Hunting for fish in the dark at Slovenia’s iconic Lake Bled helped Brit Sam Toro get among the bigger carp at the day-only venue.
The Salford angler caught mirrors of 55lb, 49lb and 47lb as part of a seven-fish haul in three day trips.
The 32-year-old was a guest of Jamie Clossick’s VIP Carp Holidays venture and the pair began their assault on the popular Alpine resort in the dead of night.
Said Sam: “We decided to leave for Lake Bled at just gone midnight.
“Only one fish was heard on our first lap in the woods area, so we decided to do another. Luckily, the fish were found shortly after in a relatively shallow bay, sneaking in close before the daytime carnage began.
“We’d missed the first-light bite time, but it was worth the sacrifice as we’d located the fish, which were very active and obviously on the feed.
“Shortly after lunchtime, I got my first lake Bled take, landing a lovely common; a reward for our night-time search.”
He continued: “I decided to bait fairly heavily before the evening drew in as the bankside madness had subsided due to an immense storm.
“I just knew they’d been waiting for the first opportunity to sneak back in and have another taste of the bait.
“An hour before dark the same rod that the other takes had come on was torn from the rod grips and it was obvious this carp was going to be bigger than the others.
“Jamie’s partner Gasper spotted the carp twisting in the clear water and immediately stripped off, diving in the water with the net screaming, ‘20 kilo, 20 kilo!’
“He wasn’t wrong, and just before the light faded I held up a brute of a carp at 22.5kg [49lb-plus].”
Overnight angling is banned on Bled, but Sam added more bait to the swim before nightfall and returned at dawn on the second day.
“Within 15 minutes of casting out at 4am I had two fish in the net – one common and another mirror which looked to be over 20kg.”
The big mirror went 21.5kg (47lb-plus) but there was still time for one more fish the next day.
“On the final morning I landed my Bled donkey. This fish tried to rip my arm off but I was confident the hook would hold as I’d only lost one.
“At 25kg [55lb-plus], this was the seventh of the session and ended an amazing trip.”
Sam fished whole and chopped Sticky Manilla boilies coated in matching cloudy liquid and betaine powder.
His IQ D rigs were topped with a Manilla Tough One and a homemade fruity pop-up.