Just weeks before his syndicate ticket expired, Carl Sharp outwitted this 54lb 4oz mirror with a balanced homemade hookbait.
The fish, known as Harris, fell to the 32-year-old at Rosemere in Cambridgeshire to perfectly round off Carl’s time at the venue.
He said: “When the fish hit the spreader block I instantly knew from its sheer size that it was the one I wanted, the queen of the lake, and with only a few weeks left until my ticket ends as well!
“What a storybook ending to the short campaign at Rosemere, to top it off with a new personal best and my first-ever UK fifty.”
It was the first time the Angling Direct shop manager, from Willenhall in the West Midlands, had used a homemade corkball wafter, which he had created for a subtle presentation.
“I used homemade corkball wafters that I was playing with especially for this venue, as I couldn’t seem to buy a bite on blatant pop-ups, but I didn’t want them hard on the bottom. So with a bit of playing around by wrapping paste around cork balls I got the consistency right and was eager to try them.”
Carl arrived at the venue to find three anglers in situ, but his favoured swim free. Having positioned his baits near some large weedbeds, the bite came early the following morning.
He said: “Just on first light, my right-hand bobbin dropped slack.
“I made my way across to the pod to see the line ‘flicking’ in the twilight. It wasn’t the hardest of scraps, but then it can sometimes be a blessing in the weedy Rosemere water as their soft mouths can often get the better of you once they bury deep into the plantation.”