Tom Maker starts the year off with a mega haul from Linear Fisheries Hardwick / Smiths lake!!
A chance in France
5th September 2016
For a little while now, a few of the guys from Sticky have wanted to have a short trip away, so with five days at there disposal, a decision was made to cross the channel and head over to France.
Steve explains; With the help of Steve Blow we settled on a lake in Northern France, with clear water and stories of huge carp, we were all eager to get out there. So, after a busy day at Sticky HQ we got the vans packed and started the long journey down to the channel tunnel. All went smoothly and just after midnight we were on the train and crossing into France.
Once off the train we started the 2 1/2 hour drive to the lake, only making a quick stop for fuel and a few supplies. With all the excitement of fishing the lake, it seemed like no time had passed before we were making our way through a chain of large gravel pits which meant we were close to our destination. We arrived at the lake just on first light, with the sun barely breaking the horizon and mist rolling on the surface of the lake, it looked incredible.
As we were the first van to arrive, we decided to just sit and watch the water as it wouldn’t be to long before the other guys arrive at the lake. With everyone together, the excitement of ideas and talk of what possibly lies ahead was in full flow as we made our way around the lake. Everyone settled on areas to fish, we all set about getting everything set up ready for the night ahead.
With everyone finally fishing, the evening faded into night. All we had seen were a few shows out in the middle of the lake. We had been reliably informed that a lot of the bites generally came through the night on this water so everyone was full of suspense. As the hours of darkness passed the lake remained very quite with only one fish slipping up to the rods of Jake, which turned out to be a lovely low thirty mirror.
We held out until just gone 8am before we did the photograph of Jakes fish hoping another bite would come, but hope was all we could do, as the fish started to show at extreme range out to the right of the lake where no one was fishing.
With the pictures done and breakfast out the way, my self and Jake decided to take a walk down to the bank where no one was fishing, an area the fish were starting to show in numbers. it wasn’t long before we were back to our swims eagerly getting a couple of rods together and a few essentials to have a few hours stalking on the empty bank.
It was clear from the amount shows we saw at around 80 yards that there was a big shoal out in front of the empty bank. So it was to no surprise when one of Steve’s Nevilles went into meltdown, on picking up the rod the fish stayed deep but after five minutes of steady pressure the fish was safely in the net. Shortly after, just as we were sorting out the mats etc. one of Jakes rod’s burst into life. this time the fight slow and heavy, as time went by we were thinking it could be one of the lakes big un’s, so there was a erie of silence as the first blobs of putty on his line broke the surface and we saw the fish for the first time. It looked long and just wouldn’t give up, but with steady pressure he soon had a lovely looking low thirty in the net.
Unbelievably, Jake’s other rod which had been placed next to a large weed bed received a one toner. He was on it straight away, whilst he played the fish, I quickly placed the fish he’d just caught into a sling so we had a net to use. Once sorted, I joined Jake and it was clear he was attached to a powerful fish. Hopes of a large carp were soon lost as a Catfish appeared on the surface and into a waiting net. When the catfish was sorted we decided to keep all rods out of the water just whilst we did the photographs of the two carp.
We had word from the lads fishing on the other side of lake that they had also had a couple of fish that morning, so Dan and Tom decided to pop round and do the pictures for them, whilst myself and Jake decided to move all our gear around into the area of the lake we had just had the bites from to do the night there as it was clear the fish were there in numbers. The rest of the day passed uneventful with everyone getting a few hour sleep with the expectation of a busy night.
“Everyone wanted to see
the big fish on the bank”
That night the fish really switched on to the bait, as there were a few caught from each bank. Night turned to day, and it became apparent that one of the really big mirrors had made a visit to the bank. Everyone wanted to see the big fish on the bank, so we decided to all wind in and get everyones pictures done early.
We were all buzzing from the captures, fish to low forties, it was now time for a real monster. Once we arrived in the the swim it became apparent that the guys had a few good fish waiting. We sorted out the smaller fish and then it was time to bring the big Mirror ashore.
We got the fish on the mat, everyone stood in shock, as the size of the fish was incredible. At over 75lbs it was a sight to behold. Everyone was helping out with the pictures and the fish was soon safety on its way to the depth of where it came.
As the rest week passed the patten seemed to be the fish would start to show really well on dusk and the bites would come through the night, with most of the days been fairly uneventful. So, to make the most of this we tried to get a few hours sleep during the day and have everything ready to make the most of the nights. This seemed to work well with fish caught steadily all around the lake over the next few nights up to low forties.
As the last night came upon us we decided to bait a little heavier to see if we could tempt some of the bigger fish to feed, our only concern was we thought we might have to wait a little longer for a bite. The worries soon disappeared as one the lads rods was away after only 15 minutes. From the start it was apparent it was a good un with the fish moving slow and deep, as it neared the bank the fish managed to bury itself in some weed, but with steady pressure it was soon moving again and after a few heavy runs we finally saw a large fish on the surface ready for netting. Luckily it went in the net on the first attempt and it was clear to see it was a large common.
This was the start of a very busy hour with the lads receiving 5 bites in quick succession, with two fish to upper forties been the pick of the bunch. After the mad hour the area seemed to just die with everyone’s rods staying motionless for the remainder of the night.
It was the last morning and it was time to get everything packed up and sorted, ready for the long trip home. All in all, we had a productive trip with countless PB’s been broken. On the bait front, all of the fish fell to 16mm & 20mm Krill bottom baits tipped with either a 12mm Krill Pink One or Pink Signature Pop-Up, fished over beds of 16mm and 20mm Krill with a twist. We complimented these with a mixture of Bloodworm pellets and Krill Cluster coated in pure Krill liquid.