It was the bite Luke Stevenson had been waiting two years for – and after many hours of weed-raking it was richly deserved.
The 51lb 4oz mirror known as Colin came from a clear spot at Shallow Pit on the St Ives complex in Cambridgeshire during a session in which Luke spent hours making sure he had the perfect line lay.
The Essex angler said: “It was caught from a spot I'd been baiting heavily and getting regular bites from.
“What started out soft and a bit weedy ended up clean and gravelly, and I had to switch from a pop-up to bottom bait.
“I spent half a day raking weed from the swim to get a good line lay to the spot I've been baiting and fishing for a number of weeks, taking some good fish from it along the way.
“The next morning I noticed some fizzing from the spot. This, coupled with watching coots only picking bait up from the sides of the spot and not coming up with any bait on the middle of the spot, led me to believe the fish had gotten away with it.
“The spot had become very clean so I changed to a bottom bait.
“At first light the next morning I got the bite I've waited two years for. After a nerve-wracking battle in the boat I slipped the net under a good fish and a mountain of weed.
“After frantically tearing the weed away I realised it was the one I dearly wanted!”
The 34-year-old fed 2kg of 12mm and 16mm Sticky Krill boilies and tiger nuts, and presented a bottom bait over the top on a size 4 Korda Wide Gape hook tied to Korda N-Trap Soft.