A blistering take at three in the morning resulted in Andy Leather smashing his personal best with a massive 53lb 6oz day-ticket common.
After struggling on his first half a dozen visits to Swan Lake on the Bluebell complex, the 37-year-old redressed the balance in spectacular fashion by banking the fish known as the Perfect Common from the tricky Northants venue.
Andy, a transport controller from the West Midlands, said: “I started fishing Swan back in May and didn’t have much luck to begin with.
“But over the course of six sessions I started to piece together the puzzle, helped by snippets of information and help from venue regulars.
“After catching a 23lb mirror on my penultimate session I felt like I was beginning to get to grips with the place.”
Andy arrived for his latest visit to find the 12-acre lake very busy with other anglers, so had to bide his time to begin with.
“I settled on a spot at the top end of the lake, but an hour later I saw someone packing away further down, which was closer to where I believed the fish to be mostly holding up, so I upped sticks and moved,” he said.
In his new swim he found a clean area at 55yds and baited it with 15 Spombs of chopped and crumbed DNA Baits Switch boilies plus hemp and liquids.
Not long after getting settled, the heavens opened, and after redoing his rods with fresh baits at 11pm, he retired for the night.
“At around 3am I received a one-noter on the left-hand rod and upon picking it up the fish totally flat rodded me and surged powerfully up to my left,” said Andy.
“Initially I thought it might be one of the lake’s huge catfish, which go to well over 100lb, but then I managed to subdue it and with steady pressure a massive common eventually surfaced in front of me.
“It was a spectacular sight in the beam of my headtorch, and in the net it was nothing short of colossal!”
The fish fell to a DNA PB pop-up mounted on a Ronnie rig.