The South African duo Jono and Lee update us with their results from a summer campaign on the local syndicate
Put to the Test
14th November 2019
A trip to France testing The Krill Active produces some public lake gems.
Every year, Sticky’s boss Tom Anderson ventures off to numerous public waters in France, and this year has been no different! Taking Jake Wildbore, Garth Ethelston, Tom Gibson, Bev Clifford and Chris Kinsley for company, they eventually found themselves on their second venue. Why not the first venue? Well, that is a story for another day; it all came good in the end, as the group managed to land some incredible carp between them.
Tom Gibson revealed:
“Following a whirlwind start to the trip, we were glad to eventually get the rods out on a venue which Tom had fished earlier in the year. Persistent rain was forecast for the majority of the trip and although the weather was great for fishing, we knew we’d be a far from comfortable!
“We got off to a good start on the new venue, despite the pouring rain, with Garth getting off the mark fairly quickly with a lovely looking upper-thirty mirror. No sooner had Garth slipped his first fish back, with the kettle on for the first time in what felt like a lifetime, one of his other rods let out a few twitchy beeps. After a rather slow walk towards the rod in question, he soon found himself running down the veritable mudslide as a screaming take developed. A slow and heavy fight followed and we thought two things… Garth was playing it like a girl (sorry Garth), or, it was a very good fish! Luckily for him, it was the latter, as a huge set of shoulders rose up in the margins! I did the honours, scooping the monster into his prized Dymag net. We prepared the mats and the rest of the group gathered. At 56lb on the nose, it was one of the real gems of the venue and we couldn’t have been happier for Garth.
“Bev was the next to receive some action, with a clean-looking 37lb mirror. After losing a fish the previous day due to the snags on the shelf in front, it was a very welcome sight. With the fish returned safely in the morning sun, I soon found myself holding a rod too with what felt like a very good fish. A slow and steady battle ensued, with the odd surge of energy but after one scoop of the net, it was in, and it was big! We gathered our emotions and made the call to the rest of the guys to come and share the moment as well as help with the weighing. Bev and I set ourselves a little target of catching a big common, so to sit there knowing we’d achieved it was a big buzz. At 50lb 8oz, it was a new PB for myself and a fish I will remember for a very long time.
“With Tom and Chris fishing from a different part of the lake, we had word that Chris had caught that morning too and it was a common of a similar, if not bigger size! As the rain continued to pour, we did the honours with the camera and there was no one else who deserved it more than him on that trip. He’d been to hell and back with Tom at the first lake, and to see his huge grin when he lifted his prize up was a real highlight for us all.
“At that point, we all really wanted Jake to catch. As Bev and I were leaving early doors the following morning, we were praying he’d get what he deserved before we departed, and he didn’t disappoint. With all the gear pretty much packed away ready for a long walk back to the van, he casually strolled over to inform us he had two in the net ready for pictures. Not only this, Bev also had brace of fish too! Jake clocked in with a real brute of a mirror in the mid-forty bracket, along with a low-twenty common, whilst Bev landed a really long, solid looking common in the upper-thirty region and a stunning autumnal mirror.
“Baiting wise, we went in very lightly and left nothing to chance. Boats with echo sounders ensured we knew exactly where we were presenting our rigs. We were also in the lucky position of testing both The Krill and Manilla Active, along with some special hookbaits for each dedicated range. It turned out the fish wanted The Krill Active, so we all ended up using it for the duration of our session.
“After a whirlwind journey, the stars had certainly aligned once we’d found our feet and we left with some unforgettable memories. For those wondering about the first part of the trip, I’ll hopefully be able to detail the full antics of the trip in a far longer piece as it really is a story in itself!”