I‘ve have experienced a cracking few nights on the bank over recent weeks; a few socials with plenty of carp banked, as well as numerous trips out filming videos and shooting articles. I would be lying if I said I’ve had anytime to relax around work, but I am loving life!
March saw me start my campaign on the new syndicate, which has unfortunately took a bit of a back seat but is certainly a venue I will be giving full attention to in the future to target a very special fish that resides there, so watch this space!
I spent a very enjoyable 36 hours at Stanwick Fisheries on Mallard Lake and although the lake was busy I was able to winkle a couple of fish for the CC Moore and Total Carp magazine cameras. To see how I got on check out the CC Moore YouTube channel or alternatively this months copy of Total Carp. We saw the show season out in style at the Big One in Farnborough, it was a mega show with literally thousands of people looking for a bargain before the warmer weather kicked in. It was a great occasion and one I look forward to attending next year.
A few days after the show, I just happened to bump into a good friend of mine who regularly travels across the channel for a session in France to a venue I visited with him and a group of others a couple of years ago. After a little bit of arm twisting and slight desperation I’d managed to get myself on his next trip.
Usually, I like to have as much time as possible to prepare for a Trip to France, as for me, like a lot of English anglers who make the journey south, it’s not only a week fishing but it’s also a holiday and a break from work. Taking this into account, preparation is a key factor when it comes to a trip abroad to maximise time and comfort out there.
On the Advice of a friend who regularly fishes the venue, I certainly didn’t want to run out of bait, so on this trip I took 40kg of boilie – 30kg of which was shelf life and 10kg of freezer bait in a mix of Pacific Tuna and the Odyssey XXX, along with plenty of matching pellet and some particle to help bulk my mix out. The CC Moore range of shelf life baits are so high in quality I have just as much confidence in using them from not only an attraction point of view, but also for fish digestion, just as I do the freezer range.
It makes the hassle of Freezer space so much easier, plus I always have a few bags in the van just incase! With bait sorted, it’s onto tackle. My everyday setup of 3.5lb test curve Fox Horizon rods, matched with a large big pit reel are about a beefy as I need in this country, I have the upmost confidence in taking this setup abroad, the only inclusion being a strong, tapered leader, onto my 18lb Exocet mainline.
We arrived on the Sunday morning to be greeted by the guys leaving, and after quick chat we were made aware that a couple of the guys had struggled and a couple even blanked. After slightly denting our confidence, we were still excited, knowing what the lake could potentially produce, so we made our way to our drawn swims and proceeded to set up.
Unusually for me, I decided to get camp sorted and organised, before rushing to get the rods out. A week is a long time on the bank so there is no need to panic from the off and get in a muddle. After a quiet first day, we headed into the first night, and just as the sun disappeared over the horizon it properly kicked off with a treble take. Between me and my fishing partner for the week, we had three takes all within literally seconds causing complete havoc in the swim! Terry landed one, which was a solid 51lb mirror, before I landed a 49lb 10oz chunk whilst he then played in a mid 30. Not a bad start for sure!
I’d gone on the trip, with the plan to use my classic bottom bait rig, which I had a rig box full of! A semi stiff 25lb light camo Camotex hook link, through to a size 4 or 5 Medium Curv, Edges hook. I like to fish it blow back style with a small piece of tubing trapping the hair on the shank of the hook, dead opposite the barb, for maximum effectiveness. It was as simple as a boilie straight out of the bag as hook bait choice, an 18mm Pacific Tuna, was what most of my bites came to over the next few days.
The second night was another sleepless one, seeing me take 4 fish including a brace of 40lb mirrors at 43lb 6oz and 40lb 8oz. Getting off to such a positive start was exactly what I needed to give me the assurance in my bait and tactics allowing me to stick with them, and not have to change anything about. As the week went on, I managed to land a total of 23 fish, with the highlight being a magnificent 38lb 8oz scaly mirror. I’d had a well needed break from the hard graft of the site work, and caught a few which was a right bonus! Safe to say after getting home late on the Sunday night, it wasn’t the easiest morning wake up call, to my alarm for work!
It was back to my normal routine of the overnighters, hopefully which will pay off in the near future!
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