Fantastic haul of big Italian carp for Dean Macey!

If you’re looking to plan a holiday, avoid going at the same time as Dean Macey as he seems to have a knack of timing his overseas trips to coincide with awful weather conditions!

Despite managing to time several of his recent trips to coincide with snowfall and plummeting temperatures, everything came good in the end on his latest adventure to Italy, where he landed a string of big fish, culminating in a new personal best common of 58lb 8oz!

Dean explained: “The long drive started off well, but then we hit the ‘Beast from the East’ in northern France and were stuck behind a snow plough on the motorway for over 100 miles, doing 20mph.

“With major road closures it took us 20 hours to get to the small town around the corner from the lake, where we stocked up with food for the week. With snow and freezing cold nights I was more worried about defrosting stuff than I was about storing meat so that it didn’t go off!

“The first night I just cast three PVA bags in the direction of where I’d been told that they hold up in this swim, but by morning, and with driving rain and sleet in my face, I decided on a change. I decided to cast two rods across to the far bank, and then to walk round and position my rigs with my Cygnet baiting spoon. I was fishing tied off to banksticks, so that the only line in the water was from the bankstick down the steep margin shelf to my rig, that was 15-20ft away.

“That change kick-started the action for me with three upper-30s, and they were soon followed by a great looking 48lb 8oz mirror, and it is always a relief to get the first big girl of the trip, and I was also now 100 per cent confident that I’d found a spot to produce a few more chunks.

The biggest of the trip and a new PB for Dean at 58lb 8oz

This 56lb 8oz chunk came as part of a brace with another common of 52lb

“All of my bites seemed to be coming during the day, whereas everyone else was catching at night, so I knew that if I could also get an open water spot going, then I had a chance of a decent hit. I decided to wind in one of my open water rods and explore the swim a bit more, and within 45 minutes of casting to a new area I had a 49lb mirror in the net – it wasn’t a night bite but I wasn’t complaining!

“The new spot did me a couple of bites and I felt like I was getting closer to my target, and sure enough I ticked off a few more fish, including the biggest of the trip at 58lb 8oz. I’d had 19 carp and there were still two days to go, so I was hoping that one more lump would grace my net before I left, but on the penultimate morning I had two bites within 30 minutes on the far margin rods, resulting in commons of 56lb 8oz and 52lb, which was a great way to finish the trip.

“My friend Nigel Botherway once told me to always save one bite for the next trip, and so by putting my rods away early and letting a friend join in the action, I hope that is exactly what I’ve done.”

All of his fish fell to Fake Food hookbaits on size 4 Kurv Shank hooks to 20lb Dark Matter braid, and fished with inline leads on Kable leadcore, and with 15lb Touchdown mainline. This was fished over Mainline Hybrid boilies, Spod and PVA Pellet mix, and Hinders Elips pellets.