There can be few finer canal carp in the country than this 36lb 7oz common.
The immaculate specimen topped a succession of 20lb-plus fish from the Basingstoke Canal for Laurence Burchall.
All the fish came after a period of close-season prebaiting on a wider stretch of the waterway that runs through Hampshire and Surrey.
Laurence, who grew up close to venue but had not targeted its carp before, said: “I found a stretch with a large boat-turning area where I had seen the largest common that I really wanted to catch.
“Through the close season I started taking a dinghy out to the far side where I had seen it most and baiting regularly with chopped CC Moore Pacific Tuna boilies and some fresh hemp.
“When I wasn’t baiting, I’d sit until dark after work and watch the spot from the bank and saw a good few shows over the bait including what looked like the big common.”
In the first week of the season, Laurence’s first trip produced a scaly mid-20 within an hour.
“The next day I was back down to the spot and had another fish a little bigger at 28lb 12oz.
“As you can imagine, I was over the moon with the results from my prebaiting and couldn’t keep myself away. After each fish I’d pop home after putting some more bait out on the spot in the dinghy and wait for them to return!
“The idea was I was going to put more bait on the spot the following day to get a large amount there to hopefully hold them, but as I got to the spot the fish were already there churning up the bottom!
“I put a few more chopped Pacific Tuna in to move them out so I could row back to the bank and send a rig over to them. I did exactly that and the next bite only a short while after it was out was the one I wanted – a colossal common for the canal and canal pb for me at 36lb 7oz.”
The action didn’t stop there and Laurence went on to bank two more 20s.
“Word had got out on my success and I found it difficult to get back down to the spot but I was over the moon with the result!”