A special carp from a special lake, the ‘Look At The Length Fish’.
11th November 2016

A special carp from a special lake, John Claridge describes the capture of one of the Cotswold Water Park big four, the ‘Look At The Length Fish’.

I’d been catching steadily all summer on my syndicate lake, catching some stunning carp but the ‘big four’ were eluding me. October has always been good to me and I have caught a good percentage of my forties in this autumnal month, so I had high hopes of getting one of the big’uns.
I had been fishing an area for the previous three weeks and also baiting it in between my weekly two-night session. The spots had received a lot of Manilla, which has served me well all year.
Arriving on Tuesday afternoon after a day of trade shows, I was nursing man-flu (probably something to do with me having to prebait on Sunday in my pants, stood in cold water up to my thighs, as I’d forgotten my chesties! Ouch that was cold), but got the rods out relatively easily as I’d already put on hookbaits and clipped the lines up to the precise distance.

My first attempt and the right hand rod had gone out in the North-Easterly wind especially well, landing bang on with a nice firm drop. Fifteen spombfuls of mixed-sized boilies all landed on the money as well. Hookbait wise, I was using a trimmed Manilla pop-up on top of a Tuff-one so it would waft over the size 4 hook. Freebies were given a generous dose of the awesome Cloudy Manilla, a drizzle of Hemp Oil and a dusting of GLM when the baits were taken out of the freezer.
Full of cold, I turned the alarms up a notch and hit the sack early. Checking the time in the night to reveal 2.30am I was a tad disappointed as bite time had been 1.30am and the buzzers remained silent.
At about 5.30am I had a couple of tiny liners on the right-hand rod, increasing my confidence. As dawn started to break the bobbin cracked the right-hand blank, pulled out the clip and I was soon into a heavyweight that kicked off to the right, forcing me to backwind a few turns. The fish then turned and kited hard left so I stepped into the chesties and gained line before dashing into the edge, as it dragged me up the left-hand margin. In the half light I was still unsure how close it was to the overhanging trees so with the tip down I winched as much mono onto the spool as fast as possible.
As the carp neared, the carbon throbbed under my hand and I knew what I was attached to was a lot weightier than anything I had so far this season. A back then popped to the surface, I quickly adjusted the net position, stepped forward and engulfed my prize.
With the net secured I gazed at a big broad back, excitedly scampered up the bank and in the full light of the torch revealed what had to be a forty pounder! At first I thought it was the Twin, but checking its right hand side revealed the lack of scales on its flank, so what was it? The depth of the beast was immense and I summoned all my strength to heave him safely up to the awaiting mat. Peeling back the mesh I was in awe of the beast, the ‘Look at the Length’ and at an all-time high of 46lb 3oz!!!

A very special carp from a special lake. One down, three to go!


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