought it was a bream with some weed round it. The fish just came in really steadily, however as it neared the bank, it started to kite on a tight line, meaning it was something more substantial. Knowing how the big girl fights, I had a good feeling she was on the end!.

Following a bream like bite, on my rod placed in the deeper water to the side of the bar, I lifted into the fish and immediately thought it was a bream with some weed round it. The fish just came in really steadily, however as it neared the bank, it started to kite on a tight line, meaning it was something more substantial. Knowing how the big girl fights, I had a good feeling she was on the end!.

I could just make out the top of the tubing, before the fish powered off. This happened for a further 15 minutes and every time it did that, I thought it was the one I wanted. As it popped up, I could see it was her, so I dropped the net, reached out as far as I could and slid her in, she was mine.

I could just make out the top of the tubing, before the fish powered off. This happened for a further 15 minutes and every time it did that, I thought it was the one I wanted. As it popped up, I could see it was her, so I dropped the net, reached out as far as I could and slid her in, she was mine.

IT IS AN AMAZING OLD CARP, 41B 8OZ OF SCALY, DARK MIRROR CARP AND A GREAT WAY TO END WHAT HAD BEEN A MEMORABLE SESSION.

Not wanting to slow my momentum down, I was back on the small pit a few days later. I knew the big girl was back to her usual self, as I saw her show a few times. Not wanting to waste any more time, I baited up a few spots with two buckets of bait every few days. In an attempt to keep the ravenous rudd at bay! When I actually fished my spots, I used a single hookbait to ensure my bait always investigated at the very least.

My chance eventually came on a very warm day, and I could see the big girl sunning herself in the large weedbed out in front. Not too far from my single Krill wafter placed on my baited spot. I made a cup of tea, looked back up and she was gone. I shimmied up the tree to try and spot her, but I couldn’t see her anywhere. It was way past bite time and I didn’t expect her to be feeding, I presumed she was off hiding in a weedbed somewhere.

With that, the rod absolutely melted off and in the blistering heat, I was shocked that I had even got a bite.

I was fishing slack lines and I heard the bobbin crack the rod before the alarm even registered a beep. She fought hard and burrowed down the shelf, before I got her back up. I caught a glimpse but didn’t know at that point what it was. On the fifth time of getting her up out the deep water, her head rose above the surface and I knew straight away, it was her. I slid the net under a chunky mirror and it was her, four years of trying, my legs just went to jelly. She went 41lb 14oz, which made it two PB’s in as many weeks and what a carp to do it with, a proper old history fish and I was so made up to finally meet up with her.

Not wanting to slow my momentum down, I was back on the small pit a few days later. I knew the big girl was back to her usual self, as I saw her show a few times. Not wanting to waste any more time, I baited up a few spots with two buckets of bait every few days. In an attempt to keep the ravenous rudd at bay! When I actually fished my spots, I used a single hookbait to ensure my bait always investigated at the very least.

My chance eventually came on a very warm day, and I could see the big girl sunning herself in the large weedbed out in front. Not too far from my single Krill wafter placed on my baited spot. I made a cup of tea, looked back up and she was gone. I shimmied up the tree to try and spot her, but I couldn’t see her anywhere. It was way past bite time and I didn’t expect her to be feeding, I presumed she was off hiding in a weedbed somewhere. With that, the rod absolutely melted off and in the blistering heat, I was shocked that I had even got a bite.

I was fishing slack lines and I heard the bobbin crack the rod before the alarm even registered a beep. She fought hard and burrowed down the shelf, before I got her back up. I caught a glimpse but didn’t know at that point what it was. On the fifth time of getting her up out the deep water, her head rose above the surface and I knew straight away, it was her. I slid the net under a chunky mirror and it was her, four years of trying, my legs just went to jelly. She went 41lb 14oz, which made it two PB’s in as many weeks and what a carp to do it with, a proper old history fish and I was so made up to finally meet up with her.

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