A last-gasp bite, a nerve-shredding battle and this 48lb 2oz mirror combined to make “a dream come true” for Dan Ashmore.
The day-ticket giant, from Quarry Pool at Staffordshire’s Baden Hall, hadn’t been caught for 18 months and put up a huge scrap not long before Dan was due to leave the site.
The 28-year-old from Chorley, Lancashire, said: “I had to be away by 11am and I had begun the slow pack-down by 9.30am when I was having a cuppa, thinking conditions looked mint.
“Then my right-hand alarm erupted and an angry carp peeled line off my reel. There was no stopping it and the bend in the rod was ridiculous! After nearly 30 minutes there was no sign of the carp giving in.
“My heart was pounding and I was shaking with the thought of what I might have hooked. Realising I had packed my waders away, I threw my phone and wallet out of my pocket, took my boots off and entered the water.
“A few minutes later another angler arrived to help out and into the net she went.”
Dan, already beaming after banking a 31lb 4oz common earlier in the two-night session, added: “The scales slammed round to 48lb 2oz, a new lake-record mirror and pb for me.
“Everybody was buzzing doing the pics in the water, even when the inevitable bucket of cold water covered me.”