Gallons of maggots and an unflavoured black pop-up helped Matt Ridley bank this St Ives 50-pounder.
The 50lb 8oz mirror, known as Colin, came from a hit-and-hold swim on the famous Cambridgeshire complex’s Shallow Pit.
Matt, who has a 64lb 4oz UK mirror to his name (the Creature from Bluebell), has fished the venue for 18 months, banking six carp.
The 36-year-old, who plotted up in the Hole in the Bush Swim and baited heavily to some lilypads, told Carpfeed: “I fished two rods locked up to where I had seen fish coming through the pads.
“One of them was Colin, it had to be due to the width of the fish, but I didn’t realise I was actually going to catch it.”
Matt had brought eight gallons (64 pints) of red maggots with him and put two gallons on the spot immediately.
He said: “At about 5.30am on the second day my left-hand rod doubled round. It then pinged back and a pike came out of the water. I had been cut off and my worry then was that I had a rig in the water and the carp started moving through shortly after.
“I didn’t want to recast so I left just the one rod in there.
“At about 8.30am there was a big splash and a fish bolted out of the swim with a big bow wave. It must’ve been a carp picking up that rig.
“I could’ve cried. An opportunity of a run is so few and far between on there. I did nearly cry, to be honest. I thought that had spooked everything in the swim.
“Ten minutes later the right-hand rod just whacked round. I grabbed it and walked back. It was desperate to get in the pads but eventually it moved out into more open water.
“After a pretty good scrap I got the fish in the net. I actually thought it was a common when I was playing it! When I peered into the net I thought ‘that’s not a bad fish, it looks a bit like Colin’.”
Venue boss Gordy Howes came round to take photos and confirm Matt had achieved his target.
“Eighteen months of going to hell and back was all worth it,” said Matt, who regularly travelled from Leicestershire for overnighters.
Matt fished a 10mm unflavoured black pop-up on a size 4 hook and supple braid over the top of the maggots supplied by Tusses Tackle in Coventry.