Lake serene is a stunning 16 acre gravel pit set in the heart of the Champaign region of France. It holds a large stock of big carp, mirrors to over 65lb and commons to over 85lb. It’s not considered a run’s water but if you time your session right and you fish effectively then some good results can be had.

Before leaving the country our group had already decided on which areas we were going to fish for the week. I was in a swim known as the beeches, which fishes into a tree lined bay of around 2-3 acres in size. I hadn’t fished the swim before so for the first couple of days it would be trial and error to see what would work. For the first 24 hours I fished two rods on hard gravel in depths of between 3-4 foot and 1onerod in the silt slightly deeper at around 6 foot. That night I managed a couple of fish, both of which were caught off the shallower harder gravel spots, so it was a no brainer and I found another hard spot to put the third rod on.

I kept the rigs simple, Covert Sinking Rig Tube and lead clip setup with of 5oz lead as I could drop the rig from the boat. A simple knotless knot rig using 25lb brown Ultra Skin a size 4 Continental Mugga and one of Stickys 16mm Signature Wafters, with washed out pink being the most effective. The bait was crumbed Sticky Manila in 12, 16 & 20mm, which was heavily gluged in Manila liquid. I fed enough small particles to attract the fish in and keep them there until one of them found the hookbait.

Using a boat to drop rigs and bait inch perfect proved a real edge and it helped keep the bites coming. Some people think that using a boat would cause too much disturbance and cause the fish to spook, however this was not the case. There was one occasion when I dropped the rig onto a spot underneath an overhanging tree and before I could row the boat back to the swim the rod was away. An explanation could be that the fish associate the boat with food so they are drawn to it, just like the sound of a Spomb on a busy day ticket water.

Even though I didn’t have any of the real monsters the lake holds, I did manage at least a 40lb+ fish every day sometimes two and there aren’t many places that you can do that! At the end of the week I was drained and ready for a good night’s sleep. That week I caught 23 fish of which 11 were over 40lb with the biggest being 48lb. A great week’s fishing and much better than being at work.