61-pounder is new living record at Wingham

61-pounder is new living record at Wingham

The lake which produced Britain’s biggest-ever carp has seen its biggest current resident reach a new top weight.

Andy Matthews caught Black Spot at 61lb 4oz from Wingham Carp Lake, the Kent venue which produced a very ill carp of 83lb 4oz in 2017.

Andy, who has just retired from British Transport Police, said: “Black Spot is the fish I've wanted to catch ever since [venue owner] Steve [Burke] invited me to join the Wingham Carp Lake syndicate all those years ago.

“I must admit that after the outrageous good fortune I've had over the years, bringing me the Long Common at 55lb 8oz, plus the sadly missed but never to be forgotten Big Plated at 52lb in the same session, and then Bob's Common at 52lb 8oz, I really thought I was asking too much to capture Black Spot. 

"When I arrived on Tuesday [May 7] 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.

A happy retirement gift for Andy!

A happy retirement gift for Andy!

“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 was on the rod in a flash and felt the satisfying pull of a fish as it began to kite to my left over the plateau at speed, which deceived me into thinking it was a smaller one.”

After Andy was “treated to one of the best fight I’ve ever had” lasting nearly 45 minutes, Black Spot was defeated.

“I wanted to shout and jump up and down, I was so elated,” he said.

Wingham fishery manager Steve Burke added: "Everything is very late this year at Wingham and the carp have not long woken up.  Indeed, pike were spawning three days after Andy's catch! 

“With no hot weather forecast for us there's plenty of time for Black Spot to put on a several more pounds before spawning."

At 61lb 4oz it’s the biggest in the lake at the moment

At 61lb 4oz it’s the biggest in the lake at the moment