“Boilies and buzzer bars? Who needs them?” That’s what match angler Tom Baldwin was saying after landing a 31lb 8oz carp during an open on Essex water Lake John.

The 48-year-old builder hooked what he thought was a low double figure fish on pellet, and began to play it out on his size 14 hook, 6lb mainline and 4lb hooklength.

It was only when the fish’s ‘massive’ tail broke the surface in the margins that Tom’s jaw dropped, and he realised he’d hooked a new lake record.

Despite the adrenaline rushing, Tom held his nerve and landed the beast after a heart stopping 20-minute battle, during which the fish charged off several times.

Here at Total-Fishing we believe it to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, carp landed in a UK open.