After driving to Norfolk to meet up with my good friend Rob from Carp Fishing Trips, we were soon making the five hour journey through France. We were booked on a 74 acre lake known as Madagascar. It’s a lovely picturesque venue with islands, lily pads and shallow bars – a real carp paradise if ever I saw one!

After having a good walk around I chose a swim at the far end of the lake. A lot of the fish were showing along the reed lined margins, which meant wading would be essential. After getting setup, it soon dawned on me that I had left my chest waders back at home in Norfolk, so I settled for using my crocks for positioning the rigs and landing each fish.

Bites didn’t seem hard to come by and after several days I had landed some lovely carp. Most were around the mid twenty bracket and gave a great account of themselves. After two days and nights of the constantly wading in cold water, it really started to wear me down. I had very little chance to warm my toes (which were turning a nice shade of blue) and a trip to a local shop saw me modelling some new rubber chest waders.

Without any bigger bait’s than 12mm Trigga with me, I had to think outside the box a little more if I wanted to get through to some of the lakes lager residents. First step was to lengthen the hair, creating a larger gap between the hook point and hook bait. This worked a treat and even if I did get the odd aborted take from the smaller fish, the average size of the fish landed increased. Instead of landing fish between 18lb-25lb, most fish were ranging between 25lb-30lb plus.

The fish seemed to drift off half way through the week, so after a move of swims I managed to stay on the fish and keep the action coming. Rig wise I settled on a standard blow-back rig tied with 20lb Trickster Heavy and a size 6 Covert Mugga. As I mentioned earlier, the hair length was far longer than I would normally fish (around 2 inches). It worked a treat, with only one fish loss all week. I was glad I had spooled up with Pro XM as the lake was full of pads and it stood up to the test, not letting me down once.

Even though I ached from head to toe, I had a great week and I’m sure I lost a few pounds around the waist too!