5 May, 2017 |0 Comments
After experiencing a dreadful couple of days fishing the World Cap Classic Qualifier, Dynamite Baits’ Matt Eden’s French trip more than made up for it…
“With the onset of spring and the warmer weather kicking in, my fishing calendar spurs itself into life. Starting off with a hectic match schedule – including various important qualifiers -, I suddenly realised my tri-yearly French trip had come ‘crashing’ into my diary faster than anticipated.
With 52-weeks in the year and only one of these currently booked, that thing called Sod’s Law decided to rear its ugly head, in the form of a date clash!
It just so happened the weekend I was due to head to France clashed with the World Carp Classic UK Qualifier on Wraysbury’s South Lake. Some dilemma to have! Do I attend the WCC or go to France?
Sometimes, being the boss of your own business does have its upsides, so a full 10-days of fishing was planned – Wraysbury Thursday to Sunday, then straight down to the Eurotunnel and bon voyage to Bill’s Lake 3 for a little six-day French odyssey.
Life can be good sometimes, I guess.
So, it was a frantic finish at work on Thursday morning, before I started loading my truck with a frankly ridiculous amount of bait and gear. As it would happen, the Wraysbury match was a disaster. We drew an open water peg and although the scenery and sunsets were lovely, not a single carp graced mine – or my fishing partner, Jake’s – nets. This further upped the ante for France and what was to come.
Just before 8pm, I pulled into Fagnieres and was greeted to my first sight of Bill’s Lake 3. I couldn’t get the rods out quick enough.
With the gear already sorted from Wraysbury, I rigged up a Ronnie rig with a CompleX-T Fluro pop-up hookbait and flicked it towards an overhanging snaggy branch. A liberal scattering (approximately one-kilo) of CompleX-T and Red-Amo, in various sizes was loose fed over the area. The second rod was flicked down my left margin about two rod lengths out, where I had seen a fish roll whilst setting up. The presentation for this was a simple knotless knot, tied KD style, to a size 4 Krank. The hookbait being a 20mm Red Amo bottom bait, tipped with a white 14mm Tiger Nut pop-up. A small mesh bag of pellets, soaked in Marine Halibut oil completed the rig.
My third rod was another Ronnie, with a yellow Pineapple & Banana pop-up and again a small mesh bag of mixed pellets.
Bivvy up, brew on, life was good.
I was halfway through my first cuppa when the bobbin smacked the middle rod and all hell broke loose, the Delkim screaming like mad!
After picking the rod up and feeling nothing, I was left a bit bemused. This occurred several more times in the night and then, in the early hours, a lively sturgeon put in an appearance for my buddy in the next peg. I can only assume the spool-spinning liners were from him working the margin of my swim, picking up my 10mm Tiger Nut boilies and/or mainline?
After finally drifting off, I was awoken by the right-hand rod in meltdown. Five-minutes later and I had landed my first Bill’s Lake carp. A stunning common of 22lb. Not the biggest but after the previous weeks events, a very welcome ‘visitor’ to the bank. The Complex-T pop up claiming its first victim of the week.
As dusk fell on Tuesday, a few fish started to show 60-yards out. Now, if my match fishing has taught me one thing, it’s to try the simple things first. After seeing fish show on the same area three-times, a small mixed mesh pellet bag, followed up with a 12mm CompleX-T bottom bait soaked in Dynamite’s Fish Gutz was launched into the rings of the showing fish and 10-minutes later a slow pull up of the bobbin indicated I was away.
I would love to recount an epic battle, but to be honest, a slow heavy fish just plodded towards me. Holding deep, using its weight to hug the bottom, a few minutes later I was staring at a rather large common carp in the folds of my net.
Yes, a new personal best!
At 48lb 4oz, I was over the moon. Unhooking it in the cradle, my size 4 hook and 12mm bottom bait looked so stupid and insignificant in its gargantuan mouth, but who cares. It had worked. An hour later and a 17lb sturgeon, swiftly followed by another take and a second dropped fish concluded the day’s action.
Same time the next evening and the fish started to show again. This time, a belter of a take resulted in me beating my personal best for a second time, in the form of a cracking 50lb mirror. Again, taken on a 12mm Complex-T bottom bait that had been soaked in Fish Gutz glug.
A 30lb mirror made an appearance an hour later on the same rod and then a 22lb’er, the next afternoon. Things were definitely looking up.
Friday night arrived and thoughts of home started to raise their ugly head.
Just as I drifted off to sleep, on that final night, I had a ‘one toner’ on the 12mm bottom bait/mesh bag rig again.
This time it resulted in an immaculate 45lb common, just to nicely round off an awesome 10-days.
The only change I’d made to my presentation over the session was to soak my PVA bags in Marine Halibut oil. If they were ‘slicking up’ in the chop, it indicated fish were in my swim, and moving over the bags. This helped me to keep a check on whether I’m ‘getting done’. It also helps me to figure out if and when I should consider a re-cast.
Apart from this little edge, I am utterly convinced that glugging my boilies in Fish Gutz got me a couple of extra bites that I may not have had.
Back home and the reality of life has now crept in.
But, sitting here, looking at the pictures from that amazing week, even though the ‘daily grind’ is back, the memories of those few days will last forever.
Two personal bests in the same session as well as witnessing a 70lb’er during the week too, has given me a new target for next year’s trip!
Tight lines and enjoy your magic moments.”