5 December, 2017 |0 Comments
Carper Phillip Kingsbury talks about how Monster Tiger Nut Red Amo helped him to a memorable carp fishing trip in France. Phil used them with our Red Amo hardened hookbaits and flouro pop-ups, flavouring his feed boilies with Squid Liquid Oil.
The date was set and soon enough I was loading my car. I had to drive to Basingstoke to meet the other fellas, Ali, Andy and Mikey, and then we had to load the vans. We were heading to Dover early Friday morning to take the train to Calais then drive for six hours south to the Limoges region where we had rented a lovely guest house for the night, so on the Saturday we wouldn’t be knackered as it was only an hour to the lake.
The weather was bang on with light rain and low pressure, I thought being this far down south it must be mostly hot and sunny but the owner told me it rains here a lot bit like back home, but still I’ll take this weather over hot and high pressure any day. The lake was set in beautiful oak woodland and it looked like an English estate lake. Soon as I got to the lake I got my brand new XL carp sack and filled it with ten kilos of Monster Tiger nut Red Amo and this I hung in the Margins off the bottom so to wash the bait out, I’m a big fan of doing this.
Ali and Andy had already picked there swims so it was up to me and Mikey to decide where we were going to fish. There was a dam wall that had two swims, the right looked the better of the two because you had open water but mainly it was about the right side margin which had about hundred yards of tree line over hanging the water.
The lake had very little, if any weed, so obviously the snaggy areas would be a good choice. Funny thing was my brother Pete had kindly lent me his bait boat but to cut a long story short I took the boat but forgot all the batteries – the rest of the group had them with all the gadgets fish finders, GPS the works.
With this in mind we said before we got there that we would toss a coin to see who would be on the left or right side – I won the toss and decided to let Mikey have the right side and I would fish into open water instead.
After an few casts with the marker float I’d found that it was quite a flat bottom with a lot of choddy blanket weed going from 12ft in the margins and about 9ft out at 80 yards. There was a little area which was just over fourteen wraps that was clearer, so I decided to fish two rods on it. I was happy with both my rods. They would be fished the same balanced snowman using the Red Amo hardened hook bait and a flouro pink pop-up which I added a few squirts of some of the new Evolution winterised Smoked Salmon oil. Rig wise I’m a big fan of tying my own Fluorocarbon leaders and just recently been using the OPTI-MEX from Sufix in 20lbs. It’s strong yet supple and almost invisible, in water. The lead would be fished on a safety clip and at the business end was a size 4 hook with a long hair attached to a little sliding ring with a short length of Sufix Kameleon in 25lb tied with an Albright knot to a stiff fluorocarbon boom of about ten inches.
After setting up my gear and tying a few rigs I grabbed the carp sack that was in the margin with 10 kilos of boilies in, I took out a kilo and put them in a bucket, to this I added some squid liquid and a few squirts of the new Citrus Oil and put the sack with the remainder of boilies back in the margins.
I spombed out the kilo over the two rods then sat back and cracked open a beer. No drama and the night passed with no action for any of us, when it got light I noticed a lot of fizzing on my spot and around the area. I was thinking to myself one of the rods is going to go in a minute and with that my right rod pulled up tight and I was into the first carp of the trip. It put up a good fight and after a little while there was a carp lying in the bottom of my net – happy days. It was a clean mirror of thirty three pound and after a couple of photos I slipped her back. I didn’t recast I just left the other two rods out there for the rest of the morning. The reason for this is that I didn’t have the help of a bait boat that would take my rig back out to the spot without making a sound of a 3oz lead and casting on any carp that were still feeding, also I’m a big fan of resting my swim during the day.
About twelve o’clock the fizzing had stopped so I made the decision to reel the rods in and go for a walk round the lake but before I went I grabbed the sack from the margins and by this time the boilies had faded to a very subtle pink and when I broke one in half they were still firm but washed out perfect. By this time it was lightly raining I spombed out five kilos of the washed out boilies with some Squid liquid food and a couple of squirts of the Evolution Citrus oil over the area, all done I went for a walk up the far end to the shallows armed with my Marker rod catapult, some Frenzied Corn and a few handfuls of the Red Amo boilies.
Mikey and I where both fishing the dam wall and Ali and Andy were round to my left outside the lodge so there was no one up the shallow end, so up the top I went to an area called Pine bay and after having a few casts I found it to be quite silty and only two to three foot deep. There was one spot in particular which was just under three foot that when the lead hit the bottom I felt it donk down, it was also clearer than the surrounding area. I thought I would bait this but to do this it was better that I go round the other side as there would be less distance and therefore concentrate the spread of the corn. All done I walked back round to my swim on the dam wall just to see if there was any activity on my spot as it was quiet, I went round to have a beer with Ali and Andy.
The Second Night…
I stayed chatting with them for the rest of the afternoon and after dinner Mikey and I got back to our swims. I put my two rods back out at fourteen and a half wraps and my third rod I moved over to the right side and a little bit nearer at 13 wraps, this was fished with a supple boom with a short chod rig and a 15mm floro pink Red Amo cork ball popup that had been soaking in squid liquid food for a few days with a three bait stringer attached. All too quickly it was getting dark, very dark in fact as there was no moon light. When I got in my bag I felt confidant of some action as I could hear the sound of carp rolling out there in the darkness. It was about five the next morning when I heard a few bleeps on the middle rod I jumped out my bed and pointed my head touch at the bobbin but nothing was moving then I shone it in the margins where my line wasentering the water and I noticed the line twitching then it started moving towards the right rod, so I wound done to a solid resistance and I was in. This felt a bigger fish as it powered off but after a few minutes and not too much trouble it was ready for the net. As I shone my head torch into the net I thought oh yes that’s a better fish then I just put it in the retainer. Because it was still early I got the middle rod back out right on the spot. I stuck the kettle on and made myself a coffee and waited till it got light. While I was doing this Ali walked into my swim as he had guessed I’d had a fish, it was a nice chunk mirror 56lb plus, happy days.
As I sat in my bivvy looking out over the water with the sun coming up over the trees my spot was shimmering as big oily bubbles broke the surface I thought this is looking good. Just then my left rod beeped, I went over to it and the same thing with the line was happening I said to Mikey that I’ve got another take here he said “what” as I pulled into another carp. Straight away I knew this was a good one, it just didn’t want to come to the surface. When it finally broke the surface I will never forget the size of its head, and then it powered off and after a few heart stopping moments with the line pinging off the dorsal it was ready for netting. I said “cheers Mikey you did a grand job”. In my landing net lay the biggest carp I’ve ever seen, it was nailed the size 4 hook hold was great, I popped the hook out and got help putting her in the weight sling. My previous best abroad was 60lb and when my mates started laughing I said “come on lets have a look” flipping hell and at 65lb it was a beast, the width across it’s back as I slipped her back will stay with me forever and we still had four nights left.
In hindsight I should have moved up the top to the shallow end but I didn’t after having no more action after the 65lb mirror. On the Friday morning I decided I’ve got one more night so let’s make it happen. I packed away from the dam wall and barrowed enough gear up to the top end so I could do the last night, just two rods needed a couple of cans of corn and a kilo of Red Amo and as I said before no one apart from me had been baiting it so I knew where my two rods needed to be. Both went down with a donk then I quickly ran round opposite and catapulted a can of corn over both rods and chucked a few 15mm Red Amo over the top all done. I ran back and sorted my rods tightened my clutches then sat back and cracked open a beer and before long it was getting dark, I was shattered so I got my head down as I did I heard a lot of fish boshing to my left in the mouth of the bay where Ali and Andy was fishing so I thought they’ve got to visit my spot at some point. At midnight I had a savage take on one of my rods and I grabbed it before the rod went in and after a spirited battle a lump of a mirror was in the net as it started raining. I just waded out a little unhooked it and let it swim out – happy days. It could have been 35 or 45, to be fair it was just the catching of it that made the move worth while I didn’t bother recasting just leaving the one rod out there and at 6am I reeled my rod in and packed away and barrowed my gear back to the van then headed the long journey home but what a week and what a place – First Class.