Jack Pells had been targeting this 32lb 8oz common for years – but didn’t think he’d ever land it on a centrepin reel, 5lb line and a size-16 hook.
The Surrey angler stumbled across the venue six years ago and earmarked the lake’s biggest fish, known as Pumpkin, as the one to catch.
Despite banking some of the venue’s other big fish, Jack missed out on the common and began to re-adjust his focus.
He told Carpfeed: “Sitting behind the alarms was beginning to take its toll and I was starting to get a bit bored of what I was doing.
“So for the next trip I set up a float rod and thought I’d have a go for a tench or a crucian.
“I don’t think I was fishing for much longer than half an hour when the float started drifting about before eventually sliding away slowly.
“As soon as I struck, the float rod hooped over. The fish swam slowly towards me and a long, slow, plodding battle began.
“I was only using 5lb line to a size-16 hook with double red maggots so there was very little I could do except hang on and try to influence it by angling the rod in different directions hoping to confuse it.
“Every now and then it took a few yards off of the centrepin but thankfully swam back to me. Using such light gear really made it difficult to try to get its head up off the bottom but eventually after a good 20 minutes – maybe more – she came into sight and that’s when the legs turned to jelly and the arms started shaking.
“After all the years of trying I really was at the mercy of the fish here. Maybe she knew how much I wanted to catch her and was kind enough to swim to the net without making too many lunges for the snags.
“As soon as she went in the net I gave out the cheer: “Yessss!” It had taken a while and maybe there was an element of fluke to the catch but I had finally caught her; the Pumpkin was mine!”
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