In a feat he had jokingly predicted, Matt Swan’s 50th fish from Monks Pit gave him his first 50-pounder.
The Cambridgeshire venue’s biggest resident, known as Porky, pulled the scales round to 55lb to top a dream year for Matt.
Having banked 48 fish in 25 nights, including 13 30s, the kitchen and bedroom designer set off for a two-night session with frost under foot.
With a southerly wind predicted to blow into the deeper part of the lake, Matt headed for a swim called the Double.
“I flicked a lead around, checking previously fished spots,” he told Carpfeed, “and I found a couple of areas of interest.
“The left-hand rod went down with a smash, so my confidence was peaking. I offered a bed of chopped boilies tight to the spot along with a handful of maggots.
“The other two rods went out to the other area of interest, which was more than capable of presenting two rigs.”
Later that afternoon Matt was joined in his swim by fellow syndicate member Martin Wassell shortly before his left-hand rod shot off and a 37lb 2oz mirror – fish number 49 of the year – was netted.
“Martin hung around for a while and he went on to show me a picture of Porky, the biggest fish in the lake which had previously broken that magnificent 50lb barrier.
“'What a cracking fish and one I'd love to catch,' I said to Martin.”
Although Martin had two bites the following morning, the next day passed uneventfully for Matt.
“My friend rang to check in on my session and I told him I'd had 49 fish in total and joking around I said my 50th fish will be a 50. We laughed about it and he wished me luck.
“At 6am I had a single bleep followed by a slow and steady take. The clutch was slowly ticking away and I lifted into what felt big – very big, in fact.
“Eventually I managed to turn the fish and got it back to the margin. It surfaced and I knew I had one hell of a fish on the end.
“I gained on the fish again, its lips touched the spreader block but its tail was still hanging over the net cord. Wow!
“I shook the net repeatedly until the fish folded itself into the mesh. It was bigger than anything I'd seen, never mind seen in the bottom of my net!
“The photoshoot felt like nothing else, I struggle to even remember what happened from the time the fish went in the net to the time I slipped her back. It's all a big blur of excitement and I'd like to thank all those that helped and offered congratulations.
“After everyone left, the calm after the storm kicked in. I sat on my bed all by myself, giggling like a teenager.”