Billy Flowers bags a double, 20, 30 and 46lb target Boycie!

A lot of my own fishing time this year has been taken up by practising or fishing for carp matches in England and abroad - this meant I couldn't get stuck into my syndicate water until the winter months. I did, however, manage to squeeze in some short sessions on there with good success landing fish to 37lb. As soon as the matches were finished by the middle of October, it was time to start pre-baiting some spots and get the sticks back out on my chosen water for the winter.

There is a good stock of fish in the lake including numerous 30s and two 40lb carp. Last year, I was fortunate enough to catch one of the biggies called Marlene at 43lb. I caught this fish on the 20th December, landing one of the lakes largest residents a few days before Christmas. I caught a good head of fish throughout my time on there last winter so I was hoping to continue this run of good success on there for this winter. This winter has been extremely mild so far and with big south westerly winds, it looked spot on for a few bites on Sunday.

Knowing the spots had seen bait being introduced on a regular basis from my pre-baiting and somebody would probably be in my chosen swim over the weekend, I arrived at the lake at 2pm on Sunday. I drove down the track and there wasn't any sign of vehicles in the car park so after a very quick walk round, I had the kit in my swim and managed to get the rods out on the spots just before dark.

All three rods were fished to the far margin snags at 70 yards range on multi rigs with Mainline Essential IB pop-up hookbaits over a good spread of boilie. The rods were fished locked up and the brolly was setup as close as I could get it to the rods, not allowing the carp to have any line at all. The rods had only been in the water for an hour at the most and I'd already had a bite resulting in an angry common of 17lb. After a quick shot of the fish, the rod was back out on the money. It remained quiet until I was awoken by two bleeps on the left hand rod at 1.30am from a 25lb common.

At first light, I decided to re cast all three rods and top up the spots with more boilie. This was well worth it as 20 minutes later, I had a bite with this fish feeling a lot heavier and a lot more angry constantly trying to get into a little bay to my right. It was staying deep and after going in and out of my other lines on numerous occasions, I finally managed to net this angry carp.

When I looked into the net, I didn't recognise the fish at first as it was laying on its side and all I could see was a big, solid gut. I knew at this point that it was a good fish. It wasn't until I turned him over in the water that I noticed the scar near its tail and then I realised that I’d finally caught the other 40lb carp that I've been after, known as Boycie. I left the fish in the net to recover whilst I got the rod back out on the spot and topped this up with some fresh bait.

Quickly sorting out the weighing equipment, I put the fish on the scales and it pulled the needle round to 46lb 2oz! I was absolutely buzzing to catch the king of the pond and now at a new lake record in the winter! Photos were taken along with a couple of water shots and I was walking around the swim with a huge smile on my face.

It's been nearly a year apart to the day that I've had the two big ‘uns, catching the other one just before Christmas last year and now catching this unit! To top off this short session whilst I was having a slow pack-up, the same rod signaled two bleeps meaning there was a fish attached so after getting this fish away from the snags and finally netting it, I could see this was another decent fish. It went 31lb 4oz.

A few quick photos were taken but unfortunately it was time to leave the lake. Looking back on my session, in less then 24 hours I’d caught a double, a 20, a 30 and a 40 in the winter plus the bigger was also a new lake record. So it wasn't a bad session at all.