Great little story from Andrew Redfearn:
“We arrived at Laroussi, France, mid morning on the 24th April to find there were only 2 other lads booked on for the entire week. Although this sounds fantastic, it can be a double-edged sword as the fish tend to move away from the pressure and into the empty pegs. There was no need to draw for swims as the other lads who were from Holland, and I have to say were very nice guys indeed, wanted to double up on The Point swim leaving the rest of the lake to us.
“I got in Le Chene, which is pretty much centre of the lake and commands a lot of water. The weather was bang on for the time of year and while scanning the lake things felt good, even more so when I cracked open my first bottle of beer. This was short lived though, as it was now time to get to work.
“Out came the marker rod and after a couple of hours I had two nice spots marked and clipped up. One was at long range (around 125yrd) and the other about 60yrd - both spots were firm silt coming off gravel and the third rod was fished in a solid bag, which I used as a roving rod. The two spots were baited light with no more then 10 Spombs of Sticky baits, bloodworm pellets, hemp, bloodworm liquid and 15-20mm Rahja spice boillies. I followed the bait with my hook baits.
“This trip was the first time using Korda N-Trap, which is a coated braid, and I could tell as soon as I pulled the first length off it was a bit special. My rigs were 7in long and in conjunction with N-Trap I tied on a size 6 Korda Wide Gape blowback style with a small ring near the bend of the hook. To encourage it to kick over I added a small section of shrink tube over the eye of the hook and curved it slightly. I have been using this arrangement for around 6 years and it has never let me down. The rest of the set-up included a fluorocarbon leader, Hybrid lead clip and 4oz distance lead. However, the clip was cut right back and the lead was wrapped in PVA tape before casting. This ensured that I dropped the lead on the take!
“My hook bait was a 15mm Rahja Spice straight out the bag tipped with a small fake boillie. I also added a tiny stick made from the Longchuck PVA. It wasn’t until the monday morning when at around 4am the long-range rod was away with the first 40 at 46lb oz. Over the next couple of days the process was repeated on the long-range spot taking the rest of the 40's at 42lb 5oz, 41lb 8oz and 41lb 5oz - all early morning between 2am and 6am.
“Then, on the wednesday at 2pm the long range rod was off again and after a good fight I had my first 50 at 58lb! I was over the moon and already felt the trip had been a great success. I got the rod back out on the spot and followed with a few more Spombs. To celebrate I had a couple of nice cold beer. The night and morning passed with no action and to be honest I thought the spot had blown. However, at 8.30am I was proven wrong when once again the same rod was away. Immediately it was apparent that I was into something big and it started taking line. My initial thought was that I was connected to one of the large sturgeon or cats, as the weight and power was extreme.
“However, as I neared it a bit closer the slow plodding told me it was a carp after a long, hard fight she was netted. My first thought was another big 50, maybe 60. The sling was brought down and the fish was slid in while still in the net and water (which is a must with any large carp) and transferred to the cradle. After the net was removed and I had a proper look at the fish, mainly the girth, it looked huge and on the scales she went 70lb 6oz! I was blown away. After the pics I got in the water with her, she looked massive as she swam away. I nearly didn’t put the rod back out, but was so glad I did as no more then 2 hours later it was off again and I could not believe it when I caught my second 50 of the week at 58lb 7oz. What a brace of fish, and it felt magic to of held such fish in and out the water. After that the grass carp and sturgeon moved in and kept me busy the last couple of days but I did not care, how could I? I am still smiling now.”