After a couple of years in the planning – and very nearly cancelling twice just weeks before this trip – I finally made my way over the Channel on a mega road trip to Croatia… 2,200-mile round trip for a 6 night session on one of the best carp venues on the planet. Many people gasp when they hear that but If you want it you’ve just got to bite the bullet and do it!

On arrival it was clear we were on fish as they were showing in our zone but a LONG way out, close to an island that was over 190 yards away. With a swirling wind and the chance of it picking up and blowing straight into my face throughout the week, I clipped up to a comfortable range of 140 yards (35 wraps) and started to fill it in with Mainline Active-8, Cell and Link boilies, and a few tiger nuts. I’ve got to say, my Trakker Propel 13ft Spod/Marker Rod eats large Spombs at 35 wraps for breakfast!

A pattern soon became apparent were I would get three rods tight on the spot, smash seven-to-ten large Spombs over their heads and within minutes one or more of the rods would rip off. My rigs were kept simple for this trip – in my mind as long as I’m able to hit the clip well then I don’t change a thing. 10lb Touchdown, 50lb Sinking Armakord leader, clear Dark Matter lead clip leader, 4.5oz Tournament lead, 25lb Dark Matter coated braid and a size 4 Kurve Shank with an anti tangle sleeve to help kick the rig away and reset. Hook bait was a 15mm Goo’d-up Cell wafter.

The swim I was fishing is mainly a day swim with the fish moving around the island during the daylight and then heading into the main body of the lake at night. So, after plenty of fish on the first day to 53lb, followed by twelve fish on the second day including four 40s and four 50s to 58lb, we decided to leaving the rods out during the night and get some much needed rest.

As the week progressed and with my fishing partner getting amongst fewer fish, but of a bigger average size  than the ones I was catching, I did start to wonder if me smashing through numbers of fish every day was getting in the way of me nicking a bigger specimen. Well, I shouldn’t have worried as on the afternoon of day four I had a run of MEGA fish, ending up with my biggest of the week and one of the biggest of my life… an epic looking creature that blew me away.

As we drove the 1,100-mile journey home we reflected on the trip we had just experienced. 61 fish for me with twenty  40s, seven 50s and a 68lb 8oz giant to top it all off!

I’m going to struggle to top that one any time soon.



My biggest of the trip – an absolute monster of 68lb 8oz!

These Croatian carp couldn’t get enough of the bait I was giving them!

Once the rods were out on their spots, with a few spots over the top, it was just a waiting game… and I never had to wait too long before another Croatian carp came along!

I mainly caught mirrors on my trip, although some commons did pay me a visit, including this rotund character!

The swim mainly produced bites in the day, giving me the chance to grab a few hours’ kip during the night before doing it all again the next day!

These Croatian mirrors certainly knew how to put up a scrap, but were a delight to play on my Propel 13ft 3.5lb rods.

This one didn’t half give me the run-around – and it’s not hard to see why when you check out the tail on it!

One of four mega fish from the afternoon of day four.

These fish would mop up every bit of bait you could put out, and at times it felt like I couldn’t put it out fast enough! At least with the 13ft Propel Spod/Marker Rod I had no dramas getting it out the 35 wraps to my spot!

Was it worth the 2,200-mile round-trip? You bet!

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