Biggest carp in the World caught this year!

We decided to give Abbey Lakes a crack for a 72-hour session as it's only a two hour drive from Calais - we decided to fish Heron lLake and, after drawing straws between the three of us, I came out second and chose to fish swim 19.

The lake had been fishing slow with only a few fish coming out over the week and, not knowing anything about the lake, any swim was as good as the next with the favourite swims for Shoulders being taken by some Dutch lads.

I had a plumb about in the swim and decided to fish a channel between two weed beds at about 50 yards range, so I put two baits in this area - the old faithful Cell was first choice of bait and I took some paste and made some cork ball pop-ups. Match the hatch, as they say.

These were fished on Kable leaders helicopter-style, with multi rigs tied using 9" of 25lb N-Trap Soft, size 4 Choddy hooks with the No-Trace bead system and the new Heli Safe. On the third rod I fished solid PVA bags with crushed Cell boilies and Mainline pellets.

I put my marker out and baited with about 2 kg of 18mm Cell and about 2kg of hemp using a bait boat only to deliver the bait not the rig and used the boat also to put the PVA bag out as I would not have been able to cast the distance.

Friday evening passed with no action, so I was up at 5am to see if I could see any fish showing themselves. There were a few shows but nowhere near my baited areas, so about midday I decided to re-bait and get the rods back out for the night - bait and wait was my approach.

At 7.30am on Sunday morning I had an absolute belter – a proper one toner - on my right hand rod using the PVA approach. After a hectic fight I landed my first Abbey Lake carp - a nice dark mirror of 26lb 8oz. After the photos I had a cup of tea, then drove round to put the bait boat batteries on charge.

A quick chat to Steve the bailiff soon got onto the fish Shoulders, talking about it hadn't been out for 5 months and how overdue it was. After admiring the photo of Max Cottis holding this beast of a carp I was back in the van heading back to my swim.

Upon arrival both my mates where asleep so I thought I would get the rods back out and have a clean up, ready to be off in the morning I was just putting breakfast on and I heard a Delkim sounding, so after a quick look I was away again this time middle rod.

Upon leaning into the fish it was apparent that it was a lump as it was slowly but firmly moving off. After about 10 minutes the fish was about 10 yards out, just plodding up and down. The first sighting of the fish was about 20 minutes into the battle with a boil, and at that point me and my friends Dan Grace and John Rumsey knew it was a unit.

After a few more runs the fish turned and popped up, all I can remember was saying “Dan get it in that f******g net!” When it went in, well just about went in, the battle was over and my prize was in the net.

At this point I still did not know what fish it was, then when my friend Dan looked at me confused I said “Don't tell me that's Shoulders…” He looked again and when he turned back round his face confirmed that it was indeed Shoulders.

A quick call to bailiff Steve to tell him of the news and the rest was a bit of a blur. On the scales she went 95lb 8oz - a fish of a lifetime and a memory that I will never forget, neither would the people who witnessed it.

After having the photos done in the water I lowered her into the water and with a few kicks of her tail she was away - all that in a 72-hour fishing trip.