Just eight hours into 2018, Liam Smith kicked off the new year in style with a day-ticket 40-pounder.
The 28-year-old caught the fish known as Bruno from White Springs Fishery in South Wales at a best-ever weight of 42lb 6oz.
Liam, from Merthyr Tydfil, told Carpfeed today: "Every year for the last four years I've always gone fishing on New Year's Eve and this year was no exception.
"Me and my mate booked on to a peg at White Springs, but unfortunately he dropped out so I was left with a lot of water and had some big decisions to make on where to put my three rods."
With no signs of fish to go on, Liam spread his rods out and adopted a little-and-often baiting approach.
He added: "As midnight came and we went in to the new year I was still without anything but with the change of wind I was optimistic.
"Around 8.30am I awoke to two bleeps on my receiver and I shot out of bed!
"I had had a drop back and I picked up the rod to the far island and reeled. Once I was caught up to the fish it started to come in with ease.
"The lead had dropped and the fish was on the surface, but as I was about to net it - and having seen it was a big fish - it kited off to my left wiping both of my other rods out.
"I thought my chance had gone but I clipped my bail arms off my other rods and just continued to play the fish, praying it would stay on.
"Luckily for my it did and at the second time of asking I slipped the net under it and was instantly overwhelmed and blown away by what I saw."
The fish was witnessed and photographed by John Flewin, a bailiff and friend of Liam's.
"We were both blown away by what we saw," said Liam, "I had only gone and caught a new lake-record common at 42lb 6oz on New Year's Day!
"Now that's a start to the year!"
RIG AND BAIT
- D Rig
- Hook: Size 4 Hybrid Tackle Armohawk Curv
- Lead: 3.5oz Fox
- Hookbait: CR Baits wafter
- Loosefeed: 10 to 15 CR Baits test boilies over each rod ever hour and a PVA bag of Monster Particles hemp