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Croatia Exclusive
in the lake that eat corn were clearing
all the bait sitting on the bottom. We
had another evening of rain. The conditions for the following day were
expected to be perfect, and I hoped to
have the first strong wind of my visit,
blowing into my face.
Sunday morning, the fifth day, I got
all three rods back out into the area
with another 5kg of bait in, just before
10am. Due to the wind blowing
straight into my face, it was making
getting bait and rigs out a challenge. I
sat back expecting some action, but
the day went without a twitch on my
bobbins. At around 10pm, I started to
receive big and slow liners on my
middle and left hand rod. Hopefully
some of the big residents had moved
onto my spots!! At around 4am, my
middle rod was away, with line peeling off at a steady rate. I picked the
rod up and started trying to retrieve
some of the 150 yards of line going
out into the lake. The fight was a
pretty boring affair, with lots of deep
lunges in the margin and steady plodding. Finally, I slid my net under a
huge mirror carp. The aim of my trip
was obviously to have a fantastic
time, but catching a 60lb-plus fish is
always a target. When the scales spun
round to 65lb, I felt a big weight come
off my shoulders, and I could relax a
little bit more and just enjoy the
From this moment onwards, I was
just on autopilot for the remaining five
days, keeping my bait going in on the
spots and rigs in position, hoping that
more of the lake’s hidden lumps
would turn up. Up until this point, all
of my bites in Croatia had come at
night, with most of the action
between 10pm and 4am. However, at
9am, the pattern changed, and my
middle rod tore off. After a battle that
took my right hand rod out, I netted a
mid-40 mirror, and then suddenly my
left hand rod went too, and I netted a
mid-20 common. I had a big smile on
my face with no rods in the water – it
looked like my plan was working and
the spot had started producing!
Going into the Monday night, I suddenly had three fish under my belt
and confidence was high. I dozed off
at around 11pm and was awoken at
4am by another slow take on the left
hand rod. Luckily I had no one to my
left hand side, so I could let the fish
move freely into the water to my left.
It was just stripping line slowly, and I
couldn’t really slow it down at all.
Eventually it did slow, and I must
have had 200 yards of line in the lake,
which doesn’t have a lot of snags and
is deep, so the fights are normally
After 20 minutes or so, the fish was
down my left hand side margin, and I
could see the shock leader coming
back on the reel in the night time
mist. I pulled a giant golden lump
over the net cord, and it was another
huge common, weighing in at 56lb! I
sat down for a coffee and porridge,
and watched the sun rise behind the
mist, listening to all the wildlife moving around me and feeling pretty confident that I could get into a few of the
bigger fish in my remaining three
The nature at Sumbar was excellent – I saw plenty of wild boar and
bird life. The boars are very used to
being around humans and walk right
up to your bivvy and belongings during the night. I regularly heard them
sniffing around my camp, but I didn’t
74lb common.
Big Carp 75

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