DAN PESTELL was thrilled when he landed this stunning 48 lb 6 oz mirror while fishing Rockford Lake in Ringwood, Hampshire, thanks to his pals.

Arriving mid afternoon, his friends told him fish had been crashing nearby at the Ringwood DAA controlled venue so he knew which swim to pick.

Bournemouth, Dorset-based Dan explained: “My mates, TJ and Rusty, had been at the lake since the night before and had seen some fish showing in a nearby swim. I jumped straight in there!

“I found a nice area of smooth silt over the back of a gravel bar at just over 100 yards range.

“I blanked the first night. I was getting pretty savage liners most of the morning right up until early afternoon. At 3pm the right hand rod tip pulled down and slowly started to pull away.

Slowly plodding – then shaking her head

“Instantly, I felt like it was a big fish. She was slowly plodding and shaking her head before blistering off on a 50 yard run.”

“At one point, she jumped out of the water like a pike, shaking her head from side to side and trying to throw the hook. After a few tense moments involving a bush and some brown underpants, she was scooped up first time!”

“Her condition was pristine and she glowed an epic orange and cream in the spring sunshine. She was easily one of the best looking carp I have ever seen or am likely to see again!”

Dan used hinge-stiff rigs with a size 5 size 5 E-S-P Cryogen Stiff Rigger hook to E-S-P Bristlefilament trace to present a CC Moore Pacific Tuna white pop-up over 3 Kg of matching freebies. He also caught another called The Rudder at 34 lb 2 oz.

CAUGHT A BIG FISH? Email photos and details exclusively to: anglersmail@timeinc.com – you could star in the magazine and win great prizes.