One bite was all Mike Bonos needed to break the record at Sandmartin Lake on the Bluebell complex with this huge 46lb 2oz common.
Arriving at the popular Northants day-ticket site to find it “heaving with anglers” the Lincolnshire rod decided to drop into a quiet corner of Sandmartin and lightly bait three short-range spots.
After an uneventful first 24 hours, Mike’s fortunes changed soon after he spotted showing fish.
He said: “I was fishing all three rods on pop-ups over a light scattering of freebies, but on the second morning decided to change things around and switch two over to zigs.
“At 3pm a good fish jumped out not far from the end of my rods, and after three more shows I thought that it might be feeding on my freebies so I changed my middle rod back to a pop-up.
“Within half an hour the alarm started to beep. I was fishing locked up as it was a snaggy corner and I could see the line already kiting around to a tree. I struck into what felt like a tank and luckily, with a bit of side pressure, it turned away from the snag.
“As it came in closer my stress levels went through the roof. Bluebell is a barbless complex so when the fish started rolling near the net I was certain that one shake of the head would set it free. Luckily it didn't!”
Initially Mike thought the fish was a good 30, but soon realised he was way off with his estimate once he lifted the sling out of the water.
“We immediately knew it was something special. The fishery owner later informed us that it was the biggest fish in the lake, and at her highest-ever weight. Needless to say I was elated!”
Mike used a Ronnie rig baited with an UberKrab pop-up, and presented over a scattering of matching 15mm bottom baits.