A second Anglers Paradise 40-pounder in nine months gave Ricky Thomas an early Christmas present in gruelling conditions.
This 47lb 8oz mirror, which had not been caught since May, was 6lb up in weight and set a new lake record at the popular Devon holiday resort.
Fishing in winds of up to 60mph, Ricky spent a fruitless few hours in peg one on the Kracking Carp Lake before moving into the teeth of the weather in peg four at dusk.
He said: “I knew the swim and the spots that had worked for me before. During my previous trip to the lake in March, I was lucky enough to land a new lake-record mirror at 45lb from that swim in similar conditions.
“At 8pm, one of the alarms let out two single beeps followed by a few seconds of silence, then a succession of quick beeps informed me I was in as the fish struggled to take line from a tight clutch.
“I picked up the rod and lifted into a heavy fish, kiting left and right as it made its way through numerous dying weed beds before swimming towards the bank I was standing on. After a good 10-minute fight I could see the fish a few feet below the surface and thought I had re-hooked the 45-pounder I had in March as nothing in the lake was known to be that big.
“After a further five minutes of powerful lunges I managed to get the net under the fish as the wind threw me all over the place. Once in the net I recognised the fish as Silverback, my last remaining uncaught mirror from the lake.
“In the pouring December wind and rain the fish weighed in at a new lake-record weight of 47lb 8oz, making this the biggest carp in the county, or so I'm told. Any fish in December is a right result, but a fish of that size is certainly a moment I will never forget, especially after a year of limited angling.”
Ricky used a 12mm Mainline Milky Toffee pop-up over chopped Cell boilies and Hinders Little Gem pellets. His rigs featured size 8 Gardner Mugga hook and 15lb Gardner Ultra Skin.