During the summer I took the time to rack up the brownie points for a forthcoming trip to France. This included the usual stuff like family holiday, weddings and christenings to attend, the usual stuff that hinders fishing time!
September came around as quickly as I had hoped, and this eagerness was because I was going to be tackling the mighty Lac Du Der. The amount of preparation I had to put into this far surpassed any other angling adventure I had been on before. I had to get 12oz gripper leads, load up my reels with thin Kinetic Distance Braid (to deal with the range), consider leader materials, beef up my hooklink material to at least 30lb Mirage Fluorocarbon, and equip the fleet of inflatable dinghies with enough batteries to see me through the week.
Once we arrived my initial reaction to seeing the lake for the first time was sheer anxiety and fear at the prospect of being sat out in the middle of that huge expanse of water. Basically, the total opposite of claustrophobia! However, the boats were loaded and my partner for the week Mark and I were soon cruising 1.2km to our peg for the week.
With the lack of experience fishing a venue like this my target was just to catch a carp, I didn’t care how big! It was more about being realistic and I just wanted to educate myself enough to catch a carp, knowing that next time I will go back to Du Der as a better angler and hopefully catch more.
I took the boat out, equipped with the echo, to see if I could find any features, unfortunately there was little out there, and the lake’s topography was actually pretty baron up to 400m out! With this being the case, I spread my four rods out and set small traps fishing for one bite at a time in the hope that if a pod of fish came through one or two might drop down and have a feed.
My setup for this was the Distance braid, a 50lb mono sure shock leader and a Camflex Leadcore leader attached to a Covert Lead Clip setup. The rigs were German’s tied with a nice meaty size 4 Incizor hook and Mirage hooklink material. On this I mounted a homemade hardened 22mm hookbaits wrapped up to help protect them from crayfish interference, tipped with a piece of fake maize.
After the first few days when the weather was not at all favourable due to high air pressure; the inevitable clear skies, hot sun and no wind were far from ideal on such a vast body of water. We needed wind and cloud to get the fish moving and there wasn’t a blow due to arrive until the day before we left. I persisted in trying different areas in front of me but with the conditions being so rubbish I don’t think the fish were moving around much, and therefore less likely to find my spots. I did have some mid-week action, when somehow a bream had foul hooked itself on my rig and then got mauled by a catfish! As exciting as the bleeps were on the sounder box I was hoping for some more significant cyprinid action!