ANDY MATTHEWS had a great retirement present in the shape of a new venue record mirror carp of 61 lb 4 oz.

Wingham Carp Lake in Kent, the impressive venue which produced an abnormally bloated 83 lb carp a year and half ago, was where Andy scored.

He legered boilies at long range at the 15-acre former gravel pit, in a beautiful nature reserve.

There is a limit of 30 syndicate members, with a waiting list to join, just as there is for the 40-acre Main Lake.

Andy, who has just demobbed from British Transport Police, is no stranger to Wingham Fisheries’ giants.

He landed a 55 lb 8 oz common and 52 lb mirror brace during a session three years ago.

Faversham-based Andy told Angler’s Mail about his latest catch, which ups the bar for healthy fish caught at Wingham.

“Black Spot is the fish I’ve wanted to catch,” said Andy.

“When I arrived for a 48-hour trip I was just happy to be back at the lake fishing and relaxing, listening to all the birds singing and seeing more cuckoos than I have in years.

“I was getting ready to take a few sunset photos and had just made myself a cup of tea when at 7.15pm I had two bleeps on my right-hand rod.

“I looked up, thinking it was probably a bird that had knocked my line, only to see the line cutting through the water as my rod tip started to bend round, followed by the clutch starting to scream as line was taken.

“I turned her by the far side of the plateau, and was then treated to one of the best fights I’ve ever had.

“The battle lasted almost 45 minutes and my arms were aching.

“When I lifted her onto the scales I couldn’t believe it – I think I was in shock.”

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