French Trip Part Two
Tue 28 October 14
It ain’t ‘arf hot mum…Part Two
So now we were both off the mark with fish and ready to chill out and enjoy the fishing a little more with no pressure! Mark was also back on the rods; annoyingly for him this only lasted until 3am when he managed his second fish of the trip in the shape of a 33lb mirror.
We’d decided before we got to the lake that on Tuesday afternoon we’d all reel in and head round to swim 5&6 for a bbq, Adam’s birthday falls during the trip and as people are reluctant to bring their rods in later in the week for a social it was decided that Tuesday was the best day. In the morning a few of us headed off to the local supermarket to pick up supplies for the week and also get some food for the bbq, we all chipped in some money which as it turns out was way too much as the amount of food that we came back with would have fed double the number of people.
That afternoon was probably one of the funniest afternoons I can remember in my life, Terry took it upon himself to dance to Madness and sing/dance to Elvis, a funnier sight you will not see in your life, some of the guys have videos and photographic proof but I wouldn’t share them here, after all some things do need to “stay on the bank”
As the bbq was winding down Lane was trying to convince Penfold that he needed to move at least one of his rods into the triangle of water between 3 swims, as the other swims couldn’t fish it safely he was the only one who could realistically fish this water. After a lot of convincing Dave offered to drop the rigs as he went back to his swim, bearing in mind he was one of the anglers bordering this area he knew exactly where it needed to go. The two rods were set and in less than an hour he was in to his first fish of the trip. Once it had been landed I took a walk round with my camera in case he needed any extra shots, arriving at the same time as Lane it was clear from his face it was a good one, on the scales she went just over 51lb a new pb for Penfold, he was in such shock we had to help him put the rod back out!
It was also clear from chatting to Lane that the fish appeared to be preparing to spawn again so it was obviously going to be a tough end to the week and any fish we could pick up would be a bonus. So back to the swim and it wasn’t long before I was up and into another fish, just after 2:30am the buzzer sounded and I groggily headed out and commenced battle with another carp. This one came in without too much effort although it did go through one of the other lines right near the end but that could wait until morning to be sorted; my second fish was 44lb. So far we’d had 4 fish from 6 takes in our swim although visually we’d seen no signs of any carp at all. Anyway Mark was back on the rods and as it was nearly 3:30am I headed off to bed.
No sooner had I closed my eyes than B&H had arrived in my swim, he’d landed a big one and wanted some help with photos and weighing it, I asked him if it was over 50lb and when he said yes I suggested he get Lane as well, my reasoning being that to my knowledge no-one takes a better trophy shot than Lane and if this fish was a pb then he would definitely need to be there. So up I got and off I went back round to swim 5&6 meeting Lane as I got there.
At this point neither Penfold or B&H had properly looked at the fish, it was only when we got her out to photo that we all realised just how big the fish was….65lb a fish which had smashed his previous PB. We popped the fish back into the retainer sling whilst we made sure that everything was 100% ready on the bank, after all you don’t want to be messing about on the bank needing things. Watching him try and lift this massive fish was hilarious, even better had to be the final picture that I took. Penfold could see I was lining up for a final shot and drenched B&H with a full bucket of water just as I took the shot; it was one of those once in a million shots but just looks brilliant.
Wednesday slipped by and once again around midnight (bedtime) Mark was in again, this fish led him merry hell and he was forced to go out in the boat where it proceeded to tow him around for well over 30 minutes, as he paddled back to shore it was clear from his face that despite being dragged around it wasn’t a particularly big fish but I have to say one of the prettiest commons I have seen in a while, at 27lb not a fish that is special by Island lake standards but definitely one for the future and going by the size of its tail this fish is going to give a lot of people hell over the coming years.
As mentioned the weather was hot, but Thursday easily had to be the hottest day I have ever spent on the bank, with the forecast set to be mid to high 30’s that day they definitely got the forecast spot on, there was nowhere to hide from the inferno that day and as the sun went down we both sat and chilled out for a while enjoying the marginally cooler weather. Nothing happened that night and I have to say it was really nice to have an interruption free sleep.
Early Friday morning Mark and I decided for a final onslaught, with the water being flat calm it meant the spots we’d been fishing all week were extremely easy to place baits on and required no manoeuvring of the boat to hold the spot, all 6 rods were re-baited and the rigs taken out and placed perfectly. The day looked like it would be a smidge cooler and late afternoon the cloud rolled in and the rain started, now if I am honest earlier in the week this would have been welcome but the two things you hope for on a week trip are that it is dry when you set up and dry when you pack away, the way the rain was coming it looked like we were going to be putting away our kit wet. However, as quickly as the cloud came, it went and we were left with a beautiful sunset. After we’d eaten we packed away as much kit as we could, all but a stove, kettle and mugs was packed away in the hut which meant in the morning there would just be the normal fishing gear to pack away.
Around 2am I had a take, only the second one to come from my rods, like Mark’s common this one led me a merry dance around the lake in the boat, it had been hooked on my left hand rod which was out towards the point by peg 14, after a tour of most of the water of peg 1&2 we then took a trip around the bay by peg 3&4, back to 1&2’s water before speeding off in front of peg 5 where I finally managed to net it. This was my first ever 30 from the lake and at 32lb nowhere near the lake average but definitely a fish for the future, it was apparent that judging by the colour the fish had not long spawned.
Sadly, the morning came round with no more takes, the weather had broken and was much cooler everything looked excellent for the next set of anglers, although as it happens the fish didn’t play ball and they struggled. As a group only one person blanked, the Island lake is by no means easy but we had all fished really hard for our captures, the previous 2 trips have seen 22 fish landed on our week, we were one down but given that the fish had spawned during the week I feel we did really well.
Annoyingly I cannot go on next year’s trip as it falls on the first week of the school term and as the school relies on the IT team so heavily I won’t be allowed to take that week off. On the plus side Lane has organized a week to Etang du Bois in March next year, now at that time of year the weather can be up and down, we may have a frozen lake for part or even all the week but if the weather is good then we could get some epic early season French fishing!
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