Tom explained: "I had to grin and bear a week of phone calls and catch reports from all the lads while they were recently out at Gigantica for the annual Korda jolly. I wasn’t on the trip as I had two of my own trips booked later in the year! Well, my first trip was only two weeks later and I was buzzing to get out there, especially given the amount of fish that had been coming out.
"It turned out that there were only six people fishing, as there were some last-minute cancelations. This was good on one hand but meant that the lack of pressure would allow fish to move into empty swims, away from the anglers. However, as there were only six people in the draw I was bound to end my run of very bad luck! I came out number three of six and was more than happy to set up in Alcatraz – my second-choice swim.
"Alcatraz had been relatively consistent throughout the year so I expected to be able to nick a fish or two. The first day saw me markering to find a spot worth fishing for the week. Once that was done and all my rods were clipped up to the same distance, I slipped out in the boat and deposited 1kg of tiger nuts, 4kg of mixed Mainline Active Maple-8 and Hybrid boilies, both of which were 20mm.
"My first bite came on the Sunday afternoon. A wicked 31 pounder was the result and it was nice to be off the mark! After dinner and re-baiting, Monday soon came and I found myself playing an angry 35lb common at daybreak! By 4pm on Monday I had landed my fifth carp, number four being a new French PB, a fish called The Target at 61lb 13oz! It gets its name due to being Danny Fairbrass’ target since he bought the lake, so I took great pleasure in ringing him explaining that I’d caught it. Ha, sorry Dan. What a carp, though, I can see exactly why Dan has his eyes set on it!
"The rest of the week was very patchy, the fish were moving around the lake quite a bit but I did manage a few more Gigantica Carp. Wednesday came and a brace of awesome looking forties were kind enough to show up – The Lippy Common at 43lb 6oz and The Survivor at 45lb 11oz! Then a lovely 34lb 8oz common on the final morning saw me driving away with a massive smile on my face!
"I was introducing about 4kg of bait a day depending on the action and all fish fell to a very standard Hybrid Leadclip set up with a six-inch Semi Stiff N-Trap hook link to a Barbless Krank hook. Eight fish hooked, eight fish landed I may add, on a barbless setup… I was very impressed – The Kranks keep producing! I love the place and can’t wait to go back in October!"