One bite right at the end of his session was all Alex Jaques needed to obliterate his personal best with this massive 51lb 2oz common.
Despite suffering from a dose of ‘man flu’, the 30-year-old braved the elements and booked 48 hours on Birch Lake at the Old Mill complex in Market Rasen, Lincolnshire.
He was rewarded for his endurance with just an hour of his stay remaining when a fish that he describes as ‘the jewel of the lake’ picked up his hookbait.
Alex said: “With a big drop in air pressure due, I wangled a couple of days off work and booked myself onto Birch.
“I did a quick lap on arrival and settled into a swim that was sheltered from the cold wind.
“The right-hand rod went just off a reedbed over a hard spot, and the left-hand one on a popular known spot in open water.
“The next 36 hours were quiet, but then I heard fellow angler Jake Bannister celebrating in the next swim down after banking a 46lb mirror.
“This gave me renewed confidence going into the final 12 hours of my session.”
Alex recast and baited his rods, putting one on a spot at longer range in a channel by an island.
When he woke to motionless bobbins the next morning, he contemplated an early pack up, but drifted off back to sleep instead.
“Suddenly my middle alarm burst into life and rod started hooping round. The fish tried to kite behind the island so I piled on the sidestrain to get it into open water.
“Scott Thompson, who was in the swim to my left, came round to do the honours with the net. Once it was over the net cord, Scott said he thought it was the big common, and I gave him a big high five and began to celebrate!
“On the scales the dial spun round to 51lb 2oz. I was in total disbelief – a UK 50 and the jewel of the lake!”
The fish fell to a Trent Baits Shrimp bottom bait, topped with a white Shrimp pop-up fished on a slip D rig. He fed 2kg of boilies throughout his session.