John Igglesden needed just a single session to catch one of Britain’s best-known commons.
On his debut trip to the Girton syndicate in Nottinghamshire, the Liverpool angler caught Butthead at 56lb 5oz after a heart-stopping struggle to get it into a net which already contained two other carp.
Butthead had previously lived at Pendle View in Lancashire, but was rehomed after the Lancashire venue closed in 2016.
John told Carpfeed: “I joined Girton Pit syndicate this season and my first trip was for two nights during the last week in May.”
Fishing into a northerly wind, John saw fish at range and decided to Spomb 3-4kg of boilies to a spot at about 140yds before fishing two rods on the bait and one off the spot.
“Within an hour or so of Spombing, the left-hand rod over the bait was screaming off and after a strong fight I netted a mirror of about 22lb.
“I unhooked it in the water, changed rigs and re-chucked it. Just as I settled the rod, the right-hander off the bait was away. This was an upper-double common.
“With two in the net and feeding fish out there I changed rigs and was just about to recast when the middle rod let out a single bleep then melted off.”
After a series of strong runs, John was getting ready to net the fish when the situation struck him.
“It's a strange feeling when you know you’re playing a fish of this size that could potentially be over 60lb. I started shaking, the adrenaline was going and I knew to just stay patient.
“Eventually it was on the top heading over the net but with the other two carp it caused a massive problem.
“As it was halfway over the cord I was unable to shuffle the net under it due to its size and the other carp so I dropped the rod and used two hands on the net.
“At this point it rocketed off out the net on a 20-yard run. I slackened the clutch a little in case the hookhold had got loose, dropped the net so the other two could get out and this time brought the fish right to the block and lifted the net.
“What an unbelievable feeling!”
John, who banked a 30lb common the following afternoon, used Bandit Bait pop-ups over matching boilies.