The first hour of the new river season produced this 33lb 10oz Thames mirror for Robert Fay.
The 25-year-old took a chance on a backwater stretch of the river in Oxfordshire after he was unable to get into his favoured swim on Saturday night.
He told Carpfeed: “I arrived at the river at roughly 7pm to fish a swim where I had seen carp and had lightly pre-baited the night before, but on arrival the swim was taken so I opted for a backwater stretch I heard had done a carp on the last day of the season last year.
“After having a walk, I found an area and thought ‘if they’re here they’re going to want feeding’, so applied roughly 2kg of 15mm DNA SLK boilies and 10 groundbait balls containing hemp and crushed pellet to my spot just off the back of the current in a slack spot.
“I set up and prepared to wait and observe until the hand struck midnight.”
Once June 16 began, the Oxford angler didn’t have to wait long at all.
“The bite came within 45 minutes,” said the Mini car plant worker, “the rod was away, the rod tip was round, the alarm was singing and we were in.
“I lifted the rod and instantly the fish was downstream. I managed to gain line, which made me think I’d hooked a big slab.
“I managed to bring it to within 6ft of the bank and saw it with my headtorch. At that point she waddled over and charged off again, stripping line off my clutch - it must have taken 40 yards.
“It was like playing tug of war, I just had to hold on and gain line when I could. It was like that for a couple runs before she gave herself up and she was in the net.
“It’s a new UK pb and now a river pb. I’m absolutely buzzing!”
Robert fished 22mm DNA S7 bottom baits on a simple hair rigs tied with size 4 ESP Gripper hooks and 18ins hooklinks.