Hi again, just a quick account of how we got on during our last trip to Crystal Waters in late April
I was joined by Steve Egerton (UK Marketing Manager), Rob Nunn, and Senior Writer from CARPology/Maximum Carp, Josh Hillman, along with the able support of fishery Bailiffs, Keith Standley (Backdraft), Ginger Mick Henley, and Nick Harvey. This was going to be a proper film and photo shoot this time, it being a great opportunity to generate some new content for our websites and future catalogue use. We planned to fish the nights only, as we had a tight schedule to get through, weather allowing!
It was also a great chance to put our 2 new Gulp! Carp baits through their paces in France. We had a healthy dose of both Red Crustacean and Coco & Banana in 16mm and 20mm in our van, plus accompanying dips, and we knew how to use it!
We had an enjoyable trip over, and arrived at the fishery to bright but cool conditions, so after a quick brew, headed off around the lake to pick our swims. I fancied the pads area, and a few hours later, after baiting up, I was casting out on my first French trip of the year. Then the rain started, and I got bunkered down for the night!
I think Drafty was first in, having nailed a lovely mid-thirty mirror around 10pm, and another around 2pm, this time a 38lb mirror. He was fishing his favourite swim and took both fish on Red Crustacean 20mm balanced baits. Rob had a 28 mirror from the Gate Swim and Josh kicked off with a 35lber. The night passed uneventfully for everyone else, apart from Steve who dropped a couple of fish, evidenced by his language at the time!
The following morning we all wound in, and cracked on with the photography all day; but by 7pm we were all casting our fresh baits over our chosen spots again. Drafty picked up a 42lb Mirror quickly, and Rob had a 38lb Sturgeon (a PB), along with a shoal of Bream (baiting with pellets). Josh had a cracking 45lb Mirror on his only rod on our bait (Coco & Banana), a new French PB for him. I had another blank night, but had spotted a few fish and was confident of a bite soon.
After breakfast again and we all got to the filming and photography, dodging the showers along the way. The third night I finally picked up a 23lb Mirror on the short rod, dropped another off the long rod, baited with Coco & Banana 20mm; while Drafty had another 3 fish, including another low 40 on the Red Crustacean – he was on fire!!
Meanwhile Mick was struggling for a bite, as was Nick, Steve and Josh.
Back to the photography in the morning after another hearty breakfast, but by 6pm I was hovering over my rods, confident of another bite. About an hour later, my prayers were answered, and I netted the lake’s biggest Common, at a new record weight of 45.04!
I was over the moon, and still confident that the fish were on the bait. Sure enough, I had a 28lb Mirror that fought like a demon, and was passing the Red Crustacean in the landing net. They were really liking this new bait!
The last day of photography and filming went very well, and we managed to cover 90% of what we set out to do, which was remarkable, given the poor weather. The fourth night produced a beautiful brace of mirrors of 43.10 and 35lb, with both rods rattling off almost simultaneously!
God, it was good to be back in France, even if the fishing was a little slower than hoped, due no doubt, to the cold rain.
The final results were great, with 7 forties, 10 thirties and 12 twenties, with Drafty easily claiming top rod, while Rob, Mick and Steve struggled with only one fish each, Josh two, and Nick finally came good with a mid 30 and a low 40 on the last morning !
A great trip, with lots of work done, some quality fish and more than a few laughs along the way! My thanks to Lee Papper for giving us the opportunity to fish here again, and to Drafty, Mick and Nick for looking after us so well.
I cant wait to get back there again soon !!!
Until then, be lucky!