France April 2007
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Tackle Then and Now
Tales from the Bivvy
Ice Fishing
Siege at Castle Lake
Two Days In Essex
Abbey Lakes
Negreloube 2
Negreloube 3
La Fonte
The first
New PB
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All Me
Ebro Fishing
Darrell's Bream
Darrell's Pike
Darrell's Common
In Memoriam

The story begins......

It had been raining here in sunny Spain for nearly two weeks, the weather in the UK had been warm and sunny (what is happening to climate change?) Darrell and his family had arrived in Spain from Sweden, they were to spend a couple of weeks here while Darrell spent the week fishing with me and the boys. This year the line up consisted of Darrell and myself, Perry and Steve, Pete and Paul, that's how we were to pair up on the lake, I have always found it better to fish in pairs when on a week session, it makes netting, weighing and photographing catches that much easier. Darrell and I had to drive 900km from my home to the lake, the others had a similar journey once they had crossed the channel. Steve had organised the booking for the lake and ferry, Perry's job was to source the bait as per usual, we had decided again on 10kg each of Mainline's Pulse along with the pop ups and dip, also some pellet which consisted of 25kg 6mm trout, 25kg 10mm salmon, 25kg bloodworm pellet, 25kg of Feed Frenzy and 20kg of crushed hemp, this was to be split between us all, 20kg of mixed pellet each. I soaked and boiled about 10kg of maize and 5kg of Tigers also to take along....just in case!!!

Darrell had purchased a secondhand Procat baitboat, along with all the chargers and spare batteries, Steve had agreed to bring it to the lake with Perry so Darrell could use it for the week before coming back to Spain with us, then on to Sweden, a bit of a palarva I know but there you go!

Perry, Steve, Paul and Pete caught the midnight ferry Friday night from Dover, Darrell and I left 5.45am Saturday morning after loading the Kangoo the night before. Now remember I live in Spain, where it is supposed to warm and sunny in April, this year was different, we left in the pouring rain! The others left after a warm sunny English Friday? However we reached the lake within 15 minutes of each other in glorious warm French sunshine, how's that for timing!  We all had a quick look around the lake before deciding on a draw for the swims, because we were to fish in pairs we had paired the swims up, everyone fancied the 'outlet' which did look a peach of a swim, nice overhanging trees to the left with the outlet in front and the dam wall away to the right with many trees planted along the dam. Just along the bank was it's pair the 'secret' a tight swim but it had a fair amount of open water in front of it towards the wooden pontoon. Another obvious pair was the 'birches' and '3 swims' these were again along the far bank, birches was straight out into open water with 3 swims along a bit further with access to the entrance to the far bay. The other pair was decided upon as the orchard this was on the lodge bank to the left, access to the near bay and the point were the main features with open water and some nice margin spots on the right of the swim also looking to be favourites. The draw was conducted by Dan the fishery owner and I drew number 1, not bad I thought, that meant that Darrell and I would have the outlet and secret as our swims. Perry and Steve chose the orchard with with Pete going into the birches and Paul into 3 swims.

We then split the pellet into equal amounts and dished out the 10kg of boillies each, it's possible to drive near to most of the swims at this lake which does make it nice and easy to unload all the gear, Dan supplies bivvys, bedchairs, landing nets, unhooking mats and weigh slings so it leaves a bit more room in the car for essentials like bait and I must say all the equipment was in good condition and very suitable for the job in hand, other items of tackle are available but we had the rest with us. after setting all the gear up it was ready for the off, I had let Darrell have the 'hot fancied' swim, that's just my good nature, I do like to see him catch a few (with my help and advice) LOL!!!

30mins later, I'm slipping the net under a 31lb 12oz mirror caught on a pink pop up he had cast to the left tree line!!! Why did I give the jammy git the outlet!!!!


A nice bucket of mixed pellet!! and a bucket of 'slop' Maize, mixed pellet, crushed hemp, tigers and a drop of juice!  Perfect!

Nice result, Darrell is off the mark and things are looking good, why he happened to cast out the pop up I don't know, it was just one of those things, that sometimes work. We then sorted out our bivvy's etc and pulled the rods in as it was time for our meal, Darrell had put some pellet and 'slop' along the dam wall and was going to put a bit more in now we were off to the lodge for dinner, this he would repeat when coming back from dinner keeping a small amount of bait in the swim most of the time. The baiting had been carried out using all methods, the procat baitboat, catapult, and occasionally the spod. We had seen some fish moving in the far corner, the other side of the pontoon where a fallen tree was in the water, I had planned to cast in that direction with my left hand rod, with the middle rod further to the right in line with the pontoon, my right rod was to be shorter and more or less straight out in front of the swim. The depth in front of me was about 6ft and getting deeper to the left of the swim, the birches was very shallow close in, this was to prove a problem for Pete later in the week when trying to land one of his fish, it just went crazy every time it came into the shallow water, it must have been feeling the lake bed on it's belly and not liking it !!


Darrell with the early one 31lb 12oz

The Story Continues

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