Rob Hughes’s quest to land 50-pounders from six different countries in 2018 is halfway to completion after he bagged this Croatian chunk.
The 52lb 10oz mirror from Lake Šumbar in Croatia is one of 10 fish the Carp Team England boss has had in his first 36 hours at the venue.
Speaking to Carpfeed from Croatia, Rob said: “It was one of those out-of-the-blue bites in the middle of the afternoon when it’s flat calm and no one has caught anything for hours.”
He added: “It’s fairly simple fishing. We’re using a lot of bait because these are big fish and they want to eat.
“When Brits go abroad they tend to want to over-complicate things, but we’ve found a spot and we’re piling it in.”
Rob has already had 50-pounders from Italy and France this year, and hopes to tick off Slovenia, Germany, Austria, Hungary and England before the year is out.
He said: “It’s 50s from three different countries so far in 2018, with carp from four. The target is 10 different countries, with 50s from six of them – so I’m halfway there.”
This is Rob’s second visit to Šumbar, which contains fish to nearly 90lb. He was the first Brit, along with Steve Briggs, to fish the venue a decade ago.
“It’s nice to be back,” said Rob. “Back then it had just done its first 20kg (44lb) fish, so it’s changed quite a bit.”
Rob is on the bank with a mix of nationalities and fellow Brits Mark Bartlett, Steve and Joan Briggs, Bryan and Judith Houghton of Spomb and Tom Duncan-Dunlop.
All Rob’s fish have come to a mix of Dynamite boilies and maize and have been taken on size 4 Fox Medium Curve hooks.