I was drenched and made my way to the van to get a change of clothes, leaving the wet ones draped over the inside of the van with the engine running and the heater on full blast in an effort to dry them.

Less than an hour later and the left hand rod busted off at a hell of a rate. I was on the rod pretty quick, but the carp had managed to go down the back of the bar and get its head down in some weed. I cranked up the pressure on the rod and after a couple of minutes I started to feel it coming free of the weed. From then on all I could feel through the rod was steady lunges, which told me that it was probably going to be a good fish.

Once in the margins the carp used its weight to give me a proper battle and I knew I was in trouble when the middle rod indicator started going up and down with a few bleeps from the indicator. I reached down and pulled the hanger off the middle rod, took the bail arm off the reel and carried on playing the carp.

It was to be a further ten minutes before the carp made an appearance on the water’s surface and I think I was pretty lucky to at last be able to land the carp. As I looked up I could see that Paul’s head torch was on, so after making sure the fish was safe and secure in the net I made my way round to his swim to ask for a hand with the pictures.

Ian Stott, Elstow, 39lb mirror caught using size 6 Covert Chod Hooks and 14lb Mirage mainlineWe were soon back in my swim and after biting through the main line, I hoisted my heavy prize onto the waiting un-hooking mat. Once we had the carp in the weigh sling, the scales were attached and I watched the needle settled at 39lbs, happy days indeed. We got a few pictures sorted before getting the carp back into the pond where it dropped away into the deep margins.

I had to re-tackle the rod that I had caught on as I had bit through the main line when lifting the carp onto the bank. The middle rod was in a bit of a mess, and after winding in about fifty yards of line everything went solid and I ended hand lining some line in before everything locked up. Eventually after a lot of pulling and my little finger being cut by the line it cut off on something. I lost the rig and about twenty yards of line. The line that I had regained on the reel was as rough as hell and had probably been pulled through some mussel beds. I made the decision to change the spool over on that reel, but it wouldn’t be the Gardner Mirage line that I would be tackling back up with (that decision was going to cost me big style).

Fluoro, HydroTuff and reel shot

After sorting both rods out and getting them back out to the area I put another dozen spods of my mix back out to the bar. The next few hours were spent just watching and listening to the lake. Just after 10am I saw a couple of carp to the left of where my rigs were positioned. This certainly got the nerves going and I was pretty confident of another chance.

It took a little while for the next run to come, but just after twelve o’ clock the right hand rod was away. After picking up the rod the carp decided it was going to kite a long way to my right and I tried to lead it in on a long line. The carp was having none of it though and it resulted in me having to seriously give it a bit of stick in order to get it back out in front of me.

Ian Stott, Elstow, 29lb 2oz mirror caught using size 6 Covert Chod hooks and 14lb Mirage mainlineI had to be careful though as there was a bad snag not far out in front of the swim, and every time the carp started lunging I was concerned and so upped the pressure on the rod. Things at last went my way and I was relieved to at last net my prize. My mate had seen what was going on and made his way round to lend a hand. We got the carp ready for weighing and I watched as the needle on the scales settled at 29lbs 2oz, a cracking carp and we rattled a few pictures off before setting the carp free in the edge.