Ashley James proves just how deadly bright hookbaits can be!
Gaz Fareham’s Return to the Pyrenees
15th March 2019
With his November visit to the Pyrenees still on his mind, Gaz made the 1000-mile jaunt to the south of France yet again for another taste of what the mountains have to offer.
Having not long returned from another epic road-trip, we caught up with Gaz to get some more info regarding his time in the mountains, and this is what he had to say: “With the November road trip to the Pyrenees still firmly etched in my mind and the memories still pretty fresh, me and my friend Samir decided to share the fuel and make the 1000-mile jaunt together. As always it was an early start, we left Hastings at 2am and made the tunnel with just minutes to spare.
10 hours and half a dozen coffees later we arrived at the crystal-clear azure blue mountain barrage we had decided to check first. After a day spent searching to no avail, we got the rods out in prime looking areas on the end of a fresh and building warm south wind. Just three big cats fell to my rods that night, and with the barrage being one of the very few in the Cassien area that allows legal night fishing at the weekends, it had got busy as the local anglers all piled in after work on the Friday evening.
After a rain check we decided to bail for somewhere quieter. Another few hundred miles, a further two nights, and two more venues down the line and we still hadn’t found any carp, but we were enjoying the adventure nonetheless. With four nights left to make it count we headed for a barraged stretch of river where we hoped we could find some fish near to launching points, as the boats power was starting to run low.
With only a dropping water level to go on we hoped the fish would be held up in the deeper water where the old river bed was. With no shows and quiet echoes, we set up near the van for an exploratory first night. With eight rods towed out to varying distances and little firm spots amongst the wasteland of soft silt, we were hopeful but certainly not filled with confidence.
Although the first night was quiet, they did begin to show at range down to our left, one after another. Another quick move the following morning saw us finally get all of our rods in areas we were pretty sure the carp were. That night things started to kick off, with three bites falling to my rods in succession, the first being a lovely thick set mid thirty common, followed by one of the most special mirrors I have ever caught. It had towed us around in the boat for half an hour, ploughing down on runs in the 30ft deep water under the boat.
The next day a 40-50mph wind had kicked in, and without a petrol outboard it wasn’t a safe or viable option to redo the rods, so a couple of mine had to stay on the rest, waiting patiently for a lull in the wind later that evening. Within a couple of hours, the bites had started again as the barrage carp fed hard, but it was nothing like the last two nights were the action was relentless!
Due to such a lack of sleep over the final 48-hours, it was decided that after each bite received, that rod would not be re-positioned, as a 1200-mile drive home was far from desirable or safe!
Much like my previous visit to the mountains, my approach entailed 15mm and 20mm Krill Active and tigers glazed in Pure Krill Liquid and dusted in both Pure GLM and Krill Powder. Over the top, I presented snowman set-ups, which comprised of 20mm Krill Tuff Ones topped with matching 16mm pop-ups.
Again, this trip will stay etched in my mind along with the two mirrors that I managed to bank, both very rare gems in an environment that is almost entirely dominated by commons. Speaking of commons, the biggest fish of the trip was just that and would have hovered around the low to mid-forty area.”