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11 June, 2024 | Carp | Angler Blogs | Articles

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Ian Russell’s Diary May 2024: Etang Du Manoir Memories

Ian Russell’s stacked Diary entry for the month of May starts with a social session at Etang Du Manoir in France and takes us through to a Total Carp filming trip at Hartleylands Fishery with Derek Richie. As always, wherever Ian went, lots of carp were caught!

Ian says…

First up in May was my annual French trip to my friend’s lake called Etang Du Manoir.

This time round I was taking three friends from Norfolk called Tony, Darren and Alex. The overnight ferry as per was a blast and by 10am we were wandering around the lake deciding on the ‘who goes where’ situation.

So Alex was in the ‘All Alone’ swim and Darren in ‘Weedy Bay’, leaving myself and Tony doubling up in the ‘Bus Stop’ – peg 5.

A brilliant situation as we were spread out which would would keep our options open for catching.

My approach was very simple this year – literally solid bags with my Ian Russell 12mm Supa Stench pop ups on a very short braided Ronnie Rig and the bag was filled with 3mm Dynamite Halibut Pellets and 4mm CompleX-T pellets.

Tony was fishing Ronnies with the same pop-ups over the new Peppered Squid 12mms.

Now the lads had expressed a desire to each catch a 50lb-plus carp and this was definitely the place in my opinion to do just that – and just to prove it, Tony’s first take was a lovely 57lb 1oz mirror and to say he was overjoyed would be an understatement!

Darren was next with a huge 59lb 14oz mirror and the week had kicked off lovely. For myself a nice 20-pounder started the proceedings which was then followed with a big old 56-pounder as well.

56lb of Manoir’s best!

As the week progressed the fish tally grew steadily with Alex having a few to low 30’s along the way. My best fish of the week came in the shape of a silver-coloured Koi called ‘The Bomber’ at 45lb and to say this fought hard is a massive understatement but I was chuffed to bits and I braced it with a 55lb mirror as well!

Soon enough it was time to catch the homeward bound ferry and say our goodbyes to Jason and family.

After some rest bite on the Saturday, the following Sunday morning I was at the mega Tadley Outlaw Pro store for an Open Day. Now I do love these days that Outlaw Pro put on as nothing is too much trouble for them and this day was certainly no exception.

Kate the manager had worked extremely hard to make this a success and it was as well.

After a couple of days sorting through kit after the French trip, I found myself on Hardwick at Linear with tutorial client Darren for 48-hours and what a great trip it turned out to be! We covered everything Darren required and more and although the fishing was challenging to say the least, we each managed a few to upper 20s.

These were caught on what is quickly turning into my favourite Dynamite Bait – the new Peppered Squid in 12mm sizes. Along with sweetcorn and Frenzied Garlic Hempseed, we kept steady takes coming and with Darren staying on in the swim for a couple more days the action steadily grew.

I do still enjoy my tutorial work even after 20 odd years of doing them. To see client’s faces when catching descent-sized carp will always put a smile on my face!

My next work assignment was a 24-hour sort of comp against one of my favourite anglers/friends in the form of my Uncle Derek Richie. Now Derek may be known more for his hi jinks in carp angling but he certainly knows how to catch them so this would be no walkover for me.

Hassan would be the presenter with my old pal Tom Gibson on camera and it was all arranged through Capital Carp competitions. Whelford Pool’s Top lake was the venue and as neither of us had ever set eyes on the place, it was fairly even I’d say.

We pegged up opposite each other in the far end bay and began fishing. I’d almost forgotten how loopy Derek can be but was soon reminded lol. Loads of carp were present but to be fair for an easy venue they made us work for them with neither of us grabbing more than a couple of hours kip over the 24 hours.

Battling it out with Darren!

My approach was fairly simple with Short Ronnie Rigs and a variety of different hookbaits used. The result? Well you’ll have to wait and see when the footage is released but it was a scream as you would imagine. The long drive home was a tough one as I was bloomin’ knackered.

So to end the month, my Total Carp Trouble Shooter feature was arranged for one of my favourite and most reliable venues for this type of work and that being on Nick’s Lake at Hartelylands Fishery in Kent.

I arrived first and soon enough Louie and Matty followed suit.

The focus was a back to basics instructional piece so simple blow back rigs and 20mm Peppered Squid Hard Hookbaits yet again was the way forward.

My new favourite Dynamite boilie in a 20mm Hard Hookbait version, soaked in Tuna Evo Oil!

Using a catapult to feed 20mms and fishing the Hard hookbaits which I had pre-soaked in our Tuna Oil kept a steady stream of bites coming throughout our 24 hours but again, to see a more in-depth review of the trip check out the next Total Carp magazine!

Hartleylands was yet again kind to us!

Till next month, tight lines.

-Ian Russell

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