Every year I get to enjoy a nice relaxed week of angling in France, but this year would be different as my girlfriend was pregnant and the baby’s due date fell on the date of the planned trip to France. I had no choice but to give my spot up. Unsurprisingly I was both kind of gutted and glad at the same time. With that trip out the window I elected to book a week off work and planned a trip down my local syndicate lake to coincide with the full moon phase on the Wednesday and Thursday night.

I got down the lake early that Saturday morning and with a couple of nights ahead of me and the lake nearly empty, I did a few slow laps round the lake trying to locate a few fish. On the second lap after seeing nothing I was stood in a swim that fishes into a bay as well as the main body of water in the lake and 3 fish decided to stick their heads out over a weedy patch in the water. This had made my choice of swim pretty easy for the night. I ran back to the van and bombed around to the swim!

I found a clear silty area as close as I could to the weed bed where the fish had been showing. A little hinge stiff rig tied with a size 6 Covert Chod hook on 25lb TripWire, and a 25lb Trick-link boom section that was baited with a Live System cork ball hook baits was cast to the spot. I catapulted four pouch loads of 15mm CC Moore Live System boilies over the op that that I had been soaking in Chorizo Extract for 3 days prior the trip.

With that rod out I decided to set up camp and watch the water for any further shows for my other 2 rods. About half an hour into setting up the bobbin on the single rod slowly lifted up bleep my bleep and I was in already! With which felt like a tench bite at first, before I knew it the fish was swimming towards me at some speed. A massive common flanked up under my rod tips and then went made some big powerful runs straight back to the middle of the lake! I was straight in the waders and out in the water at full depth scooping A huge common in the net.

I’m always one to unhook the fish and get the rod back out on the spot as soon as possible as they have short feeding spells in this lake.

Then it was time to weigh and photo this massive common, with a further look into the net we noticed it was the football common which I new was going to be a PB common. We hoisted her out and she weighed in at a massive 42lb 6oz a new PB common and first UK forty pound common. With a few lovely shots taken by my mate Alex she was back in the water and I was over the moon with not even a night done and a whole further week’s worth of fishing.

Later that evening I found a further two spots. I got all three rods out on different spots with a nice bit of bait over them on the first night of the trip, I like to get a good bed out on a long trip and feel I can just top it up each day if I’m catching. I decided to bait with hemp corn and Live System boilies soaked in Hot Chorizo extract.

With everything done for the night we sat back and had a nice evening social watching the light fade away and fish topping. Before I knew it I was awake the next morning with no more fish to show for my efforts. I always worry a little when I wake up and I’ve had no bites all night. So, straight away I was up looking for signs of fish in case I needed to make a move around the lake. However, before I had a chance the right hand tip swung round this time with the bobbin smashing the rod and peeling the line from the spool. After a steady fight I had a lovely 24lb mirror in the net, before I unhooked the fish straight away and got the rod back out to the spot. By the end of the day I had 2 rods on the spot and had landed six fish with another lovely 34lb common and a lovely scaly mirror which was on the target list, called Crinkle Tail and it was a right gem of a fish.

After all the photos and laughs it was soon the evening and baiting up time again. With 2 rods going out on the spot that had received the bulk of the action out in the main body of the lake, I decided to give the spot a good half a bucket of bait again and keep my left rod round in the bay which did the 42lb common on the first day. I topped this spot up with just 4 Spombs as I had no more bites from this rod yet.

I awoke to another bite less night, but a felt confident it was going to kick off again in the next couple of hours. I sat watching the lake tying some rigs ready in case the carnage was about to kick off again. I got as far as tying the chod section of a hinged stiff rig and the right hand bobbin slowly lifted and I struck into what felt like another big fish. The smaller male fish tended go on massive runs from the off, however the bigger fish plodded around slowly after the initial take. Straight away the fish hit the surface and moved some much water with its powerful lunges. As the fish got closer Ross could see it was a fair size and that it had a v in the dorsal fin, which could be a good sign! By this point I had already slipped the waders and was up to my chest in the water, before I sunk the net under another massive common! Ross knew straight away I had the ‘Immaculate Common’ in the net, which was right up there on the target list. With the rod back out on the spot, I was keen to get the photos of the ‘Immaculate’ done as soon as possible before the sun was up. Ross had no waders, so I kindly lent him mine and decided to go in the lake in shorts and a coat as I wasn’t missing out on water shots! I’m glad I did as they came out spot on, so thanks Ross!

As I was soaked right through, I quickly headed back to the van to get dried and change into a fresh set of clothes. I was half way through getting changed and my receiver sounded. I was soon running back to swim (half dry and half soaking wet) where I was clearly into a double take as both middle and the right rods were away! I picked the right hand rod up first, hoping the fish that was attached to the left hand rod would find the sanctuary of the nearest weed bed. However, things didn’t go to plan and the fish decided to cross lines which left me with a mirror on the surface that I couldn’t get in any closer due to the second fish being stuck in some weed. As I was already soaked, I grabbed the nearest life buoy and unhooking mat and swam out and netted the weeded fish. It was really turning into some trip!

The disturbance signalled the end of bite time and I had landed four fish during a hectic morning and a total of 11 fish over 3 days. It was time to head back home to the wife, puppy and baby knowing that I would be back down for a further 2 nights on the full moon on Thursday.

Upon arriving Thursday morning the lake was a lot busier, however the swim I had been in just a few days before was remarkably free. I decided to drop straight back in as there was going to be a full moon that evening combined with a mega pressure drop and I knew that these conditions would suit this area of deeper water.

I knew I had made the right decision when not long after getting the rods out one of them was away, which resulted in a nice twenty, which fell to a single Citrus Z pop up chucked over the baited spots on arrival.

Apart from losing one, the next twenty four hours everything went a bit quiet, so I decided to take a stroll around the lake where I came across half the stock swimming around the shallows. With my luck the way it had been in recent weeks, I quickly grabbed the floater gear and promptly bagged my first thirty off the top!

Time was getting on, so I was soon heading back to the main plot get the rods out for the night! The rods went back out to the same spots I have fished just a few days earlier. I decided not to Spomb as I had been baiting them all week, so I decided to catapult all my left over boilies out around the zones for the last night!

I was woken at 12:30am with the first bite of the night and off the left hand rod, which hadn’t done a fish since the 42lb common on the first morning. I had a sneaky feeling it could be a lump off of this spot and from the way it was flat rodding me. I really wanted this one in the net to finish the trip off and I was relieved when I slipped the net under a lovely 38lb mirror.

I was convinced this was it for the trip and with photos done at first light in the morning, I was just about to take the bivvy down, with just the rods to reel in and the unhooking Matt to dry off when the rod tip on the middle rod bounced and I was into my 15th fish of the trip. This was by far the craziest battle of the trip and the fish stayed really deep in the water and was such a heavy lump to move. It really didn’t help that it was taking me from weed bed to weed bed and after a half hour battle, I soon had an enormous hard fighting mirror in the net. After having a quick glance into the net, I noticed that the fish was very long and it was one of the three mirrors that swam around in this immense lake. It was a fish that hadn’t been out in ages, well over a year called The Nutsey Mirror at 40lb 4oz! It was my third forty of the trip in just 5 nights fishing. I even managed to get my mate Josh a guest and smash his pb twice from 32lb right up to this first ever 40lb carp! It was a trip of a life time and the perfect timing for my week off.