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14 June, 2024 | Carp | Angler Blogs | Articles

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Matt Heath: 45-Acre Gravel Pit Carp Success!

After catching the majority of the target fish from his Norfolk syndicate, 2022/23 SAS Winner Matt Heath switched his attentions to a 45-acre gravel pit whilst he waits for the rivers to open to begin his running water campaign. This is the story behind his success during his short time on this large expanse of water…

Matt says…

I’ve been desperately waiting for the rivers to open this year as I’ve given up my syndicate ticket this season as I feel the complex has nothing more to offer me and it’s time to move on to pastures new.

I have my eye on a venue I think I may well be able to get a ticket on next season, so this summer I’m going all out river carping! I’ve been baiting an area and looking forward to laying some rigs on the spot this Saturday at midnight on the glorious 16th!

In the mean time, since my old syndicate closed at the end of March I’ve been doing a bit on a 45-acre gravel pit with a unknown stock of carp.

Access to the water’s edge on this pit is challenging to say the least and without having the luxury of a vessel, finding fish is nearly impossible! It’s approximately 1.5 miles around the perimeter and during this walk there’s very few areas you can get even close to the water’s edge.

After a lot of walking and maybe eight overnighters, I eventually found some fish as the weather began to warm up one sunny late afternoon in a shallower part of the lake.

I had my first take that night but sadly the action was short lived as almost instantly the hook pulled as I bent into the fish. I was devastated as you can imagine but at the same time excited that I’d seen a good number of fish and I now knew of an area they definitely visited.

So I started to bait two areas – one under an overhanging tree in around 6ft of water and another close to a large reed bed where it was slightly shallower, maybe 5ft in all. Both were fed with 15mm Peppered Squid.

I would trickle bait in on a daily basis on my way home from work – maybe half a kg on each spot each visit.

My first fish came in the shape of a tiny common of about 6lb that I unhooked and slipped back, I was fishing just two rods in a tight swim both size 6 straight point hooks and noodle kickers after a small piece of silicone tube on the hook. On the hair I mounted a trimmed-down CompleX-T 20mm Hard Hookbait with half a 15mm Pineapple & Banana pop up on top to create a large wafter.

The next fish I caught was this little dark old character of a mirror!

Not a monster but a hard-earned fish and one I was really pleased with.

The following one I caught was a little bit special as it came in the shape of this lovely common at 30lb 14oz – I was blown away as most of the fish I’d seen had appeared much smaller!

Whilst waiting for the rivers to open I’ve also snuck a few nights in down at my local day ticket water and managed this lovely-looking, old and crusty 23lb mirror but unfortunately didn’t get the greatest of photos and it came slightly out of focus.

I’m still learning with my camera and self takes are never easy at the best of times. I was a bit gutted as it was such a cool fish but hopefully the river has some surprises in store for me coming soon.

-Matt

How to fish for Gravel Pit Carp – here.

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