The Brute landed at 53lb 6oz

After a three year break from fishing, Luke Gray returned to the sport in style with this 53lb 6oz mirror known as The Brute from a Berkshire stillwater.

The sought-after specimen, which smashed the 26-year-old New Malden-based carpenter’s pb by 8lb, was caught on only his seventh night on the tricky 14-acre venue.

Targeting one corner of the lake where he’d regularly seen a few fish moving around, he baited an overhanging snaggy tree with a light scattering of Tails Up OCM boilies and cast an 18mm hookbait over the top with a small PVA bag.

Arriving just before dark, he got his rods in position and four hours later his alarm burst into life.
“The fish tore off straight into a weed bed and although I kept the pressure on, I couldn’t get it to budge,” explained Luke. “I waded out to change the direction from which I was pulling and I eventually got it moving again. At this point I unfortunately discovered my waders had sprung a leak and it took me another 40 uncomfortable minutes to get the fish near the net. I scooped up the huge ball of weed thinking that I’d banked a decent thirty.  As I peeled off the weed the carp just got bigger and bigger until I was eventually looking down at The Brute.”

Luke’s winning presentation consisted of a 6ins Atomic Tackle 25lb Jel-E-Wyre hooklink with a size 6 Gunsmoke Grabba hook and a 4oz flat pear inline drop-off lead.

“I became self-employed a few years ago so fishing unfortunately had to be put on the back burner. I recently decided to dust the rods off and have a go on the venue, but I certainly didn’t expect to end up posing with The Brute for the cameras so soon,” he added.