French Success – Mike Salisbury

Bait-Tech’s Mike Salisbury ventured across the water to France recently in pursuit of some of the big carp the country holds. Here he tells the story of his session…

I have just returned from another awesome trip to Eden’s Lakes in France, a venue I have visited on two previous occasions. There are three lakes on-site – Simon’s, Jolly Pads and the North Lake. On this occasion I would be fishing Jolly Pads lake, which was the only one on the complex that I hadn’t fished previously. Jolly Pads is a very shallow 3-acre lake with approximately 150 carp to over 50lbs, so with a whole week at our disposal I was confident of a few bites. Dene Beardwell (the fishery manager) informed me that about 5 days prior to our arrival the fish had spawned – this was a relief as carp fishing in May is always a risk due to this factor.

In the main the action on Jolly Pads tends to be by fishing to the far margin at 180 yards, so this is where our lines were initially concentrated. My approach would be almost identical to the tactics I’m currently employing in the UK – multi-rigs baited with 15mm Triple-N pop-ups fished over pellets, particles and plenty of Triple-N boilies. The initial 36 hours of the session proved fruitless which prompted a re-think of the spots I was fishing. I spent several hours on the Monday morning observing where the fish were showing, and as opposed to the far margin, the majority of the shows I saw were about three-quarters of the way across the lake. Some quick feature finding revealed a channel of 3.5 feet in depth, which then shallowed up to a plateau of 2.5 feet. Several rods were then positioned in the channel, and just a few hours later the first carp was in the bag – at 22lbs it wasn’t a monster but it was a start.

To cut a long story short, my week was slow and steady, and included numerous highlights. One of the most memorable was a 24lbs mirror that I nicknamed “Krypton” owing to it’s obvious super-powers – it took me an hour to land this fish as it just would not give up! Of course I can’t forget the grassies – prior to this trip my PB was a mere 22lbs, but on the Tuesday night I annihilated this with a 47lbs beast that jumped the net twice before I finally landed it. Then just two hours later I banked a 44lbs grassie – what an awesome brace! Of course I can’t forget banking a local celebrity – a 30lbs Sturgeon known as “Merv” – such an incredible creature that gave me an incredible fight as it leaped out of the water no less than three times.

I finished the week on 12 fish which was a modest effort, but in temperatures soaring above 30C most days I wasn’t too disappointed with my haul, especially as I had a new grass carp PB in the bag. I can certainly attribute much of my success to the Triple-N boilies, which I gave plenty of extra attraction by coating with Nutty Oil before getting them out onto my spots. I’m returning to Eden’s Lakes in May 2018 so they’ll get another taste of Triple-N, and hopefully a few more chunks in the net for me!

Tight Lines

Mike Salisbury
Bait-Tech Carp Consultant

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