Stunning fully-scaled mirror comes to the towpath at over 40lb.
Carp don’t come much more impressive than this gorgeous 41lb fully scaled mirror – especially when they’re caught from the local canal.
The fish, banked on the towpath of the Kennet and Avon canal, was caught this morning (March 1) by Wiltshire angler Bill Phillips and fulfills a 34 year dream for the long time British Carp Study Group member to catch a canal specimen over the magic 40lb mark.
“I’ve fished the canals for carp for years, but this is by far the most amazing session I’ve had,” Bill told Advanced Carp Fishing. “I’ve been baiting a spot with boilies for a few months and last night it paid off with a couple of commons at 15 and 17lb, and then at 9.30am I had the 41. I called my mate to come and photograph it for me and while he was on his way I had a 28lb 4oz mirror as well just to top it off.”
Targeting an out of the way stretch of the canal, the capture is actually the fourth time Bill’s landed the stunning specimen. Over the past ten years the 63-year-old has banked the mirror at 19lb, 25lb and 38lb, but following a number of years without seeing the mirror carp he was worried his chance of claiming her at 40 might have gone.
“Just a couple of days ago I was saying to a friend that if she might be long gone, but if she was still around I was going to try and catch her again this year,” continued Bill. “Not 48hours later I’d done it! It was unbelievable. She’s an incredible fish, and especially so as she’s from the canal. I’d say she was one of the most beautiful carp I’ve ever seen caught in the UK.”
The fully scaled specimen fell for an 18mm Mainline Cell bolie balanced with a grain of buoyant fake corn and presented over Bill’s prebaited swim on a short Striptease combi link using a size 8 Korda Wide Gape hook. This was topped off with a small PVA bag of cruched boilies and rock salt.
“When I hit into the take the fish ran straight over my other rod and then rolled,” said Bill, whose previous canal best was a famous 32lb mirror caught from the Royal Military canal in 1978. “I knew which fish it was straight away and the nerves really kicked in, but after a bit of a plodding fight where she kicked up loads of mud and silt off the bottom I finally netted her, much to my relief.”
Due to the snaggy nature of the canal and the lack of space on the bank, Bill used a short 9ft CK Sneaker 2.75TC rod with a Shimano bait runner reels loaded with 20lb Power Pro braid to beat the fish.
“I’m absolutely elated to have finally caught a canal 40 after decades of trying”, added Bill. "But there are a few other fish I know of in the stretch so my canal carping days aren't over yet."