1,500lb-plus match catch is taken

Records tum­ble at Ar­ran’s Lake in Es­sex as the top six an­glers weigh in a 6,362lb to­tal in epic con­test

Angling Times (UK) - - WELCOME - TONY GRIG­OR­JEVS Se­nior re­porter

THE big­gest weight in the his­tory of world com­pet­i­tive fish­ing has been taken at a colos­sal 1,514lb.

Ar­ran’s Lake in Es­sex has a rep­u­ta­tion for pro­duc­ing mon­ster catches in sum­mer, but even the most am­bi­tious of ex­pec­ta­tions were oblit­er­ated when Michael Jones net­ted more than 350 carp av­er­ag­ing 4lb dur­ing a six-hour con­test.

That wasn’t the only talk­ing point on the day, be­cause Michael Corsini took what is now the sec­ond-big­gest match weight any­where in the UK, an in­cred­i­ble 1,341lb for run­ner-up spot. And spare a thought for sixth-placed Louis John­son, who didn’t win a penny de­spite bag­ging 612lb.

Warm tem­per­a­tures and a gen­tle rip­ple greeted the field on the day. The match was split into two three-hour events with a weigh-in at half time to con­form with fish­ery rules.

Us­ing pel­let 5m out, Michael Jones put 705lb in the net in the first ses­sion, step­ping up his ef­forts after the break to col­lar another 809lb.

Run­ner-up and match or­gan­iser Michael Corsini re­lied on corn close in and recorded 582lb in the first half and 759lb in the sec­ond. He told Angling Times: “We all knew that big catches were go­ing to be on the cards, but never in our wildest dreams did we ex­pect weights like these.

“It was a lit­er­ally a fish-a-chuck and by the end of the match I was so ex­hausted that I felt like I’d run a marathon!

“You couldn’t get the bait in quickly enough and dur­ing each half I had 10 keep­nets in the wa­ter to con­form with weight lim­its, re­duc­ing the amount of space I had to fish into.”

News of the huge catches has di­vided opin­ion in the match angling world.

Some peo­ple are claim­ing that the big-weight cul­ture has gone too far, but Michael dis­agrees with the crit­i­cism.

“Peo­ple have this per­cep­tion that fish are dragged in on stupidly heavy tackle and in bad con­di­tion, but that couldn’t be fur­ther than the truth,” he said.

“I use 0.21mm line and a

sen­si­ble elas­tic. It’s all about the tech­nique of get­ting fish in, rather than pil­ing on a ridicu­lous amount of pres­sure that could cause them dam­age.

“The fish are al­ways breed­ing, which shows they are happy in their en­vi­ron­ment, and the owner reg­u­larly nets out smaller carp to cre­ate space for the big­ger ones.

“Sen­si­ble rules and good fish­ery man­age­ment are ap­plied, and I’d say that Ar­rans is just a spe­cial and unique fish­ery.”

Sev­eral other matches are set to be staged in the com­ing months, with a win­ter league also pen­cilled in at the com­plex.

You can find out more or book a spot by call­ing Michael on 07522 149186.

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