Lawrence East reflects on what was a fantastic year for him!

With all of his local waters covered in ice, Lawrence East has taken a look back at what turned out to be a very successful year for him, and some of the highlights.

Being based up in the north of England, he has less choice of waters to target for bigger carp, but still managed to land a string of 30s, including a new PB, and also travelled to France for the first time.

Lawrence revealed: “Last year was probably the most successful yet for my carp angling journey. It was helped by the mild winter which we had, especially during January and February, and I ended up having some big hits of fish from a local club water, culminating in a session where I landed 19, including two 30s and nine 20s!

“As soon as the water started to warm up I moved onto another club lake, as there was a particular fish that I wanted in my album. I can’t say too much about this particular water as there is a publicity ban, but it is around eight acres in size, crystal clear and choked with weed. There are around 75 carp in there and it is a water for the future, but one of them is a jet black fully-scaled – at mid-20 it isn’t massive but was a fish that I really wanted to catch. I fished the lake throughout April and May and was fortunate enough to land 41 carp, and during that time I managed to land the one that I wanted as well.

“Last year also saw me heading across the Channel for the first time to fish with a friend at Vallee Lakes, in Normandy, and it was a session that I won’t forget in a long time! We turned up and were told that the double peg that we were booked in had only produced three bites all year, but I was quick to get off the mark with a 24lb mirror within five minutes of casting out, having found some clear spots amongst weed at 135 yards range, and there were fish showing as well.

“Later that first night I had the first 40 of the trip, a spawned out mirror which usually tops 50lb, and over the course of the week the fishing was generally slow during the day with action coming at night. There were some snags down to my left which were inaccessible from my peg, but after doing a bit of clearing I was able to wade a bait down to the spot and it changed my session. I was only getting one bite per day, but one of them was a 47lb linear that had been on the missing list for six years, and by the end of the week I’d had 19 fish, which was a great return from this peg.

“When June came around I purchased a ticket for a syndicate venue in Nottinghamshire, called Bleasby, which had two gin clear, weedy lakes on the complex and holds some stunning fish. I spent around eight weeks in total fishing both lakes, learning as much about them as I could in that time as I knew I’d soon be going back onto a club lake where I had unfinished business. I managed to catch around 25 fish, and during the coming year I’ll be spending more time on there and will be hoping for my first thirty from this venue.

“By August it was time to head back to the northern club lake which had haunted me for a few seasons – it wasn’t a hard water and had a good head of fish, but the difficulty was getting through to the five or six real big ones. With depths of 25ft and 275 club members, with just 35 swims on the lake, there are many variables which can come into play.

“Over a few seasons I’d caught consistently and had fish up to around 34lb, which is very big for this part of the country, but there were three or four commons over 37lb, and so far I hadn’t managed to tempt any of them – mainly due to me not constantly fishing there and having spent time on other waters as well.

“But my luck was about to change, and during the September and into October, plus the time I’d done back in April, I managed to catch 78 fish in total, including 40 twenties and 15 thirties, with several of my target fish, including a new personal best of 40lb 4oz.

“With business finally taken care of at this particular water, I’m now looking forward to my campaign on Bleasby during the coming year,” he added.