Tom Maker starts the year off with a mega haul from Linear Fisheries Hardwick / Smiths lake!!
A French Road Trip
26th November 2019
Daren “Tinpot” Norman embarked on a few road trips into Europe this year, with his good mate Damo joining him, they banked a mixed bag of fish from twenties up to a new PB of over 60lb.
The key to success on the vast public waters over in Europe is made up of; knowledge of the waters, being prepared and using a good bait that the fish find hard to resist. With this is mind our good friend Daren Norman or “Tinpot” as many know him, decided that to get the best out of some autumn trips he had planned with his friend, they needed to have a little road trip to check various waters out, before settling on one or two to target for the autumnal venture. Armed with another tweaked version of the Krill Active, which he has tested on his European trips for the last few years, they headed into Europe with excitement as to what they might find.
We asked for a few words from “Tinpot”, he revealed:
“Back at the end of May, my long-time fishing companion Damo and I set off for a week’s road tripping around France. As usual we didn’t really have a clue exactly where we were going other than a list of four or five public lakes, we had heard whispers about, which needed further investigation.
“Early on we had a good look around, and fished a couple of these waters, landing a couple of upper 20s, before heading off to explore another but to be honest, we were a bit put off on arrival. The vast reservoir, at nearly 1000 acres, looked a formidable prospect in the stormy weather. We both thought we’d possibly bit off more than we could chew, but we really liked the look of the place and ended up doing five nights. We saw no signs of carp at all, let alone caught one. Although the fishing was slow, we used our time wisely and spent a lot of time mapping out the place with the boats and echos putting us in good stead for future visits in the autumn.
“At the start of October, we were ready to give it another go, and things fell into place. We knew the zone we wanted to get in from the previous homework and luckily on arrival it was free. After the long drive we spent the late afternoon out in the boat, finding spots, before settling and baiting two areas quite heavily, with the plan to fish three rods on each area and have a couple of rovers out, trying to pin the carp down.
“The baiting worked well and that night we heard the welcome sound of big carp jumping out in front of us.
Just on sunrise we boated the rods out into position and that afternoon we received the first bite from a nice mirror. After that, things started picking up and we caught steadily with some cracking carp up to high 30s over the following five days. Although we’d had a great time, we felt we’d been a bit unlucky with the bigger fish, so a plan was made to return some four weeks later.
“Again, this time around we got in the same zone, but the bigger fish turned up this time and I ended boosting my total to 19 carp over the two five-day sessions. These included my biggest common of 50lb 8oz as well as other big commons of 47lb, 44lb 8oz, a stunning 40lb 6oz zip linear, as well as a number of big 30s. Damo also had eight fish beating his PB twice with a huge 60lb 8oz mirror and a 49lb 12oz common, to make it our best trip away together ever, one we will never forget.
“Our tactics were very simple, just 24mm Krill Active baits fed little and often doing the business again, as it has over the last few years for me in Europe.”