One of the country’s day-ticket mirrors fell to Gaz Jones just 10 yards out.
The 52lb 4oz fish, known as Dave, fell during a three-night session on Swan Lake at Bluebell Lakes. Gaz also banked a 30lb 6oz common.
He said: “I just couldn't believe it and I was truly blown away by this capture.”
Gaz started his session at the bottom end of the lake, away from angling pressure, and netted the 30lb common within a couple of hours.
“Nothing followed for the next two nights but I knew the weather was due to change,” said Gaz.
As the conditions flipped and rain started to fall, Gaz was up early to look for signs of fish.
“Within five minutes I saw a fish show down to my left in the bottom corner of the lake. Five minutes later another one showed and this time looked a much bigger fish and that's all I needed, I was packing up to get down there.”
Gaz got into the peg and cast two rigs just 15yds out to the showing fish, but as he was readying his third rod he saw a larger fish show close to some reeds.
“That's all I needed,” he said, “I was soon casting out my rod to where I saw the fish show. I walked around and put a handful of CC Moore Odyssey XXX boilies around the area.”
An hour later his rod pulled up tight.
“I picked up the rod and it was just a solid resistance with the fish just moving out to the right into the open water and I soon had it just out in front of me about 10yds out.
“Then I just saw a big set of shoulders come up and at the moment I realised what fish it could be. The fish just plodded about for a little while longer and I soon had him in the net.”
With the help of Kev Hewitt, who was also on the lake, Gaz weighed and photographed the coveted mirror.
“We lifted the fish on the scales and at 52lb 4oz it was a new pb for me and my first UK 50-pounder.”
Gaz presented 15mm CC Moore Odyssey XXX corkball pop-ups on hinged stiff rigs.