March 28, 2018 3 min read

A couple of years ago I heard about a venue in Italy that was not only producing big fish but lots of them. So, loving a new adventure and having a few weeks in the 2018 dairy yet to be filled I decided to commit to the 2000 mile round trip and get myself down there for a week.

The drive was long and started off nice and straightforward, until we hit the “Beast from the East” snow storm across Northern France. Doing 20 mph on a motorway behind a snow plough for over 100 miles with major road closures took some doing but eventually, after 20 hours door to door we arrived at the little Italian town around the corner from the lake and stocked up with a week worth of food and drink. Snow and freezing cold nights were forecast, so there were no worries about storing meat for the week…I was more worried about defrosting the stuff! Lol

For the first night I simply cast 3 solid bags in the general direction of where the fish hold up in the swim I was in but by the morning, even with driving wind and sleet in my face, I know a change would be in order. So I decided to cast 2 rods to the far bank and tie the line off, so there was no line at all running through the swim, just the 15’ to 20’ coming back from the banksticks running down the steep shelf I decided to target. And using my Cygnet bait spoon, every time I redid a rod I knew it was bang on the money!

This change kick-started my action with 3 x upper 30s that were soon followed by a great looking kipper of 48lb 8oz. The first big girl is always a relief, as by now I was 100% confident I had found a spot that could/would do a few more chunks. I slowly started to tick off a few more fish, including my biggest of the trip at 58lb 8oz, a carp that was magnificent in every way, but all my bites seemed to be during the day whereas everyone else was getting night bites. Given the choice, I would much rather have day bites but I knew that if I could get a night spot going also, then a decent hit and a few bigguns would be on the cards.  So I decided to take one of my open water rods and explore the swim a little more. No more than 45 minutes later I had a 49lber in the net…no it wasn’t a night bite but the move was well rewarded!

That night the new spot did me 2 bites after dark and the older spot also ticked off another. My target was getting very close, I could just feel it!  I was on 19 fish with 2 days remaining, with my top 5 with weighing 42,48,49 and 58lb. I was hoping that in the last 48 hours just one more lump would grace my net. However, on the penultimate morning and within 30 min of each other I had a bite of both margin rods, the first pulled the scales round to 52 on the nose and the other round to 56lb 8oz. That was me done!

Nigel Botherway once said to me “always save one bite for the next trip” and so by putting the rods away early and letting a friend join in on the action, I hope that exactly what I have done. If the rest of the year goes like this one trip then I’ll be a very happy man come Xmas!!!