A near-five-hour journey from Newcastle to hail-battered Oxfordshire was instantly made worthwhile for birthday boy Scott Fraser as he smashed his personal best first cast.
The Geordie carper made the trip south to Brasenose One at Linear Fisheries for a social session with friends to mark his 35th birthday and caught this 37lb 6oz mirror early on.
“I’m well chuffed,” he told Angling Times from the bank, “four of us have travelled the four hours and 30 minutes from Newcastle for my 35th birthday session. There were crazy winds when we arrived and even a five-minute hailstorm just before I had the take!”
Scott, whose previous English pb was 24lb, added: “The wind was playing havoc with my alarms so I was getting the odd bleep, then the middle rod just tore off. I knew it was a decent size when I struck into it. It was one of those moments where you know it’s big but you don’t want to say anything until you see it!
“After a five to 10-minute fight with it plodding about, it finally broke the surface 20ft from the bank and then my heart started going. It made one last run before my mate was able to slip the net under it. It looked huge – I’d smashed my English pb!”
Scott, who was still fishing as we went to press, used a 4ins Fox Reflex Camo hooklink tied to a size 8 Korda Wide Gap hook packed into a solid PVA bag filled with crumbed North East Baits Pink Krill boilies. His hookbait was a matching pop-up and he also baited with 3kg of hemp, maggots and boilies.