Neil McKinnon overturned a six-kilo deficit in the last half-hour of Fish 'O' Mania XVII to break Tommy Pickering's heat and land the £25,000 prize at Cudmore Fisheries.
McKinnon, a 44-year-old contracts manager from Gloucester, had not been in front at any stage of the UK's most prestigious angling competition, but swept to glory in a sensational finale.
Pickering, the 1989 World Champion, looked odds-on to book his place in the Champion of Champions event but was undone by the biggest last half-hour comeback in the tournament's 17-year history.
"With an hour to go I just stuck to my plan and fished my heart out and it has worked for me," said McKinnon.
"I knew there was a lot of carp there and I had to be patient to find them. But I persevered and persevered and I caught five or six fish in the last half hour and it has made all the difference.
"What a day! I missed a few bites near the end and I thought that might've cost me but it didn't. Now I might buy a new car or go to Las Vegas. Viva Las Vegas!"
McKinnon was 6.15kg behind with only 30 minutes remaining but then caught 10.25kg compared to nothing from Pickering, who ended on 23.88kg, while McKinnon claimed the victory with a total of 27.98kg.
Despite the disappointment of not winning, Pickering paid tribute to the winner.
"Neil fished a great match in the last hour while I couldn't catch anything," said Pickering. "He deserved to win it and I'm pleased for him. I will just have to try again.
"Finishing second you might as well chuck yourself in the water and drown yourself. I'll be smashing up everything in the house tonight but full credit to Neil."
Neil Machin, the 2006 champion, was the early front-runner while in contrast Pickering was in last position after the second weigh-in.
But he soon made his way up the leaderboard and in the 2.30pm weigh-in he had moved up to second and with a big fish in the bag was on the verge of moving from last to first inside two hours.
Pickering became the fourth different angler to be in front after Andy North, Rob Wootton and Neil Machin had been leading the competition but McKinnon took control when it mattered the most.
There was an added incentive for all the anglers as the biggest fish of the day would net them £2,500.
Tim Bull, brother of 2008 winner Mick, led that competition with a fish of 3.42kg, slightly ahead of Pickering's ghost carp which weighed in at 3.26kg.
However, that effort was later beaten by Andy Benwell's 5.05kg monster that looked to have won him the money. But there was to be a twist in the tale as Andy North caught a huge 6.08kg carp in the last few moments to claim the £2,500.
Final Fish 'O' Mania XVII results
Fish 'O' Mania XVII - Celebrity Match
Cricket - 9.77kg
All Stars - 3.70kg
Fish 'O' Mania XVII - Ladies
|Ann Yates (Doncaster)||37.00kg|
|Samantha Sim (Steyning)||26.21kg|
|Denise Hudgell (Reading)||25.36kg|
|Karen Madeley (Leigh)||19.80kg|
|Charlotte Gore (Edenbridge)||10.71kg|
|Deana Wood (Lancing)||5.51kg|
|Sue Arkell (Reading)||4.18kg|
|Sophie Davis (Maidstone)||-|
Fish 'O' Mania XVII - Juniors
|Joe Kent (Wakefield)||4.96kg|
|Jack Smethurst (Basingstoke)||4.92kg|
|Tom Potter (West Hallam)||4.60kg|
|Jamie Cowling (Hunslet)||1.95kg|
|Jake Gallagher (Reading)||1.93kg|
|Kyle Moore (Bradford)||1.74kg|
|Matthew Ebbrell (Manchester)||0.84kg|
|Josh Smith-Trow (Manchester)||-|