A very special carp for Dave Robinson!

Size doesn’t always matter, and that was very much the case for Dave Robinson when he tempted a very special carp from an incredibly low stock Cambridgeshire lake.

Having photographed the stunning, scaly 31lb mirror for another angler back in 2015, Dave set about trying to catch it, despite the water only containing six fish in total and being incredibly hard to access and fish.

He revealed: “I stayed patient until conditions were just right for the water, as it is like nowhere else I have ever fished before, and just getting to the place was a real work out.

“The lake is small but with a flooded forest in the middle of it which made it impossible to fish properly, and most days the carp would show amongst the trees and there was nothing you could do about it!

“There are only three fishable areas, all of which are an underarm cast, and unfortunately the carp aren’t alone and it is one of the most prolific tench waters that I have ever fished!

“After tackling two bridges, three gates, and two miles of bone-shaking terrain, I eventually arrived for my first session, dripping with sweat. It took me a while to recover but I was soon fighting my way through the reeds to one of their favourite haunts. There is something incredible about this place – aside from the fish – with the sound of oystercatchers in the distance; nesting terns; marsh harriers wrestling in the sky; and peregrines ploughing into wood pigeons.

“I arrived in an area with the least savage snags and as I unloaded my barrow I saw four tench roll in a bay to my left, so I knew it was going to be hard work. The place had seen next to no pressure all year, so I was sure a heavy baiting approach would be the key, and I also prepared a dozen hinge rigs ready for the ensuing tench carnage, sitting on my bedchair sharpening hooks.

“There was no way I was risking getting cut off, so I was using 25ft of Arma-Kord Sinking to 10ft of 50lb Kable leadcore, and my hinge rig was tied with 50lb Arma-Kord to 25lb MouthTrap and a size 4 Choddy hook, with a Hybrid QC lead clip and a 3oz flat pear finishing things off. After an hour of pulling silkweed around on my spots, I was ready and had decided just to fish one rod and flicked out a 16mm pop-up on top of some low-lying silkweed.

“As the day progressed the wind picked up, leaving my spot on the back of a brisk northerly, and then as the light began to fade, the tench started dancing all over my baited area and before long the line tightened as the first one hung itself. It turned out to be a long night as I had seven of them and went through 10kg of boilies!

“The tench slowed down as it got light and it felt like I’d only been asleep for a few minutes when the rod let out a sudden series of bleeps which sounded different to what I had been getting, and I threw myself at the rod and found myself attached to something that definitely wasn’t a tench.

“I was crouched at the front of the swim with my 10ft rod buried under the water as the powerful beast made a huge run around the corner towards the sunken forest and I managed to slowly pump it back. I was pretty certain it was one of two fish, and I lifted the dead weight from the deep margins, and there she was, the queen of ‘Jurassic Park’! I got the net under her and lifted with all my might, and it was over.

“No words can describe how much she meant to me and I was completely blown away by the colour of her. Usually I do self-takes, but not with this fish and I phoned Elliott Gray to come and do the honours.

“Once I’d slipped her back I threw all my gear onto the barrow and made the long journey back to my van. It had probably been the best 24 hours of fishing I’d ever had, and although as far as the big carp scene goes it wasn’t a monster, it was own ultimate challenge,” he concluded.