Jerry Hammond has landed his target fish at a new personal best weight of 52lb 4oz from Lenwade Charity Lake.
The Essex-based Nash consultant made the 100-mile trip to arrive at the Norfolk venue for first light and located the huge mirror known as Babyface in a set of weedbeds.
“My approach was to fish a Zig Bug a couple of feet above the weed on the route she would take when cruising in and out of the bay. The other route I thought she might take would be down the tree line to my right and I managed to get a rod towards the end of the trees where I knew it was fairly clear. I presented a bottom bait surrounded by only a mouthful of broken boilies and sweet corn.
“I was really tired because I left home at 3.30am to get to the lake early and I was trying to have a nap but kept getting woken by the alarm on the right rod. I thought it was maybe a duck diving and picking me up until the rod bent round with a fish on but sadly after a while this one fell off.
“I immediately reeled in the other rod and went to have a look in the bay to see if I was able to spot the big girl as I was worried that I may have lost her. Right at the very end of the bay I spotted her with another two fish happily feeding away so there was no way I had just lost her.
“I was thinking about losing the fish and what I could do to prevent this happening again. My hair was fairly long, so I shortened it down a little and added a small piece of cork to my hookbait so that it was more like a wafter and would be easier for them to suck in.
“The rod was put back on the spot with the same amount of chopped bait and corn, and I recast the zig back out. I was sure all the indications I was getting before were pick-ups and they had been getting away with it.
“At 3pm I was on the phone when the rod bent round again. I immediately lent into the rod and the fish dived straight into the weed - thousands of tiny bubbles were coming to the surface and I had a feeling something big was in burying itself. It was a stale mate for a fair while but I kept the pressure on and got it moving. She weeded me a few more times until I was able to see the leadcore and she then broke the surface and slapped her tail on the top. At this point I got a good look at her - I was playing my target fish and my legs went to jelly. Anyone who knows me will know how much effort I have put into catching this one, and when she went in the net I was made up. She weighed 52lb 4oz - a new PB for me. She was well worth all the hardship and I drove home with the biggest smile ever.”
Jerry used a Nash 4oz in line lead with 5ft of leadcore, a Nash Missing Link 20lb hooklink and a size 6 Fang X hook with Monster Pursuit hookbait.