After what seemed like an age the day of our departure finally came round and with favourable traffic and earlier crossing we arrived at the lake mid morning raring to go.
Typically for me 20 minutes after arriving, the heavens opened and continued for the next couple of hours, until a short break gave me just enough time to erect the house for the next week and see mum plant herself on the bed chair and into the land of nod within seconds. All the new carp sweeties in the freezer for the next few months along with the arrival of a new masterpiece from DNA known as Hydrowheat, which I had been warned about after picking the bait up, apparently if it got too hot it could explode, being a thick yeasty concoction which smells absolutely gorgeous ( for a fishy additive that is )
My visit had coincided with a hatch of all sorts of flies , bugs, and tadpoles which the fish had obviously been gorging on as the group of German lads the week before had struggled with as only 3 fish had been out after Neil’s trip, which was a surprise. However they had been successful spinning for Zander, with over a dozen fish coming to the net . The whole margins of the lake were alive with all sorts of tiny creatures which led me to believe I may be in for a difficult week ( so what’s new )
Well, wonders will never cease,ten minutes after setting the traps I have a 22lb mirror in the net, followed through the night by fish of 21 & 19 lb, I’m over the moon. Now i know this may sound blasé but I don’t photograph many fish under 30lb these days as I’ve been so lucky to have landed hundreds of fish over this magical barrier on my French visits that they would just be discarded at a later date.This does not mean , however , that they are not important as every 20lb fish from the fishery is a new milestone in its development, but I would rather see a happy customer on the pages of the site holding these fish as that would show that all the hard work that has been put in is beginning to pay dividends, just as our friend Neils trip showed.
Anyway , as I write this, I managed anther fish of just over 20 lb on the morning of Friday 13th and have just enjoyed another fantastic evening meal washed down with wine and kronenbourg.
Traps set , nice pot of tea and listening to the nightly chorus of what seemed like every living creature, owls, all sorts of other birds, frogs, deer, Mum !! Surely tonight would produce as everything felt right.
I was woken at around 7 by the now normal hoovering and dusting ritual on my mums side of the bivvy before she toddled off to the apartment for her morning ablutions. I had to admit compared to my hovel it was pretty tidy and didn’t look like someone had just tossed a grenade in and shut the door. Kettle on and plan my attack for the day I thought but no, I soon had a 21lb mirror nestling in the folds of the net. All the fish so far had come to simple blow back rigs with a single 15mm bottom bait topped with a ting piece of DNA milky malt candy stick to lift it enticingly just off the lake bed , but I had decided it was time for a change so after breakfast two half baits were attached to each rig dumbell style and flicked out to try and trick some larger specimens.
After seeing fish move in the moat , one rod was taken roving and in a short space of time I had 3 fish of 17, 18, and 21 lb under my belt so well chuffed.
During the first few days I had caught glimpses of an unwanted visitor on the bank in the shape of a rather large musk rat or ragodan as they are apparently known in this region of France . Johns trusty air rifle was loaded and ready to go if the wee beastie decided to show itself along with a couple more of its mates that had decided to join him for some sort of ratty rave.
Mum had now got it into her head that these furry critters were Ramadans !! Obviously an Asian relative, how I chuckled.
Sunday dawned without a bleep and the sun shone down ready for my 6 hour round trip to see Tony and Adam at Paradise lakes to deliver their new stock of bait buckets, typical a roasting drive again.
Back to the lake , Polaroids on, new sack of pellets stored away and off to find the fish, and boy did I find them stacked up under the trees with what I will say, a few surprises amongst them, but we will leave these for some lucky customers . No movements of the hangers throughout the night but fish lumping out on the far bank so into Monday full of confidence.
A change of tactics was called for so 2 rods went on a popped up stack of corn and launched to the far bank along with the last boilie set up. Another corn stack was taken on a little stalking session into the moat with 3 fish of 18 , 20 and 21lb coming to the net quite quickly, happy days. Just time for cuppa before bringing rods in then a nice take from under the trees and a tell tale ponderous fight of a better fish resulted in white stripe staring up at me from the net , his second appearance in 3 weeks but this time 1 lb heavier at 36lb 4 oz, and a smug look appeared on my face.
Woke to a lovely sunny day although net curtains mum had put up in bivvy restricted the view a bit, fish look like they are getting rea dy to spawn so hook baits went smaller again, and soon a lovely little 12 lb common was stalked from the moat soon to be followed by a pristine 24 lb mirror from the far bank trees. BBq tonight, yaaaay, then get myself sorted for last day push , just hope the weather stays good, hate packing up in rain.
Weather changed again with a fresh wind howling down into fizzers corner but fish began to show along the tree line, so bit of bait and couple of rods in position for the day. This produced mirrors of 16, 17, 19 and 21 lb before packing the gear away in the rain, yep once again wet smelly stuff to pack in the car.
18 fish in 6 days for around 352 lb I think was a right result given the circumstances, just hope the fish don’t decide to start getting jiggy with it for the return of Steve and Harry in just over a week, maybe one of the big girls will make an appearance , who knows.
Well after a week of once again being pampered beyond belief and fed like kings, it’s time to say au revoir til next time but i will chuckle driving out of the gates with the thought of John on his mower trimming the paths on which the grass had grown at least 3 inches over the week , only to be followed quickly by Mr mole and his band of brothers , who quickly turned these pristine walkways into a mammals version of an adventure playground, grrrr where’s that gun !