Paul cradles his new euro PB weighing 47lb 4ozWe had kept the swim topped up with bait throughout the week, we waited and waited but our luck had now changed and the fish were in the area. I suppose having confidence in your approach comes with experience, reading the water told me that there weren’t any fish in the area. There was no need to employ any new tactics to try and win a bite, you can’t catch them if they’re not there. Keeping disturbance to an absolute minimum, having a little patience and having some faith in the weather man all played it’s part!

Friday morning brought more action. Phil had a mid thirty mirror and while his fish was in the net, one of mine melted away with a mid thirty common. All the fish seem to fight extremely hard at La Horre, they look brand new and you’d think they had never been caught before. The real big fish had so far eluded us but we were really pleased to have a wet unhooking mat and some nice shots for the album. The weather at this point was completely different to when we had arrived, it was a little less than half the temperature and although it was changing direction pretty often, we had a wind on the lake all the time. I had put the front on my bivvy for a little more protection as it started to raining heavily Friday evening, yes we fished all week under brolly style set-ups in October; mental isn’t it! The fish were showing about fifty yards past my marker as it went dark, the confidence was at it’s highest with twelve hours to go!

In the early hours of Saturday morning Phil had a screamer, the fish fought really hard just like the others and it was no pleasure being stood in the freezing water in my chesties in the pouring rain let me tell you! I eventually slipped the net under another mid thirty, a couple of pics and then it was back to the warm sleeping bag. Two hours later it was my turn again and my middle rod was away, when I pulled into the fish it just kited really slowly to my left. It went over my left hand rod without any problem, then it just plodded around in the margins. Fortunately, it had stopped raining now as this fish did not want to come in at all and it was showing all the signs of being a real big one, surely this would be fifty plus?!

The big mirror was eventually led toward Phil and his sunken net. It’s not easy netting fish at La Horre, the water is so coloured that you can’t see all of the fish properly in the daytime, never mind in the dark. Phil kept the net down deep and allowed the fish to almost touch the spreader block before lifting and then the big mirror was mine! The fish didn’t reach the fifty pound mark, it went forty seven four on the scales which is a new euro pb for me so I can’t complain. I didn’t bother putting the rod back out on to the spot in case there were any more fish there feeding, I still had two more on the money so didn’t see the point in dropping another five ounce lead through the water causing unnecessary disturbance.

Waiting for a bite at La HorreIt could only have been half an hour since the mirror went back and one of my other rods was away. The speed in which it was stripping line on the take was ridiculous, I’ve never seen anything like that before when fishing at that kind of range and I’m not one for having my clutch slack! I had a feeling that it would be a much smaller fish and I was right. I was forced to pass my rod under the other lines as the fish decided to take me on a tour of both left and right margins, the hyperactive common stripped line off in all directions before it was engulfed in my net! I unhooked him in the net and sent him on his way, one for the future that’s for sure!

That was it, no further action followed and in the blink of an eye we had to be packed up and off the lake. We had caught more fish than any other swim but couldn’t tempt a fifty pounder. If only the conditions could have been right for the whole trip and not just the last two days, god knows what I could be writing about now?! When you have to book a peg so far in advance you can never plan a trip for when the weather is right, it’s all about making the right decisions when you arrive and making the best of the time you have at the lake in your chosen swim when you’re there. I can honestly say that I couldn’t have fished any better that week, I gave it one hundred percent. I hate driving home after any fishing session thinking that I could have done better and so the long trip home from La Horre was a pleasant one! I will definitely be back for some more action on that lake asap, I will let you know how I get on!

Be Lucky!