Update 2018 with carp up to 32+kg:
Here you can see the full movie of our trip to jezero Šumbar:
It’s a strange feeling…coming home after spending an amazing week at a foreign country, going after big carp and having the chance to meet new and interesting people that you come across. Create friends, learn new methods of fishing, adapt to the lake, nature, weather and enjoy life. That is what carp fishing is all about. And that is how i can describe our week at the amazing Šumbar lake at Croatia. 4 months ago we created a reservation for a week starting from 12th of September on position 4. It’s one of the good positions on the lake based on the research that we did and the people that we talked with.
Early on 12th me and my brother packed all the gear and after 800+ km we got on the lake. It was around noon and we spent some time organising the week on the lake. As we knew, the method for this lake were really getting back to basics – getting your marker on the right spot, hitting the spomb quite often and creating the perfect rig presentation for the fish. So that is what we did – we spent the first hours finding the right spot. Some 110m in front of us we found good gravel, we put the market and started feeding. We prepared close to 15kg of boilies, pellets and small amount of corn for colour during the first day. We also started baiting up some spots close to the reeds, that were at a distance of 20m.
There was quite a lot of swims taken from different anglers from Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany and Russia. It is always a pleasure to meet so many new people on the lake, discuss tactics, see how they approach the fishing and their end result. And having such high pressure we had to be aware to adapt to the swim based on he conditions that were going to face during the session.
The first bite was at 4 a.m. on the left reeds at a distance of some 20m. A beautiful 16.5kg common. It was a good sign, although there were no takes from the spot we baited up in front of us:
But luckily it wasn’t long till the fish started getting on the food and during the morning we had 2 more takes – fish of 14kg and again 16kg – mirror and a common. There was a very strong mist, with a very short visibility – it was like fishing in Mordor! You wake up and see your rods out there and the line somewhere in the nothing, hoping some monster will grab it!
We started learning more about the lake and the style of fishing. But for the next 24h the silence coming from the stations was kind of worrying. The weather got quite hot and steamy which got the fish more passive in terms of number of bites.
But we continued to feed, the spomb hitting the surface every 5-7h with a good 5kg of delicious treats for the carp. And luckily we started creating momentum and building up our results. We tried to continue to experiment in terms of baits and that gave results.
The next day we had our first take at noon, probably on the hottest part of the day – a very strong take on Startabaits’s Pro Monster Crab 14mm with a small pop up Indian spice – 14mm. The fish was really strong and it felt really heavy. After 20 minutes we got on the bank our first good fish from the trip and the first PB – an amazing 25.6kg common carp. A really long and strong fish.
Minutes before we landed the fish….
So the pressure was off and we continued to build up the session. For the next 2 days we continued to have still up to 2 fish per day with which we were still no satisfied so we tried to persevere. We started putting more and more bait on the swim increasing the amount of bait to up to 20+kg per day hitting the surface. Also we started putting new rigs and baits. That lead to 2 very important changes for the trip. First my brother decided to have a go with a Pink S-Core pop up with a hinged stiff rig and i decided to have a go with a 14mm Dynamite Crave balanced with some yellow foam inside of it with 5-7mm going outside the boilie for colour that can cause the interest of the fish. And this changed quite a lot the end result of the trip.
First during day 3 we had another amazing take around 15:00 on the pink Richworth S-core pop up. Some 20 minutes and we got on the bank another PB – a 26.1kg mirror carp. Very strong fish with some small scales on the tail – a real beauty from Sumbar.
Having caught that fish we were able to think more and more about what we have to do better and for the next 3 days we doubled up our results in terms of number of fish on the bank – we started feeding more, continued to search for fish, more critically balanced bait and perseverance.
We started getting more fish regularly for the remaining days, as after each fish the spomb was in the water more and more, and we left the throwing stick behind. The fish loved the noise of the spomb as it is a sign of food getting in the water. We managed to buy more corn from the house on the lake to go with the boilies. They cook it there and it’s really convenient. The conditions on the lake are really nice with WC between each 10 swims, bath, house with electricity and close to a big city – that creates good conditions for a week of fishing. And having in mind it is not privately owned we can just say that Croatia is a top destination for go for big carps.
As for the water itself it’s really clear and looks healthy for the carp. We spent quite some time in it with the fish while releasing them. My brother also did not miss the chance to spent some time in it during the hottest hours of the day:
We had always different visitors on our swim – the lake has quite a lot of swan families, which always gives a smile on a person face. They are used to the lines of the anglers and the chance for a swan attack is really small so no worries there. We had also night visitors as hedgehog, foxes and the other angels say that there are quite a lot of wild pigs as well. Luckily we did not met them but there footprints were quite visible on the lake. This shows how much the nature is kept and it’s up to us to keep it that way!
As the session went on we reached up to 6-7 fish per day for the last two days and ended up with 6 fish above 20kg, one of which was an amazing grass carp. We had also two breams up to 2kg and one small cat fish. The fish are really strong, put one hell of a fight and we hope the swim continues to take such good care of the fish for the future.
More about the tactics:
We used for the feeding fish-based boilies – Monster Crab, Squid, Crave, etc., which we mixed with small pellets and corn. Overall we put in the water close to 120-30kg of food. We tried to keep the food always wet adding attractors, pastes, powders, glugs and etc.
Rigs and Hookbait:
We used simple clean rigs with a Safety clip. We used size 6 Fox Arma point, which proved once again as one of the best hooks we have used. The big mirror was caught on a hinged stiff rig with a size 10 hook.
As for the hookbait we used three different types of bait that lead to 90% of the fish:
– snowman 14mm Probiotic Monster Crab with 14mm Indian spice yellow pop up. This created the biggest average fish size with 4 fish above 20kg;
– 14mm SP2 – Squid and Plum(bolies made from our Cratian friend Mirco) – with small yellow corn on top of the boilie adding more colour and a little buoyancy;
– 14mm Crave from Dynamite bait with yellow foam inside. This lead to the highest number of bites from fish;
Information for the Lake:
The lake holds 31 positions with different features. It is situated some 50km from the capital Zagreb. It’s quite easy to reach as it’s situated in the city of Karlovac. There are quite a lot of supermarkets, bakeries and all the supplies that a person needs for a week of carp fishing.
Here are more photos from the trip and the amazing fish.