Surprise Carp At Medley

Stu Lennox had a nice surprise yesterday on the River Thames at Medley when a near-17lb carp put in an appearance. Here’s how he caught it.


I was planning on a couple of days chub fishing in Suffolk but when those plans were cancelled at the last minute I had to find a short-notice replacement. Luckily Dean Barlow let me tag along with him for a couple of days on the Thames around Oxford.

The first day was hemp and tare fishing for roach at Appleford, which is something I have never done before. While I learned a lot and had a great days fishing, the specimen hunter in me was always hoping for that one bite that brought something special to the net.

stu-lennox-medley-carp-9Therefore the following day when we arrived at Medley for some bream action I made sure the first thing I did was cast out a ‘sleeper rod’ aimed solely at catching a quality fish. I was mainly hoping for a large bream or possibly a rogue chub. Whatever happened I knew if I got a bite on that rod it would have to be from a decent fish!

I hair-rigged a couple of 10mm boilies to a size 8 hook. An ESP Curve-Shanx on this occasion, although I later swapped to a Cryogen Gripper as the beaked point offered more protection from the various snags and stones I would encounter.

stu-lennox-medley-carp-2I wanted a pungent bait to leak off attraction downstream and attract fish from all round, so my baits had been steeping in a liquid tuna glug for several days and smelled ripe! I catapulted about 20 to 30 baits onto a clear area I found in the streamer weed, attached a mesh PVA bag of half a dozen baits, dunked the whole thing into the liquid tuna and made my first cast.

About an hour later the tip absolutely ripped round and the alarm started to shriek! I hit into the fish and it powered off upstream. I had absolutely no idea what I had hooked but my initial thoughts were a large chub or possibly even a barbel that had got lost.

The fight was frought as it moved from weed bed to weed bed, but when it finally rolled in front of me I could see a stunning big carp! My 18in Speedex net was just about big enough and it went in at the first time of asking.

At a few ounces under 17lb it really was a beautiful fish. I bet it had a few tales to tell of how it eventually found its way into this stretch of river.

Stu used a 12ft 1.25lb Series 7 Specialist Avon rod with 12lb ESP Syncro XT Loaded, 20lb Tungsten Loaded hooklink to a size 8 ESP Gripper or Curve-Shanx hook.