The day passed with no more action as the temperatures got to 33.C, we caught up on some much needed sleep. I planned to have a shower around 6pm, so before this I was going to repeat the baiting program that had worked so well the previous night. I mixed the bait together leaving out 3 kilo’s of the new Red Ammo, which was going to be scattered loosely around the marker to hopefully get the fish searching for the little gems. Once this was done I drifted the boat down the left of my swim and deposited a couple of handfuls of the bait around an area between two weed beds. My plan was to fish this the next day as it had seen two days of baiting and the fish were definitely in there at night. Once back on dry land I quickly got showered and had a bit of a social, then back to my swim to boat the rigs out to the spots then just relax and await events.
Again as night fell we started to see fish show on the long range spot the takes started earlier as I was latched into a hard fighting fish at 11pm once my friend had helped with the landing we saw that again it was a big thirty at 37lb. We managed a total of eight takes for the night, the biggest weighing 38lb. After breakfast whilst sitting watching the water my cave rod was away, I was on it in a flash and this fight felt different. Lots of shaking of head then I saw the culprit a whopping great grass carp! We netted it quickly and unhooked it in the net, it was well over forty. These things go mental on the bank, so it was released straight away.
Later that day my mate left me in charge of his rods while he went for a shower and no sooner had he left his middle rod went into meltdown, I picked it up and bent into something really heavy. I let out a big shout and he rushed back to take control, the fish was determined to get to the other side of the lake. My friend eventually got it under control and started to put some line back on his spool. I grabbed my net and after about ten minutes we got our first glimpse, it was a huge Grassy in fact massive. A few more minutes and it was ready for netting, luckily it went in straight away and then decided to smash my net up! We wanted to weigh this one as it was the biggest fish we had ever seen, it needed both of us to lift it safely to the unhooking mat. We both had to lift it onto the scales and it bottomed out my Reuben’s, so unfortunately we will never know the true weight but it was certainly over 60lb! Once Andy returned from the supermarket we told him the story of the monster grassy and he advised us that it must have been the biggest one which is normally around 68lb. We were both really chuffed, this fish also was caught on the new bait Red Ammo and size 6 Covert Continental Mugga hook.
The day passed without any more action, so I walked round the lake baiting a few likely spots for stalking and a bit of socialising. I soon returned to my swim and tied three more rigs, got the bait ready and then jumped into the boat to repeat the process. Once completed, I returned and positioned two rods out to the large baited area, this left the cave rod which I had planned to move down my left to the pre baited area. I had a Red Ammo bottom bait which I placed into the hopper with a handful of whole baits and thirty baits broken in half, this was boated out to the mark and I was very expectant of this producing.
As with the previous nights, I got my first take from the baited area around midnight. This continued until the early hours culminating in a further nine carp to my tally biggest of the night weighing 36lb 8oz. At 5am and as it got light I could see a mass of bubbles down the left margin all around my hook bait and I was a bit bemused why this rod had not even had a bleep during the night. I put the kettle on and no sooner had I turned it off my left hand rod was away. I picked it up and started pumping quickly to get the fish away from the activity as not to spook the area.
Once in the net she looked quite impressive so I woke my friend and we weighed her at 38lb 10oz. I quickly returned her safely and repositioned the rod back down to the area with only seven baits. After just eight minutes it was away again but this time this fish felt a bit special, the fish just tore line from my spool as it left the bay going right. It must of took around forty yards of line until I managed to turn her, only for the fish to change direction and head straight back into the bay. Again I managed to turn her before she reached sanctuary of the overhanging trees, the Covert Lead Clips had done what they needed to do and dropped the lead. This fish looked a lot bigger and I gently eased her into the waiting net first time. I had a quick glimpse into the net and recognised it as a fish called crinkle tail a definite forty. I let Andy know, who came round to verify weighing and at 46lb 12oz it was its biggest weight ever. This fish had been presumed dead as hadn’t been caught for a long time.
After everyone left our swim I advised my friend to put a rod down to my left, I gave him one of my rigs that was doing the business also baited it with the Red Ammo. We boated this out to the area and he placed his rod on the ground and he crouched next to it in anticipation. He didn’t have to wait long, when all of a sudden his rod was nearly dragged in! He was connected to a fast moving fish which was swimming straight out of the bay. The fish was on the surface about fifty yards out and we could see it looked a goodun. With gentle coaxing we managed to get a nice high thirty in the net without much drama. We weighed it and after the pics were taken, the fish was returned and at 37lb it was my friend’s biggest carp of the trip. He continued to fish down the margin for most of the day, but unfortunately no more action came his way.
The next two days continued with similar results, everyone fishing had caught fish which was a great result and it was the best weeks fishing in France I had ever had. The last day of fishing arrived and I got up early to arrange a slow yet organised pack up. I planned to sleep under the stars as I wanted to get away by 8:30am on Saturday. I loaded the car with all my tackle except bear minimum to get me angling through the night. Again the swim was baited around the same time using all my remaining bait, just leaving enough for topping up after any action.
I called it a night early as needed to catch up on my sleep as it had been a great week. I was awoken up by my friend at midnight to an unbelievable storm, the lightning was all around. Thunder followed getting closer and closer as we sat up and made a tea just watching and praying one of the rods didn’t decide to go. I sat with my cup of tea on my bedchair with just my Gardner sleeping bag cover for protection, then all of a sudden the heavens opened, I pulled it over my head and just started giggling to myself as I laid there getting smashed by the rain.
After the eventful night the day dawned with beautiful sunshine, we both caught a further two fish each to 34lb, before I packed the remaining gear into the car and set off for the journey home. I would just like to take this opportunity to thank Lewis & Alan from Gardner Tackle for the on-going support and also like to thank Richard and George from Dynamite Baits for the new bait. Lastly a big thank-you to Andy & Bernie for looking after all of us so well.