A trail of bait led this lake-record mirror out of the snags and eventually into the arms of Liam Duncan.
The 48lb 8oz specimen, known as Colin, was the culmination of a three-year quest for the bricklayer on the St Ives Shallow Pit in Cambridgeshire.
Liam said: “On the second morning of my third season fishing the lake, and after a total of 72 nights, I finally caught the one I was after. I was absolutely blown away!”
The 23-year-old Leicestershire rod explained: “I got to the lake at 5pm on the Friday of the first weekend of the new season and, as the lake was fairly busy with new members, I thought the fish would be held up in a snaggy out-of-bounds area.
“Wading across a channel and onto an island confirmed my thoughts were correct as I noticed a number of carp held up in and around the snags. I decided to fish the closest swim to the area, which was a small flooded peg called The Hole in The Bush.
“This peg allowed you to fish an area of water which was closest to where the carp were held up, but this was still 20yds away. Having pre-soaked two kilos of Sticky Krill boilies in Pure Krill liquid, rock salt and water for a number of days, I decided to fish with a kilo of bait over my rods and stagger the rest back into the safe area where the carp were held up, hoping to create a bait trail to draw the fish from their safe haven.
“On the Sunday morning I finally received the take I have been craving so badly.”
Liam fished naked chod rigs and 1.5oz leads. The St Ives complex, once home to the 60lb Fat Lady, has space for new members and is made up of nine lakes containing fish to well over 40lb.