24.07.15

Korda employee Jay Willis has caught a very special carp…

This summer has been the start of my second season on Jerry Hammond’s Carthagena syndicate and, to be honest, it has started quite well for me.

I had a few of the prizes from this tricky venue last year with one of my target fish known as The Parrot Linear, a real old character of over 40 years old and at over 40lb, it made my year.

Each bite really is hard to come by. Up until the capture of The Linear back in April I hadn't had a bite since the previous August! The season came to an end in mid-May and was to re-open at the end of June - I was chomping at the bit to get back. Unfortunately I couldn't fish the start so I arranged for my first over nighter the following week.

When I arrived, I headed for a swim known as The First Beach, which is a very weedy shallow area of the lake that I knew from previous experience the fish often used as a route in and out of an area known as The Dugout.

I positioned two naked chods out onto the far reed line, followed by five pouchfuls of bait and sat back before getting some sleep. At 1am and after a good few liners the right-hand rod pulled up tight and I was into a fish.

After an unspectacular battle I slipped the net under a small common. On the scales she went 19lb and a few mat shots and back she went. I was buzzing to be off the mark! I packed away in the morning a happy man.

My next trip was two nights later and I managed to get back in the same swim. Just like the previous session, at and around 1am I was away again. After a short battle I slipped the net under another common. On the scales she went 21lb 8oz - my second fish in as many nights. I was over the moon!

I did another two nights in the area that weekend but they seemed to have wised up and I came away bite-less. The following week I arrived for an overnighter and headed for another very weedy swim known as The Mushroom.

I knew the fish would be in and out the pads in the shallow water and as I barrowed my tackle into the swim I could see fish cruising around. After a few minutes a few fish had head and shouldered so I soon got my rods sorted. I put both baits out about a rod length off the pads and spodded out six spods on each rod. The traps were set it was up to the carp now.

Again, around midnight this time the liners started and within the hour the right hander was away! The fish weeded itself straight away and with steady pressure I led her to the net pretty easily and soon she lay ready to be netted a long scaly mirror!

I hoisted my prize ashore and, once unhooked, weighed it at 27lb 12oz. I woke a fellow member who was next door and he did some great shots, which I was really grateful for. I slipped her back none the worse but I just didn't recognise what fish it was. I soon got the rod back out but, to be honest, sleep was hard to come by I was buzzing again!

Three fish in five nights was more than I could have asked for - I knew it wouldn't last forever. No more bites came and before I left I looked in the Carthagena Bible in the clubhouse, an album which has all the fish in. I couldn't see what fish it was but after a bit of matching up I realised it was a fish known as Holly.

After speaking to Jerry he informed me that this fish had not been out for about three years, it’s a real rare one so I was double happy with her! Anyway, things are getting back to normal now and I've not had a bite for the past four overnighters, good old Carthagena!

You can find more information on the Carthagena Fishery, which is in Hertfordshire and includes three lakes and stretch of river famous for its big chub and perch, on www.carthagenafishery.co.uk

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