Frank’s May 22 Blog

The beautiful Sumbar lake sunset

Hi everyone hope you are all catching well and enjoying the great fishing weather we have been having late Spring early summer so far.

In 2019 I booked an exclusive 9 day trip on the famous Lake Sumbar in Croatia for a group of 20 anglers unfortunately the covid pandemic put paid to any chance we had of going until this May so as you can imagine we had some serious anticipation when we finally embarked upon our long awaited adventure.

The Northern contingent of the boys on the trip decided to travel on the amazing overnight ferry from Hull to Rotterdam called the Pride of Hull which would knock 7 hours drive from the normal 22 hours drive if we were to drive to Dover and go via the tunnel, this ferry was brilliant and made the trip in some ways even more special it was that nice.

We drove for about 12 hours upon our arrival at Rotterdam and broke up the journey with an overnight stay at a hotel in Graz in Austria, then it was a quick two hour blast to the lake in the morning where we did a draw for swims as we always do.

I was fishing with my old mate Henrik Hansen who had travelled from Norway to fish. We were happy with our swim choice I think we came out around 5th from 10 pairs.

I decided to take it easy with the bait until I had found productive spots and also the carps feeding response, I like to locate their favoured feeding spots before committing much bait, we could either cast use electric engine inflatables or radio controlled boats the choice was ours, I opted to use my RRT4 bait boat, I am normally a casting fanatic but because of the ranges involved and possible quantities of bait potentially to get out we all opted to use boats.

I was using three different baits initially to round on what was going to be acceptable, my first bite came early in the morning at first light and came to a tiger nut plastic corn combination and was a very pale ghost like common of perhaps mid 20s I did a quick sot then one of my other rods was away on one of my Special Fruit Smoothy orange Fluoro pop ups in 12ml over a bed of chopped Fruit Smoothy and tigers and corn with mixed pellets, after a hefty prolonged great scrap I netted a massive looking common, me and the lads gasped a bit when it went into the net we thought mid 70 all day long, on the scales we were staggered to see it went far less than we thought and was 63.8 we even weighed it on two sets of scales in case the first set were broke just in case.

63.8 Sumbar common

Same weight on both but regardless a great start, I had a string of very nice fish until after 5 days in in relentless sunshine the carp got other ideas and stopped feeding to spawn our worst fears materialised as the lakes occupants grouped up in the lakes snags and weed beds to do their thing, we had very little choice but to carry on and go through the motions as returning home wasn’t really an optionafter a few days the carp stopped spawning and fish fed but only near to where the carp had spawned open water was dead as you like with only grass carp feeding out in the open areas.

Despite this disappointment we had a truly beautiful time and where else can you lie in the bivvy at night and listen to wolves howling, we also had a rather hilarious problem at night we all had groups of Hedgehogs having noisy sex all night I kid you not, weirdest sound ever, my mate Dave Lidstone is a proper nature lover he even filmed the Hedgehogs having a knock off.

A week after returning home I had my first trip to my Cheshire syndicate lake for the first time for about 5 weeks I couldn’t wait to get back on there as I had an idea it was prime time and I wanted to try my new bait The Smoothy that I had re introduced with a collaboration with Five Star Baits. It was my all time favourite recipe from when I had had my own bait company 12 years previously.

The session of 48 hours started slow with only a solitary tench caught very little showed but then in the following 24 hours I had 3 magnificent carp weighing 33.10,33.6 and 31 lbs all of the fish were in perfect condition and fell to a Fruit Smoothy wafter tipped with Enterprise corn what a fantastic combination.

The following week couldn’t pas quickly enough as my confidence as you can imagine was sky high.

I arrived at the lake to find it pleasingly quiet and after a quick look around I opted to go in the same swim as previous as it has plenty of options,

Again I had tench initially quickly followed by a 22lb mirror and an upper double then a 25 lb mirror put in an appearance, a far better start over the previous session they certainly wanted the bait, I went to sleep late that night sure I was going to get action as it was all building in tempo, you just know it, at 4 in the morning fishing locked up solid I had a series of bleeps from the alarm quickly scrambling out I was soon in a crazy frantic battle with the lakes biggest resident which turned out to be a new lake record of 44.6 a magnificent common, I got my good mate Sean Vickers to do shots at first light, at around 8 am I had another take and amazingly it was the biggest mirror in the lake at an incredible weight of 42.5 what a fabulous brace hard to get your head around a true red letter day that I will always remember.

New Cheshire syndicate lake record 44.6

Magnificent 33 dark common part of the 3 30s catch at Cheshire syndicate lake

Big Sumbar mirror

63.8 Sumbar common

49 Sumbar common

42.5 mirror the biggest mirror in the lake and other half of the brace of Cheshire 40s a first as far as I know

33.10 Cheshire scaley one

‘Ive since had many more but I’ll  save them for next time.

Tight lines Guys