After a frustrating summer, student TJ Elliot refocused his efforts in time for winter and bagged his target fish at its biggest-ever weight.
The 40lb 2oz mirror fell during an overnight session on a busy club lake that had frustrated the Sparsholt College student during the warmer months.
He said: “To be honest, the summer was pretty slow with the odd bite here and there, and I just started to lose interest. It seemed as If I was more interested in riding my BMX than being down the lake.
“But for the last couple of weeks something has been telling me to get down there and fish a particular swim. So I did.”
Arriving at 3pm on a Sunday, TJ put a kilo of boilies on to two spots and went to bed feeling confident.
The Gardner-backed rod continued: “All that was running through my head was ‘I’m going to catch it’. At 7am I was luckily woken up to the sound of my reel clicking, as my bobbin had jammed the roller on my alarm. I quickly jumped out of my brolly and hit into what felt like a huge bream.
“It didn’t show itself once until it finally came up to the net. My heart sank and all I kept thinking was ‘please don’t come off’.
“With the scales zeroed and the sling ready, we settled on a weight of 40lb 2oz. A new personal best for me and the biggest it’s known to have been out at!”