Sam Verstreken explains how perseverance is key when targeting your dream!
Cassien – The craziest fishing experience of my life!
20th November 2018
After experiencing what he describes as “The craziest fishing experience of my life” we caught up with Daren ‘Tinpot’ Norman to hear his epic Cassien tale!
Daren explained “After 8-months of planning, I finally made the 800-mile drive down to Lac de St-Cassien. Setting off on the 2nd November, I knew I was in for a long drive, but after 550-miles, I stopped at Lyon for a kip as I was shattered. I was up early the next day, and managed to arrive at the lake around 10.30 am.
After purchasing licenses and pumping the boat up I was on the water by midday, and set off to meet my mate Nick, who’d been out there for a few weeks already and had been having a few, so it was game on.
Things couldn’t have started any better, and unbelievably I had my first bite after 15 minutes, resulting in a mid-twenty common. An hour later, I had a 43lb white common, then un-believably just on dark, half hour before we had to reel in on the days only lake, I banked a 30lb mirror. What a dream start! There were fish in the area so we baited with a few kilos of the new Sticky test bait, before going back to the site for a few beers and a nice meal for the night.
The next day it went off big time! The weather was awesome with rain and strong winds. The takes just kept coming, with me landing four 20’s along with four good 30’s, all between 34lbs and 37lbs.
Going out to the notorious 1200-acre lake, I had considered 4-fish for my whole trip as a good result. So, after a day and a half and having 11-fish in the bag, the pressure was off, and I was loving it!
The third day produced two more upper-20’s before the swim dried up. I spent the following couple of days fishing different areas up and down the West Arm trying to track down some of the bigger fish. After a few blank days, I moved from the West Arm into the Bridge Swim to try that area, and just on dark I had two bites landing a pair of lovely upper-20 commons. More importantly, whilst packing up I could hear a lot of fish crashing out in the area, with this in mind I stuck a few kilos of bait in as I left and set the alarm for an early start the next morning.
The following day, I had all three rods positioned by 7.30am and what happened next I doubt I’ll ever better the rest of my life. I had takes all day long and it was utter carnage! By midday I’d landed four commons of 31lbs, 32lbs, 42lb 8oz and 47lb 8oz and lost two fish in the afternoon. One of which was an absolute monster, that towed me and the boat around the North Arm for 20-minutes in big waves, which was a bit hairy to say the least. I managed to land another two shortly after; a mirror and a common both over 47lbs, as if that wasn’t crazy enough, I then had a 33lb 8oz mirror and another two 20-plus commons. What a day! 11-bites, 9 fish landed, all in one day on Cassien. It felt like I was dreaming and I went back to the site that night in a state of shock.
The following day was a lot quieter, but nearly as good in its own way as I landed my favourite carp of the trip, a stunning 43lb linear that was smothered in little pearly starburst scales. An absolute peach that goes down as one of my favourite carp.
I kept the bait going in and the following day I had a mid-20 mirror in the day and 2-minutes before reeling in for the end of the day, one of my rods smoked off, after a long, heavy fight I realised I had reached a lifetime ambition when I slipped the net under a big-framed 50lb 8oz mirror! That was the dream whilst planning the trip and my god was I pleased to fulfil it.
I kept the bait going in over the last few days and the fish kept coming. The final three days produced another 5-fish, topped by a 38lb mirror, and on the final evening an incredible 38lb common. The long drive home was just as hellish as I expected, but I had a huge grin on my face the whole way.
All in all it was the most amazing fishing adventure of my life. Over 11-days I had 37-bites, landing 32 of them. I can’t believe I’m saying that on Cassien, I keep pinching myself!
All fish were taken on the new Sticky test bait which I think will be called The Krill Active and I think it’s fair to say the old carp like it, I certainly do!
Daren ‘Tinpot’ Norman”