Extreme product testing in Burgundy!

Last week I was working in France and whilst in the Burgundy region had the chance to fish a lake called Lac Mary Lou near Chalon sur Saone.
This beautiful lake is famous for its specimen fish including Carp, catfish, Pike and Zander.

The lake is a former gravel pit that is now very mature. It’s quite deep with depths of 25ft and plenty of underwater features.
My friend Pascal who invited me to fish the lake, suggested I try a swim where I could easily cast to a underwater plateau of about 10ft in depth.
This is a popular spot to catch the carp but also Pascal felt I could attract some of the lakes many bream in this area.
This area was about 45m from the bank and I decided the only option was to fish a feeder.
I only had limited gear with me and ended up using a prototype 13ft match rod (called Agility) and a prototype Sigma reel.

Tackle used:
Rod = Agility 13ft Match rod prototype
Reel = 035 Sigma FD reel prototype
Line = 6lb Berkley Sensation Feeder
Hooklength = 0.20mm XWR
Hook = 14 or 12 barbless eyed
Feeder = 30grm small Kobra method feeder (all I had with me!)
Obviously using a match rod as a feeder rod is not a normal, but I only planned to use a 30gm method feeder and felt it would give the rods strength a good test!
I had a few bags of groundbait, micro pellets, corn and most importantly some new Berley Gulp 8mm bolies in squid liver flavor.

As I hadn’t got a lot of bait or time I decided to employ UK style feeder tactics and clip up the distance on my reel to ensure accuracy and cast frequently (every 10 mins).
I hoped to build the swim up quietly with these frugal feeding tactics and try and catch some of the lakes roach and bream Pascal had told me about.
These tactics looked a bit out of place on this huge lake with other anglers adopting the more traditional carp approach with bait alarms, rod pods and powerfull rods…..and I got some funny looks!
I hair rigged the 8mm boilie on a short hair and molded it into the groundbait and micro pellets on the method feeder.
Anyway after about 3 casts I got my first indications on the tip and a positive bite, fish on! I could tell it was a big fish and although it didn’t make any long fast runs it was very powerful and deliberate and was realistically playing me! I put as much pressure on the fish as possible with the light gear and the rod was literally bending at the butt! After about 10mins playing the fish I started to make some progress and got the fish within about 20ft of the bank. Unfortunately the size 14 hook then pulled out and I never got to see how big the fish was….I was a bit shocked and realized I may be a bit out of my depth fishing with such lightweight gear!
I changed my hook to a size 12, cast out again and quickly caught a 2lb bream. A steady succession of these beautiful bronze bream up to 4lb and smaller skimmers came to the net for the next 2-3hours. It was great fishing and I was enjoying catching these fish in such beautiful surroundings

Pascal joined me and decided to set up his carp gear in the neighboring swim.
As he was talking to me I hooked another bigger fish that was definitely not a bream! I had to quickly unclip the line as the fish went on a powerfull run for about 20m. I managed to turn the fish and start to gain some line. After an extremely tough battle that lasted about 10 mins Pascal managed to land the fish in his carp net which turned out to be a 17.5lb Mirror carp, not bad on 6lb line and a 13ft match rod!

Oliver the fishery manager had also turned up and managed to video me landing the fish:

This is the biggest carp I’ve ever caught and one I’ll never forget! I just couldn’t help thinking about the one I lost I’m sure it was much bigger!
Here is a shot of the bream I caught, was a great day.

Pascal returned to the lake at the weekend and caught this huge carp that weighed 32lb. Interestingly after a discussion we had together Pascal scaled down his std carp tactics and caught the fish on a 2lb TC rod and 12mm single boilie. I think it’s interesting to share ideas and tactics between match and specimen anglers and would love to return to the lake and try this ‘hybrid’ style of Match /Carp tactics myself.

Many thanks to both Pascal for making me so welcome in Burgundy and Olivier for introducing me to this fantastic day ticket lake.
Details of the fishery can be found at the following website:

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Categories : Fishing reports, Products testing