A weeks fishing in May 2005 on a 10 acre lake in the Brenne region of France by Paul Cooper.
7th May to 12th May 2005
Having had a long drive to reach our destination, Pat Gillet, Roy Elliot and myself arrived at the lake to in the middle of a cloud burst. The conditions appeared good but the wind appeared to be changing and blowing from the North East and turning cold.
Having spent a couple of hours studying the lake I decided to start my campaign on the west side of the lake. A couple of hours half hearted fished and retreated to my bed, to start fishing am on the Sunday.
I arrived back at my swim on Sunday morning to find a very cold Easterly wind blowing and high pressure dominating the weather. Conditions were not at their best. Not a cloud in the sky.
I started out by baiting up 2 areas with trout pellets and around 1kg of Angling Lines Special 18mm boilies on each mark.
The first run came around 11.30pm that evening and resulted in a deep bellied lightly scaled mirror carp weighing 34lb 8oz. Due to the time of night and not wanting to sack a fish up for any length of time, the fish was videoed and photographed immediately then returned back to the sanctuary of the 10 acre lake.
The fishing was looking to be slow and I knew from the forecast that wind was not due to change for the next few days. On the Monday afternoon I had seen a couple of large carp crashing out in a small bay to my right. It was impossible to cast a bait to the fish so I chose to take a rod down to the corner and to stalk the fish with a free-lined 18mm A.L Special boilie. This resulted in a 2 fish catch, a 26lb 4oz mirror and a 23lb 8oz mirror.
The second night produced a number of runs from a couple of small carp, and some decent sized tench, this keeping me awake for most of the night. Around 5am on the Tuesday morning I had a run from open water that resulted in a 29lb Mirror. There was still high pressure and a strong Easterly wind blowing straight into my face, the conditions were not getting any better. The other 2 members of my fishing party had only managed 1 carp between them and it was obvious that we all were going to have to work hard to tally up a good catch of carp.
Around 11.30am another open water run which gave me a 31lb mirror.
The wind was again picking up and around 19.30am I wheedled out this 23lb 12oz mirror.
A quiet night and still no other fish caught on the lake by Pat or Roy. It’s now Wednesday around 1.30pm and the fish were starting show on the far bank in the calmer water so I cast 18mm A.L Special bottom bait to the far bay. After around ½ hour that same rod rattled off. I struck into the fish securing the hook. I could tell that this was a bigger fish but after only a few seconds I felt the slack line and the loss of the fish. Having checked my end rig I could see that my new set up of using a figure of eight knot on the hook length had snapped at the point of the knot. The knot had strangulated on the line causing a weakness.
Change of rig without this knot and I was back into the water with that rod again. 20 minutes later I could see that Pat was into a good fish on the shallower part of the lake on the East bank. I went around to assist with photographs to see that he had banked a 40lb 4 oz mirror. What else could I see? The other part of my hook rig, a barbless Ashima size 4 heavy carp hook with my hair rigged A.L Special boilie attached!!
A few fish were now showing on this east bank in the calm warmer water, so a quick move to the far end of the bank to Pat was pitched and I soon banked a 25lb 6oz mirror followed by a 23lb 4 oz mirror and a 15lb mirror. The water here was shallow and I decided not to fish over night but to return to the swim at first light on the Thursday morning.
Returning to the swim the next day I found the weather was changing, heavy rain was forecast. I managed a further 22lb 4 oz common from the shallows then moved back to the West bank where I had seen fish head and shouldering.
4.30am the Friday morning and a slow drop back produced a 34lb mirror. From the same location in open water that most of the fish had come from at the beginning of the week.
This was the same fish that I had caught on the Sunday night but it had lost 8oz in weight!
The rain had now set in for the day and it was the last day of a very hard week’s fishing.
No fish were moving out in the lake but I had again seen fish moving in that bay to my right. One more free-lined 18mm A.L Special boilie and another 23lb 4oz common.
This was one of the most difficult week’s fishing that I have had over the last few years on my French trips but I still managed to put 12 good sized fish on the bank. Pat managed the 1 x 40, and 5 other 20’s and Roy 2 x 30’s.
All my fish were caught on 18mm Angling Lines Special bottom baits that had been air dried for around 6 days.
I am due to fish in the Limoges area of France in July this year with Jim Kelly and will be again using A.L Specials as I do have complete faith in the success of this bait.