ALL-ROUND specimen fish ace Tony Gibson proved he’s just as good at catching big carp as most other coarse species when he caught this epic 50 lb 2 oz common carp.

The common carp was a very special catch for Tony, chairman of the Northampton Specimen Group…. who already has a logbook of super-specimens.

The former British barbel record holder, and former Angler’s Mail Specimen Cup champion, set a new carp PB by over 5 lb with the fish, called the Box Common.

It lurks in Swan Pit on the Bluebell complex in Northamptonshire, a venue whose mega common carp called Benson made the front page of national newspaper, The Times, when it died back in 2009.

Tony, 53, explained his Box Common success story: “I liked the look of the low-pressure and big winds that were forecasted, so made plans for a midweek carp session.

“As usual it was quite busy when I arrived, but I had the choice of two swims that I quite fancied, eventually choosing a swim that was coming free on a stretch of bank that I hadn’t fished so far this year.

“Swan is often regarded as a small bait/particle water, but I’ve been doing well just using boilies over the last 12 months or so, and appeared to be catching my fair share of the larger fish.

Tony used Complex-T boilies.

“So I didn’t hesitate to introduce around 5 kg of Dynamite Complex-T in a mix of sizes to my main area at around 68 yards.

“After a quiet start to the session, with just a mid-20 out elsewhere on the lake, I was starting to get “itchy feet” and thinking about a move.

“However two low 30s then came out in a morning, from the opposite end and this settled me a bit, as I was roughly mid way between the two areas and felt like the big fish were starting to move and I was in a good interception area.”

Common carp arrives at the very end…

Tony, from Duston, Northamptonshire, continued: “With two nights of the session to go I introduced another 3 kg of mixed sized boilies and refreshed my hookbaits.

“On the last morning I was actually well on with the job of packing up, with only the bivvy and rods to go.

“I was in the middle of unpegging the bivvy, when the right-hand rod signalled a steady run.

“It felt like a decent fish when I first bent into it, but came in relatively easily and without much drama, so I had it in close quite quickly.

“When it turned over near the surface, just under the line of the middle rod, I got the impression that it wasn’t particularly big.

“However, a minute later it suddenly seemed to grow dramatically as it came up and allowed itself to be drawn over the net cord at the first attempt,” he concluded.

Bluebell’s most famous common carp is Benson, which was thought to have been caught 63 times in 13 years, and was voted by readers of Angler’s Mail as Britain’s Favourite Carp in 2005. The immense fish died in 2009, resulting in this front page appearance.

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