JAMES Woraker literally found “a needle in a haystack” by banking this 36lb 8oz mirror after more than a year without a carp from a tough southern reservoir.
The 33-year-old’s patience was rewarded with one of the biggest fish in the sprawling low-stock venue after a run of 35 blank nights stretching back to October 2011.
“I’m confident I’ve always had the right tactics but I’ve just never been on the fish,” said the Essex rod.
“The fish came at mid-afternoon on the second day of a three-night session and I knew it was a carp straight away.
“It was a good fight and took me 25 minutes to land and I didn’t realise it was a big one until I netted it.”
The fish fell to snowman-style Mainline Cell boilies cast to a drop-off at 145 yards with just 30 free offerings to avoid the resident bream.
Landscape gardener James said: “At times it can be like finding a needle in a haystack on there but I’d seen fish moving to that area of the lake so I anticipated the move and waited for them to arrive.
“When I got it on the mat I was absolutely over the moon. It was the perfect early Christmas present.
“There’s one fish in there that goes over 40lb at the right time of the year and some lovely scaley upper-30lb mirrors so I’ll definitely continue on there next year.”