Matt Bags a PB - Matt Quibell

Gigantica Winter Result

As I pulled through the gates at Gigantica, the autumnal colours of the lake looked amazing, with fiery orange leaves on the trees contrasting against the sky-blue water. I was at the lake with a group of friends to see if I could catch a late-November whacker and I couldn’t wait to get the rods out and give it a go.

The last time I was at Gigantica, I came out second from last in the draw, so when I opened my hand and the ping-pong ball read 1 I was pleased to say the least. To be fair, due to there being fewer anglers allowed on the lake during the winter, I would have been happy with any of the swims, but I chose Alcatraz and quickly dropped my gear off.

The rules state that you are allowed to boat your rigs out during the winter and you are also permitted to use four rods. I decided to boat three of my rods out to long range and bait accurately over the top. These carp are out-and-out Mainline Cell munchers and so each rod received some 18mm boilies with a few tigers mixed in.

I’d had a tip off from bailiff Danny Turtle that carp had been showing at night in a bay down to my left. Danny really knows his stuff so I thought it was well worth a rod; I had a quick feel about with the marker and it felt nice. The spot was 52 yards from my swim, around 15 yards from my left-hand margin. The hook bait was a stack of tigers, with a handful over the top. I chose two floaters and a Sinker from my tiger nut bucket to create a critically balanced bait.

I had spoken to Danny Fairbrass before the trip, as he had had a proper result while filming for the free DVD in late September. He’d advised using a stiff Mouth Trap boom to create a combi-rig, with Supernatural and a size 6 Kurv Shank. This rig had great anti-tangle properties and was perfect for fooling those big, wary carp.

The first night and day came and went without any action and I was soon tucking in to Turtle’s world-famous meatball and spaghetti dinners. After finishing the whole bowl (no mean feat I might add) I went round to my mate Jake’s swim next door for a social. Out of the blue my margin rod let out an unexpected bleep and my heart nearly skipped a beat! I shot round and just as I entered the swim, the Delkim let out a couple more bleeps and the bobbin pulled from half way, right up to the top.

I picked the rod up, which hooped over into what felt like a considerable fish. By this time Jake had arrived and had the net ready throughout the slow, heavy battle. As a big shape came up through the upper layers of the water and into the waiting landing net, Jake said it was between 50 and 60lb! I couldn’t believe it…

I phoned Dan Turtle and he must have thought I had gone mad as I was gibbering something about having a big ‘un in the net. The barbless Kurv hook had held well in the top of her mouth and as we hoisted her up, the needle shot round to a new French PB weight. The text to my friends read, “57lb 14oz, I am the happiest man in France!” I enjoyed a fantastic week and am now having to exercise after putting about a stone on with Turtle’s breakfast and dinners.

I hope to get back out there next year for another winter session!

Matt Quibell