A small cube of luncheon meat on a size 10 hook accounted for one of the largest day-ticket carp in the country.
Jay Mills made a conscious effort to go back to basics to tempt Dave from Bluebell Lakes at 53lb 12oz.
The Cheshire angler banked the giant mirror, alongside a 23lb 6oz mirror and a 30lb ghostie, at Swan Lake on the Northamptonshire complex.
He told Angling Times: “It was a dream come true. It was real back-to-basics stuff, which I love. I kept hearing Dave would come out on small hooks and small baits so I used size 10s and small cubes of luncheon meat.”
The 37-year-old, who is a regular at Bluebell and has had fish to 46lb from the complex before, arrived at the busy venue at night and headed for the less crowded far bank.
After Jay had been baiting with particles and crushed boilies for two days the fish homed in on day three.
“I could see they had moved in and I was getting liners so I was expecting something to happen, but I didn’t think I’d catch that fish,” said Jay.
“The fight was a typical big-fish fight and it did most of its scrapping under the rod tip. I actually didn’t realise which fish it was until Kev Hewitt, who was fishing next to me, came over and said ‘you’ve got Dave’.
“It was just sheer joy at that point.”
The fish came 10 yards to the right of Jay’s baited area and picked up the luncheon meat presented in a small PVA bag of freebies.
Kev Hewitt himself got in on the action at Swan Lake last week with a 38lb 8oz common and a 32lb mirror in a two-night trip.