I arrived at Dream Lakes in France with five nights ahead of me. I was joined by three mates and this was our first trip to the venue, so we couldn’t wait to wet a line. We had the option of fishing on Lake 1 or 2 and luckily we had plenty of choice with only a few anglers and the bailiffs fishing. We couldn’t see much activity around Lake 1, so we moved to Lake 2. After seeing several chunks roll down the far end of the lake by some snags, we thought this would be a good place to start. We got our kit out of the van and quickly set up as there was a good chance of a fish straight away.
I didn’t know what the best tactics would be, so I had a quick chat with a few people that were already fishing and it seemed that hemp and corn was accounting for most of the fish. As this was the only the out of season week of year that hemp and corn was allowed, it seemed mad not to use it on at least a couple of rods. I still had to use boilies on my final rod, as these are fed into the lake all year round. I decided on a snowman rig on this rod, which consisted of two feet of Covert Tungsten Tubing attached to Covert Lead Clip set up with 3oz distance lead and five inches of Sink Skin. On the business end was a size 6 Covert Mugga hook with a Covert Rig Ring, a big piece of Covert Shrink Tube and the hook bait was a LH1 boilie tipped with a white pop up from West Country Baits. I decided to position the rod tight into a corner against some a snags and after casting out, I waited for the piece of Dissolving Rig Foam I had used to mask the point of the hook to pop to the surface before firing fifty free offerings around it.
I decided to position my second rod slightly further along the treeline towards a couple of old tree stumps that could be clearly seen above the surface of the water. On this rig I decided to replace the pop up boilie with a piece of plastic corn and I put a good few handfuls of hemp, corn and chopped boilie around the hookbait. With the third rod I decided to stick with the same set up, but tipped the hookbait with a piece of pink plastic corn and positioned it about sixty yards out in thirteen feet of water. The depth of water was slightly deeper here than anywhere else in the bay (the average being seven to nine feet). It wasn’t long before I had twenty spodfuls of bait out over the spot consisting of corn and whole and chopped boilies.
Once I had got all three rods out I didn’t have to wait long, as thirty minutes later the rod on the spodded area rod slowly rattled off. A short while later I slipped the net under a cracking 30lb 4oz common, which was a great start to the trip! After getting a few quick pictures, I topped up the spot with another six spodfuls of bait. After getting action so quickly, the swim went quiet but as darkness fell my left hand rod in the corner bleeped three times so decided to pick it up. It was lucky I did as a few minutes later I landed a 30lb 2oz mirror. An hour later the same rod was away and another mirror was soon being slipped into the net, funnily enough it weighed exactly the same as the previous fish at 30lb 2oz!
That night the fish continued to crash and I had numerous liners but nothing to show for it. In the morning I went to have a chat with mates and they hadn’t had anything either, but they did experience liners and a few funny takes. I was convinced we were getting done over. I decided to put the middle rod on to a shocker rig, which consisted of two feet of Covert Tungsten Tubing with a small bead positioned halfway up the tubing. I removed the insert of a 3oz flat pear inline lead and rested it down on top of a Covert Tail Rubber. The hooklink was four inches of Trickster Heavy in camo green, a size 6 Covet Mugga with a rig ring and a short piece of Covert Shrink Tube.
During the day action was slow, with little happening around the lake, but as the light started to fade a few fish crashed and I had a couple of liners. Not long after I was into a fish it was the middle rod with the shocker rig set up on. It soon became clear that I was into something big as the fish kept plodding about and felt heavy all the way in. Fifteen minutes later I slipped my net under my new personal best weighing 48lb 8oz and what a fish it was!
After I slipped the fish back I was quick to get the rod back out and twenty minutes later I was in again on the same rod. This time in was a low twenty and another bite on the shocker rig. During the next couple of hours I managed to land another low twenty and a upper double all on the same rod.
When I woke up in the morning it was clear the rig changed had work, so I decided to put all three rods on the shocker rig. During the day I managed one bite which resulted in a 33lb 4oz mirror. It became clear that most of the action was happening at night, so I was hopeful of another bite or two. At the same time as the previous night, the middle rod came to life again and after an epic battle I managed to land a new pb common weighing 37lb 11oz. I was chuffed to say the least!
Soon after my mate called saying he had a beast in the net and a new pb for him weighing 44lb 0oz. It was fast turning into a great trip. The following morning I popped round to my mates swim as it had been a bit slower for them. I suggested that they should move into my swim to try and get a few fish, so the two of them decided to double up in my swim. I move opposite in hope that the fish venturing down the snag line. Most of the day passed with little action until about an hour before dark when my mates had a couple of bites in quick succession. One was a fish of a life time, a common weighing 65lb 0oz – what a fish!
All the bites came in a very short space of time and I managed a 32lb common and 36lb mirror before the swim went completely dead. It was clear that all the fish had moved down to the far end of the lake and with that end being stitched up, we decided to sit it out for the last twenty four hours. We managed a few small ones between us but we couldn’t have asked for more. I ended the week landing thirteen fish, including two two new pb’s.