Parco del Brenta produces the goods for Billy Flowers!

Despite two previous trips to Italy, Billy Flowers had never caught any big carp from the country as he had always been there representing in England in matches and targeting numbers of smaller fish.

So, he was looking forward to bumping into some big ones when he travelled to renowned venue, Parco del Brenta in the north-east of the country, with a group of friends and set himself a target of catching a fifty.

After catching steadily throughout the session, including a number of mirrors and commons topping 40lb, he finally achieved his goal on the last evening of his trip when he landed this immaculate 51lb 5oz common.

Billy explained: “There were six of us and when we drew for swims I got peg 16, which I’d been told can be very prolific with bites during the day, and the warmer the weather gets the better this area of the lake is, as it is a snaggy back bay. Unfortunately though, the weather report was predicting cold weather all week!

“After a short flight and a 90-minute drive I arrived at the venue and quickly got set up as it was forecast to rain later, but unfortunately that soon turned to snow as the temperature dropped, which wasn’t what we needed, given the information we had on it needing to be warm go catch well in this area!

“I opted to start off by fishing Solidz PVA bags as tight to the far margin snags as I could, and around midnight on the first night I had a couple of bleeps and was straight on it as I was fishing locked up. A short while later I had my first Parco del Brenta carp in the net and it turned out to be one of the smallest residents at 15lb.

“Thankfully by Monday the sun came out, the snow melted and it warmed up, and I had a proper lead around and found three spots that I decided to feed some bait on, as I had the whole week and wanted to get them properly grubbing around, rather than just fishing for the odd bite. So, I put eight Spoimbs over each rod, using a mixture of 10mm and 15mm Mainline Fyber and Hybrid boilies, crushed boilies, hemp and lots of pellets, plus Hybrid Activator liquid.

“Once I had the spots established and kept trickling in bait it didn’t take long to start receiving some bites, and by the Wednesday afternoon when we had a social barbecue I’d landed eleven fish, including a very distinctive 44lb 3oz common with a cut tail. The bites had been coming on the two rods fished across to a snaggy corner, and it meant that I was having to fish locked up and sit on my rods the whole time, rather than socialising – so it was nice to be able to catch up with them and have a chat when we all got together that day.

Billy enjoyed consistent action during his trip to Italy

Solidz PVA bags of pellets did the trick for Billy

“That night I managed a 28-pounder, two 30s and one of 42lb, plus a 42lb sturgeon that really hung on and took my half-an-hour to land, and then as it got light the next morning I had a double take and landed a brace of fish weighing 42lb 4oz and 48lb 12oz, I was buzzing!

“The fishing just kept getting better and I landed several more, including a stunning 45lb common and 43lb mirror, and by the Saturday I was more than happy with what I’d already caught, but mentioned that I’d be over-the-moon with a fifty from another country.

“We had to leave early on the Sunday morning, so I was going to fish all day Saturday and then wind in for the night. That day I managed to land mirrors of 41lb, 39lb 14oz and 38lb, plus a 42lb common, and then I hooked something that gave me an epic battle and once I netted it I knew it was a big fish. It was an immaculate common which pulled the scales round to 51lb 5oz and made me one very happy angler!

“As darkness was falling I received another bite and it turned out to be the smallest of the trip and a fish that must have bred in the lake, as it was a stunning looking mirror of about 5-6lb, and after that I wound in for the night. It was nice to have a bit of a social on the last night, and I’m already planning a return during the warmer months next year, as it is a venue that I would highly recommend.”

Successful tactics for Billy included 12mm Mainline wafter hookbaits fished in Solidz bags filled with Spod and PVA Pellet mix, and the finished bags were then injected with Pineapple Goo for extra attraction. The bags were made up in advance on Kable Solid Bag L eaders, with 3.5oz inline square leads, with size 4 Wide Gape X hooks and short 25lb Supernatural hook links.