So, after my visit to Lac De Premiere last month I have only fished once in the UK. That trip was a short overnighter on an unusually busy syndicate. Needless to say it ended in a blank but nevertheless still an enjoyable evening. Working hard doing 2 jobs for a whole week as my buddy was recovering meant little fishing time. Week 2 consisted of preparing for my next trip to France.
Picking up bait from Mainline and Carp Particles UK, reespooling line delivered, changing batteries in alarms and receivers.....you know how the list of bits to do goes on and on. As it was Drive and Survive I needed more kit than usual. Cook bag, Fridge, food, double burner, washing up bowl, so almost the kitchen sink!
Rather than have a manic early hours of the rush getting all this in Lee's van I drove down to drop most of it off. We chatted over a few brews about the week ahead like a couple of kids leading up to Christmas. With all the gear in we said goodbye and both knew little sleep would be had before picking me up.
Lee and I were invited to join this lake exclusive booking and what a privilege. We had a smooth run down off the 06:20 Tunnel with Lee at the wheel for a few hours and arrived in good time prior to the off. A brew was in order and meeting up with the bailiff next door took care of that for us and made us very welcome, thanks Craig. Having not been here before, but seeing a few photographs of the place we sure were not disappointed. Approximately 22 acres and an out of bounds area marked with a boundary of buoys. There was no draw as the swims were all allocated by the organisers in the form of a pre draw. After a brew and yadda about the week ahead we made our way to the swims. Our particular one had not produced a fish the whole of the previous week so it was looking like we would have to work hard for a bite. The first day/night is always a little bit tiring, finding your spots, setting up all the kit and trying to grab a bite to eat too. An early night was very welcoming, what with the travel and early pick up I never sleep properly before going away.
My approach, almost the same as at home with boilie and particles but.....with the advantage of using a bait boat with GPS/echo sounder. This enabled me to "map out" the features in front of me that I had been told about. Really just confirming those and also enabling easier bait placement at 160 yards plus. It makes feature finding so much quicker this way and I've never done this before. The boat of choice was from X Boat UK, a top piece of kit! A really well made boat that does exactly what it says on the tin, one of my rods was placed at 220 yards and by setting a waypoint on it this helped put out a baited rig and freebies on the same spot every time!
My first bite resulted in a loss of a fish with severely severed line. Probably from a mussel bed and to say I was gutted was an understatement. That was the long rod at 220. Leaders were then deployed to prevent this happening again. This place is notorious for nighttime bites so after that loss in the dark I was determined to get a bite during the day. I said to Lee "I am going to catch a fish today!" Within 10 minutes my rod placed at the edge of a plateau signalled a bite. The end result was a 33lbs Grass Carp, ok not what I was after but a fish nonetheless. Such an immaculate creature, I politely told it to tell the cousins to come see me!
It was pretty alien to me fishing via a boat so whilst being able to use four rods I decided to fish one as I would at home. I ran a marker rod out in front of me and found the marginal shelf and a small gulley. So, marker work done "old school" I ran the boat over it and yep it sure confirmed my own findings. Placing a bait there seemed to be the right thing to do. A milky toffee pop up and a good helping of boilie and particle were dispatched over it. Just before midnight a positive take on that rod had me attached to a very angry inhabitant. The battle was won and I was staring at a nice sized mirror in the net. I woke Lee for a hand and we weighed it in at 41lbs and 2ozs. My Rhino Beam LED hot shoe attached light sure come in handy as it was pitch black.
With that one returned and bait placed back on the spot topped up with a little more bait the next piece of activity was on the plateau rod again. Another Grassie that was returned without being weighed or photographed. Rod back out and back to kip. All was quiet until 5:15 am when my margin rod signalled a drop back. Lifting into a fish and feeling it come up the marginal shelf the battle was short lived resulting in a hook pull. Gutted.
Ohh, let me mention the food and the company. Let me tell you we have ate like kings! Tom Wright and his son Lee cooked Leeman an I a chicken curry one night, top notch that was. Andy who was fishing on the opposite side of the lake has been cooking BBQ's from about the age of 11. Boy does he know how to cook. Seven, yes seven, kilos of lamb on a BBQ with three rotisseries. The meat was the sweetest I have ever tasted and served with salad and pasta with a light tomato dressing. Man that was awesome. Then we have had two massive joints of beef, courtesy of Andy and Jay, again with salad and potatoes this time. Leeman did an awesome Fajitas dish and a BBQ too. The banter was so funny and it's still rolling now.
To summarise, Lee Wright smashed PB's twice with a 53lbs 5ozs Mirror then a 78! Leeman had them up to 50lbs 8ozs, a lovely mint Common. John Flewin with a 45lb PB Mirror. Arron Fisher with a 90lbs Sturgeon. Elliot Anastasiou with a PB 59 Mirror. Andy Anastasiou with them up to 50lbs (Common). Jay Humphreys also with a 50lb Mirror. Peter Carr with fish up to 53.
Me, with a tally of a 41lbs 2oz mirror, 3 Grass carp, a 65lbs Sturgeon and three lost. Not bad considering it was hard going in a swim that did not produce a bite the week before.
That's all from me until next time......
All the best,