SEAN CORBETT couldn't have wished for a better first fishing day back when lockdown eased... he topped a five-fish catch with this 49 lb 2 oz mirror.

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Arriving at dawn, Sean made a brilliant start in his quest for the impressive Grenville carp.

Grenville Lake in Cambridgeshire holds some truly mega fish, but can be a real challenge. It’s a mature,  72-acre former gravel pit where depths run to 38 ft.

Sean told Angler’s Mail all about his awesome reopening session. And he openly admitted: “I almost didn’t go!

“Social media confusion over what, where and how, plus the icy bitterly wind and my high workload would have made it easy to not bother.

“But many weeks of lockdown, the prospect of fish off their guard at prime time and a freezer full of a new bait were just too compelling.

“A dawn start saw me arrive at the syndicate half an hour before gates opening.

“It could have been a bun fight to get to the pegs, even on 78 acres, as the socially distanced vehicle queue was at least 19-strong.

“But common sense prevailed and we selected swims in order before arriving. Great thinking.”

‘Donks’ immediately in likely spots

“I was 14th and surprised one of my favourite pegs was still in,” said Sean.

“The swim is a bit hit or miss as it was in a big bay and I would be fishing into the teeth of a nasty northerly. It was Baltic. The fish would either be there or they wouldn’t.

“With my eyes on the water when setting up, activity took on a degree of urgency as two fish poked their heads out close in. That never happens.

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Fortis carp anglers' binoculars

Fortis XSR Binoculars 8 x 42

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“The venue has wildly varying contours and can be weedy.

“You have to be super accurate with your spots but it was just one of those days when the satisfying ‘donk’ as the marker lead hits firm terrain happened on all three spots first time. That never happens either.

“Rigs were simple blow-backs with yellow or white 15 mm Nxtgen Baits Nutrition wafters, critically balanced.

“I was a bit cautious with the bait at first, not wanting to spook the fish back to their sanctuary beyond casting range, so six spods of Redemption boilies went on each spot and I was set.”

Run of fish before giant Grenville carp

Sean continued: “It is worth saying that my record on the Grenville carp is pretty abysmal so I wasn’t expecting much.

“So imagine my surprise when the right-hand bobbin raised to the but ring and held before I had even set up my brolly.

“That resulted in a lively 13 lb common, a very pretty fish and after such a long lay-off I was happy. Result.

“It was blowing hard now and I literally threw caution to the wind with 5 kilos on each of the three spots.

“It was the right decision. The left hand rod was off again in short order, ripping off this time and it was clear this was no small fish.

“After an epic battle it was safely in the net mark and it was a new UK PB common at 36 lb 4 oz. Happy days.

“I was still sorting out the carnage from that when the middle rod was off, a truly savage take.

“The fish bored deep and weeded me up a couple of times but steady gentle pressure steered her through.

“I took my time with this one, especially as the hook was clearly just nicked on the lower lip. But in she went, a gorgeous mirror with big plated scales, another estimated 30.

“Once again my weight guestimation was way out. When it came time to lift the fish out it was clear I had something very special.

“The scales showed 49 lb 2 oz and I had smashed by UK PB by 10 lb. Happy doesn’t begin to describe it.

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60 lb scales for carp and other big fish

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“I put out another couple of kilos on each spot and as the temperatures plummeted I had mirrors of 30 lb 2 oz and 25 lb, and to be honest I still wasn’t processing it all.

“It started out as a special day, to put the Covid-19 challenges to the back of the mind for a while, blow away the cobwebs and get some fresh air.

“It turned into one of those days you remember for the rest of your life,” smiled Sean.

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