Paul Bennett smashed his own personal best and set a new lake record with this near-60lb Cambridgeshire mirror.
The 53-year-old caught the 59lb 1oz giant, plus two 30s and two 20s, during his final session of the season at Grenville Lake.
He told Carpfeed: “It was a fantastic end to my season on the ‘lake of dreams’, my piece of heaven on earth.”
After choosing peg 12 at the syndicate water, Paul initially baited heavily at range but then had a change of heart.
“As my session commenced it was a case of two rods long and one short, but this changed quickly as a small group of carp drifted past me in the margins; so it was two rods short and one long.
“I quickly catapulted out three pouches of Mainline Hybrid and Essential cell boilies and chops over each rod.”
That evening, Paul’s cooking was interrupted as a single bleep developed into a full run.
“It soon became apparent that I was attached to a decent fish as it took 30yds of line off a tight clutch and powered off down the reed-fringed margin,” said the Environment Agency fisheries officer.
“As I struggled to put the brakes on this continued for what seemed like an age.
“Eventually I started to get the upper hand and with steady pressure I began to win the battle. After several more powerful runs in the deep margin it finally rolled and I knew that this was a good fish, possibly a 40.
“Once I got the fish in the net I was able to take a better look and soon realised how big it actually was. As I went to lift it from the water in the sling I knew this was no 40.”
Paul, who went on to catch fish of 37lb 15oz, 37lb 9oz and two 20s during the rest of his five-night stay, added: “I was completely blown away.”
He fished Mainline pop-ups on combi multi rigs and hand-sharpened size 6 hooks.