Adam Spiller’s first bite on a 400-acre gravel pit produced this 54lb 6oz mirror.
The fish, known as the Machine, came from the expansive Theale Lagoon in Berkshire during the RAF man’s first session since May.
The 25-year-old, who has held a ticket for the Big Pit Angling venue since April, told Carpfeed: “With work and my RAF Carp Team fishing I had only managed three 48-hour sessions in the spring and hadn’t been to the lake since the end of May.
“With the lake being 400 acres and low stock I just wanted to get my first bite.”
Having booked four weeks off work, Adam set aside some serious fishing time and returned to the venue.
“I wanted to make up for my time away,” said the Wiltshire angler, “so I planned to do anything between three and five nights.
“It ended up being five because I needed two nights to come to the realisation of what had happened!”
The moment that caused that disbelief came from a swim in the centre of the lake.
Said Adam: “I fish fairly tight clutches when the rod is in the rest, and when I saw the line was peeling off the spool I knew it was certainly a carp and not one of the big tench or bream in the lake.
“Once I was bent into it, I knew it was a good fish.
“Deep down I knew what one it was but just refused initially to believe I had landed the Machine first bite! Then I got my phone out and compared it and then there was no denying it was the big ’un.”
Adam baited with a scattering of Mainline Link in 15mm and 18mm, plus matching pellets and liquid. He presented an 18mm Link boilie with a trimmed-down Link pop-up from Specialized Hookbaits on a blowback rig made with a size 5 Fox Short Curve hook and 25lb Camotex hooklink.