Two weeks before Christmas I was invited to fish Abbey Lakes alongside fellow Gardner Tackle employee Lewis Read and Gardner sponsored angler Calum Kletta.  I was really looking forward to the trip and being an angler that tends to target most things apart from carp, the session would be somewhat of a novelty.

The weather before our trip was horrendous and after making the short drive over the channel we arrived to find some of the lakes still frozen.  Temperatures only days before had reached a low of minus 11.  However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom and temperatures for our four day trip were forecast to climb and mild weather was on its way!
With the whole complex to choose from I settled on Heron Lake, a lake that holds some monsters including one beast that weighs over 80lb!  My thoughts were that I might as well put myself in with the chance of catching something big rather than settling on one of the easier lakes on the complex.
With only a few hours before darkness I soon settled for a swim with a lot of open water available and an island to fish to.  A quick plumb around revealed three clear spots in amongst weed and I soon had three PVA bags cast to my chosen spots.  Due to the cold weather I wanted to keep my feed to a minimum and relied on my ever faithful combination of the new Super Soft imitation sweetcorn from Enterprise Tackle as my hookbaits.  Two pieces, one buoyant and one sinking perfectly balanced the size 8 Covert Talon Tip hook.  The PVA bags were filled with a mixture of small pellets and I hope the yellow corn would stand out perfectly over the dark feed.
The trip was a success and I received a flying take the following morning and after a great fight netted a 36lb 8oz common.  Things went quiet for the next couple of days until the final night when I received another take at dawn.  Pulling into the fish, it powered off and soon became weeded.  Luckily we had a boat for such occasions and I was soon afloat with Calum Kletta.  After what could only be described as an epic battle where the fish went from weedbed to weedbed, I finally had it beat and bundled it into the waiting net.  It looked a chunk and I wasn’t disappointed when the scales read a weight of 47lb 10oz and it was a great way to round off an excellent trip.