Billy Flowers bags a 50 in appalling conditions!

Catching a 50-pounder at any time of the year is a brilliant result, but doing it in the winter, when most anglers are tucked up at home, made it even more special for Billy Flowers!

The England International and Team Korda member had decided to spend the winter at his local Myths Pool, and after banking a number of other fish throughout the colder months, he finally got the big mirror, aptly named ‘Flowers’, at 50lb 6oz.

As we recently reported here, Billy had managed to bank several fish to upper 20s whilst fishing overnight sessions, often arriving after dark and packing up before dawn to go to work.

His run of good form continued, as he explained: “Having had some great results last year in matches, and having caught a few chunks along the way, I began to think about where I would be doing my winter campaign.

“Choosing a winter water is not an easy task, as you need to be prepared to face very harsh conditions, long nights, the possibility of racking up a number of blanks, and not seeing many signs of fish. For me Myths Pool ticked all the boxes, as at 2.7 acres you will never be far from the fish, it is relatively shallow so warms up quickly, and is fairly well stocked with carp to over 50lb!

“The big girl is known as Flowers, but has never come out in the winter, but then in mid-January I had just packed up from an overnight session – having landed a mid-20 common myself – and was on my way to work when I got a call from the only other angler on the water at the time to say that he had just landed her at 52lb 8oz.

“This made me even more determined to get back over there as I now knew that it was moving and hoped that it would feed again, so I kept trickling in Mainline 10mm Cell and 15mm Fyber boilies on my spot. I managed to catch a couple more and knew that my tactics were working and they were eating the bait, but the forecast was for some very cold weather coming in with snow and sub-zero temperatures.

“I managed to finish work early and was straight over to the lake for midday, with the plan being just to fish until around 5pm and trickle some more bait in. When I arrived there was nobody else there – temperatures dropping to minus three the previous night and the current snow showers were probably the reason for that!

“I went straight to the area I had been baiting, which gave me access to open water and the corner of an island, and knowing I was only going to be there for a few hours, I decided to fish single high-attract hookbaits on spinner rigs. I was using 15mm Essential Cell pop-ups which I trimmed down and fished on a size 4 Kurv Shank to a Boom hook link and a lead clip system with Dark Matter tubing.

“Once the rods were in place I sat back and had a cup of tea with the bailiff, Dave, and no more than 45 minutes had passed before the rod fished to the tip of the island burst into life and I was attached to an angry, hard-fighting fish that was trying its best to go around the island.

“I had to walk down the bank to get a better angle on it, and eventually I managed to steer it away and gain some line on it. By that point my hands were freezing, but it was another ten minutes before I got it close in and saw the sheer size of it, plus the two scales on the side of its body gave away what I was attached to. After a few more lunges I finally got it up on the surface and Dave did a fine job of netting her. I was absolutely buzzing and let out a big shout and pumped the air with my fist!

“The needle settled at 50lb 6oz, and even though it had dropped a couple of pounds I didn’t care as for me it was all about catching this fish during the winter, and it being over 50lb made that even more special. By the time I put her back I was frozen, but very happy!”