Martin Wright endured a nine-hour journey and a night in his car before a new Linear Fisheries record made the struggle all worth it.
The closure of the M6 turned the 30-year-old’s trip from Cheshire to the Oxfordshire complex into a marathon, but this 47lb 5oz common arrived just hours after he eventually got his rods out.
He told Angling Times: “I arrived on Thursday night just as the gates were locking so I slept in my car on that first night.
“On the Friday morning I went on past experience when it came to choosing a swim as I hadn’t seen any fish. I put a few Spombs of Impulse Baits’ Chocolate Banana Nut Mix boilies out on a spot 80 yards out and fished Impulse Mk2 pop-ups on combi rigs over the top.
“Before I’d even switched the alarm on one of the rods ripped off and I had a 21lb 4oz mirror. A couple of hours later, at about 1pm, the 47-pounder romped off. I knew it was a good fish and I first saw it in the crystal-clear water about 15 minutes into the fight. The next five or 10 minutes were pretty nerve wracking and I kept telling myself it wasn’t as big as I thought.
“As soon as I got it into the net and saw the scar I knew it was the big one and I looked up to the sky and said ‘oh my god!’.
“I had four other fish up to 28lb after that but they were an absolute blur! I’m still on Cloud Nine even now!”