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2 June, 2023 | Carp | Angler Blogs | Articles


Ian Russell’s Diary May 2023

Arguably his busiest month yet with trips to France, German and the UK in the bag! Here’s how Ian Russell’s May in fishing played out…

Ian says… 

May was certainly a month I was looking forward to as I had loads planned. First was a return trip to my friend’s lake in France called Etang Du Manoir.

It had been about 5 years since my last visit so four of us boarded the overnight ferry at Portsmouth and the trip began. The usual hi jinx took place onboard as well as a £10 a man bet on the week’s largest carp was struck!

We sat and watched what can only be described as the world’s worst comedian on stage and chatted the evening away alongside hoards of fellow carp anglers. Before long it was time to crash out and no sooner had I shut my eyes that my alarm was ringing and it was time to get up for brekkie.

Jason’s Lake is only 1 ½ hours from St Malo so we soon arrived to be greeted by Kim and Jason, my good friends and owners of Etang. The lake looked amazing so we set about selecting swims, with Michael in peg 9 AKA the ‘All Alone’ swim. Keith set up in Weedy Bay and myself and Matty got to double up in peg 5 which covers the main body of the lake.

We hurriedly set up and in no time had rods dotted about all over the place. Matty had a lot of fish showing in his open water area so elected on a boilie approach. This being 20mm Crave of which I had brought 20 kilo of along with me. I had the island to my left so out came the RT4 and in it went half a tin of XL Sweetcorn and 10 x 20mm Crave, with my usual size 4 Medium Curve Ronnies and some different pop ups on them.

19lb Velocity was my reel line of choice because of possible branches underwater. This line is virtually unbreakable an gave me full confidence that I’d land anything I hooked.

The first night passed quietly but that all changed in the morning when I had a 25lb common and a 35lb mirror from the far end of the island, so we were away! Matty soon followed that with a 43lb 8oz mirror.

Matty’s 43lb 8oz mirror – £10 in the bag? 

As the week progressed we were racking up quite a list of 40s until I had a 50lb 14oz mirror putting me right in line for the £10 a man winnings!

Matty wasn’t in the lead for long! 50lb 14oz and Ian takes the top spot!

Matty then had a large orange carp in the morning which almost tail walked all over his boilie area! This was known as The Baby Tiger fish and was an extremely rare visitor to the bank so we were convinced it would trip up to Matty.

However, the next morning and the rod furthest away from Matty’s area was away and when it rolled in the edge I saw an even larger orange carp and we all roared with laughter. Matty’s words cannot be written here LOL. But at 35lb, I was certainly not complaining.

Ian also banked his very own Orange Carp at 35lb!

Keith and Michael had been amongst them as well with both taking good 40s between them.

So with all the banter and a hat full of good fish the week was bang on form. My last bite was late Friday afternoon and went 48lb but we wound Michael up by shouting and hooting that it was somewhat larger and he came running round with all his camera looking much like a Japanese tourist!

Ian’s last carp was this 48lb beauty

With that the week came to an end unfortunately and we were soon back on the ferry and returning to reality. We ended on 23 carp to my 50lb 14oz one taking the prize money much to Michael’s dismay LOL.

The action was think and fast at Manoir, but alas, all good things must come to an end!

It was late Saturday evening, I arrived home and Steve Coe was due to pick me up Sunday evening to travel to Germany to not only meet our German consultant team but our French Boss Michael and his right hand man Max for a on the bank product meeting. Talk about out of the pan and into the fire, but no rest for the wicked and all that!

The journey was awful too be honest. It took 10 hours and that was from Calais! Sitting in a van’s passenger seat for what seemed like an endless journey was not my idea of fun I can tell you, but following a couple of sleep periods in lay-bys in either France or Germany, we finally arrived lakeside at 3.30pm on the Monday, absolutely bloody knackered.

Being greeted by 8 excited German’s soon perked us up and we set about getting fishing before an evening social. Although the guys offered us the use of their boats we wanted to go English style with Steve going ridiculously Long Range with a solid bag approach and myself finding a slightly deeper area at 20 wraps and applying a bucket of Monster Tiger Nut 15mm boilies and Sweetcorn and Frenzied Hemp with a Size 4 Ronnie on top of it.

Time would tell as to which approach would be more successful…

The evening was a good laugh with the lads and Claudia but soon enough the journey caught up with us and it was time for some kip. Steve was away soon after dark with a mid 20 and about 1 am I was into a mental battle which turned out to be an enormously long 40lb 4oz mirror. Well happy – my first German carp and it was a 40!

Ian’s first German carp was this long, lean 40!

Steve had a couple of low doubles in the night and a 28-pounder at first light. His bag approach certainly picked up more bites but smaller carp LOL.

The French guys then arrived and the day was spent filming the new Okuma Obsidian Reels and talking products with Michael and Max. A late afternoon BBQ was consumed and bed was called for as unbelievably, we were to be off homeward bound at 7am.

With traffic it was 11 hours before we pulled up at Calais and treated ourselves to a well-earnt Burger King meal before boarding the train.

By the time I arrived home I was truly ruined. But having in the last week had 40s from France and Germany I was buzzing and the next morning set of for a 24-hour trip to Horton Church Lake to try for a 3x country hattrick within a week!

But alas, the lake was sown up in the areas that any carp were present so a social night was spent in excellent company being Terry Dean, a friend of mine from W1.

The weekend was spent with my Son Lee and his Daughters Gracie Mai and Harriet and some amazing family time was had. A clothes shopping trip in Staines with the two girls was hilarious!

Now with Monday arriving I was again on the road with Total Carp to Hartley Lands Fishery to shoot my monthly Trouble Shooter feature and our Client was a chap called Andy whom I had met at the Outlaw Pro day and as he was in recovery from Cancer, we took it upon ourselves to get him out with us fishing.

Well, a wonderful 36-hours was spent laughing and catching some lovely carp but to read about that you will need to grab a Total Carp won’t you!

The carp in Hartley Lands are stunning to say the least!


It’s now early Sunday as I write this up and yesterday (the 27th) I spent the day over on Hayling Island at Mick’s Tackle and have to say having attended lots and lots of these open days, this particular one was the most amusing and hilarious one I have ever attended. The shop itself is bloody amazing with so much stock from all the major brands. It truly is an Alladin’s cave for the carp, sea and pleasure angler alike.

Mick treated us all to a slap up restaurant meal next to the shop in a lovely little place ironically called Mike’s Kitchen before we set off home.

Tomorrow sees me on the road again to Tony Kingdon’s Furzebray Fishery for a few days filming with Dan Murrel who runs the Go Catch media site.

This year for me has been amongst the busiest of my angling life so far and I have no personal fishing in my sights at all for many months yet. Not a complaint as I love my work but at times, I wish there was two of me too keep up.

More to come next month!

Be Lucky – Ian Russell

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