Road Lake W/C 27/08/2016
Once again it was that time of year when the Korda crew got together for their annual trip out to the Gigantica complex. One thing’s for sure when this happens there’s never a dull moment and always something going on to keep you entertained……especially when Jonny Mann is around! This year was set to be no different. Back at HQ and well in advance, it’s already decided by way of a draw exactly who is going to be angling on which lake. Being slightly low on numbers this year we had decided to take a few shops along with us, to fill a few empty seats as it were. So there we all were at Korda HQ at around 1am getting ready to board the minibuses and start the journey into France. This bit soon passes by and before you know it you’re doing the walk around on the lake and getting the latest information for one of the Gigantica Bailiffs. This week on the Road Lake we had the pleasure of Buzz, the man that has possibly the best beard in the whole of France. He just turns up at the lake, sets up his net and due to the carpiness of his beard, they simply jump in! So there we were walking around the lake in the searing heat all knowing that the next part is the single most nerve wracking thing that happens on a fishing holiday…….the dreaded drawbag! Now for anyone that knows me and has been involved in this process, I am notoriously unlucky at this part so when I pulled out a ball that had a number 1 on it I was blown away! Upon checking I then realised that it was followed by a zero so once again, normal service was resumed! Having said all of that though the Road Lake really is special and I still felt that no matter what swim I ended up in there would still be bites to be had.
I’ll now give you an account of exactly what was caught by each individual angler in the order they chose as this will definitely be the easiest way to do it!
So number 1 out of the bag was one of the shops (typical) and none other than Boilie Head. How’s your luck not only are you first out for the draw but your parents give you a name that fits perfectly into the hobby you love! Amazing! Anyway back to the lake, Boilie opted to go into Turtles and to be fair no-one could blame him. Numbers of fish were clearly present and in the heat of the day the swim has a really nice tree lined margin that simply screamed carp. The choice definitely paid off as the first night alone he had 7 bites landing 6 of them to just over 30lb! He ended with 33 bites, landing 25 of these. 8 x Doubles, 7 x 20's and 10 x 30's upto 34lb 9oz.
Up 2nd was our very own Matt Djukic. He chose to go in Tea Party 1 and it was plain to see why! Lots of fish were present and it really was a good choice. Again Matt’s choices of tactics were a combination of zigs and bottom baits. He landed a few on Zigs but due to the steep drop off in front of him lost a few due to the zig line being cut off. In the end he chose to bait regularly at 60 yards and soon had a spot rocking. He finished the week with 29 bites and landing 20 of those. He had 9 doubles, 7 x 20’s, 3 x 30’s topped by a mega 38.14 mirror which is now known as ‘Cuppers’ and finally a 40lber in the shape of this 40.04 beast known as ‘The Wedge’!
Number 3 out was Tom from Fosters. He really like the look of the swim known as Dunkerque so swiftly went in there. All anglers in this side of the lake had a strange week as the fish were there to begin with but soon moved out. During this period Tom moved into Double Boards to bag a few extra bites. In total he managed 13 bites and landed 13 fish. These were 3 doubles, 5 x 20’s, 4 x 30’s to 35lb and topped off with the very impressive ‘Big Pecs' at 45lb!
Number 4 out was Petal from Team dispatch. He chose to go in Birches and unfortunately had a really unlucky trip. He had his first bite on the Sunday afternoon and after playing what was clearly a good fish for about 5 or so minutes suffered a hookpull in very close. Gutted would be an understatement. The fish then left that side of the lake but he did manage to catch one out of the old slags swim. In the process of which he managed to almost sever the top of his finger off such was the power of the fish. Whilst doing a beer run over to the main lodge he managed to fall off his bike, smashing a couple of bottles of beer and when getting back to his swim found out he was in! He had played the fish for a good 10 minutes, saw a very good fish roll but disaster struck again and he had another hookpull. He did manage to land his next bite just a few minutes later and a low 20 has never been more welcome nor deserved! To rub salt into the wound on the last morning his van wouldn’t start either! Bad luck mate but there’s always next year!
Number 5 was our very own Jonny ‘loons’ Mann. Now sometimes when you have someone as crazy as Jon you have to put him into solitary confinement. Thankfully he chose Billy’s swim so he did it all of his own accord! Whilst this swim is out on its own a bit, due to it having a great tree lined margin it just always holds a few fish. When Jon wasn’t spending time dressing up as Batman or making jewellery from end tackle he managed to catch a few too! Most bites came from the tree line but he did get a few on his open water spot too. In total Jon managed 17 bites and landing 10 fish. He had 3 x doubles, 5 x 20’s, one 30 at 31lb 10oz and topped off by a 42lb 5oz mirror. Rig wise Jon opted for Dark Matter leaders in Clay with the inclusion of a Heli Safe, 7” Dark Matter Braid 20lb, size 4 Wide Gape Barbless fished blowback style. Fishing over beds of a new Prototype Mainline bait with squid Goo’d hookbaits over the top.
Number 6 out of the bag was Mr James Wolff or ‘Wolfy’ as he became known throughout the week. He took a fancy to the Beach. He opted to fish 3 different spots; one was 8 wraps towards decoy, one at 16 wraps up the margin and one long at 21 wraps straight towards the bund. Over the course of the week he managed to grab himself 8 bites landing 6 of these. He had 5 x 20’s to 29.10 and a 30lber at 32.04. A slightly tough week given that the fish did the off for a long period in the middle of the week, not that he let that get him down. Always angling at 110%.
Number 7 out of the bag was Morgan, another one of the shop lads. He opted to drop into Shingles as it had fished well the week before. He was off to a flying start and during the first afternoon/evening landed 3 fish. Successful rigs and tactics were 7” Hybrid Stiff in gravel brown, knotless knotted to a size 4 wide gape barbless hook fished blowback style but incorporating the new Super Stiff shrink tube. He angled hard all week and managed 21 bites, landing 19 of them. A little unlucky with his average size of fish but still managed 3 fish over 30 topped off with a last minute pb in the shape of a 36.10 mirror.
Spencer came out 8th and opted for The Poo and what a week he had! In total he managed 22 bites landing 18 fish. He managed 11 x 20’s, 3 x 30’s to 36.09 and 4….yes 4 fish over 40lb! He caught a 40.12 common, a new 40 for the lake at 41.08, Scarface at 42.00 and ‘The Butcher’ at 47.04! A mixture of Zigs and Ready Tied IQ D Rigs in size 4 were doing the bites. Fished over Cell and Essential Cell with Banoffee Wafters over the top. Spencer was fishing his bottom rods at just 12 wraps out towards double boards and also caught from a margin spot at just 5 wraps! Good angling mate.
9th out of the bag was Ben Allen, part of Team Dispatch. He opted to drop in Brambles next to his work mate Petal. He chose to fish all 3 rods straight out at 20 wraps (80 yards). He chose to bait with Manilla in 12 and 16mm and coated them in Cloudy Manilla and Active mix to give them even more pulling power. Rigs were made using N-Trap Semi stiff in 20lb Gravel, knotless knotted to a size 6 wide gape B fished blowback style. He got off the mark on the first morning with a Mid double common but then as it did for the rest of us in that side, it went very quiet. However right out of the blue on the Thursday afternoon he received a very slow bite and played in the biggest fish of the week. Whilst that still sat in the net one of his other rods needed attention and a 35.11 common was soon being held up for the cameras. The biggun turned out to be a new 50 for the lake in the shape of ‘The Hammer' at 50.10. In total ben managed 7 bites landing 5 fish. 2 doubles, 1 x 20, 1 30 and the 50!
Spoons came out 10th and chose Decoy. It was actually one of his top 5 choices so was buzzing to say the least. The fishing was patchy at times out in front so he caught some from the old slags swim to get the fish moved back into the lake. In total he had 38 bites, landing 30 fish. He had 10 doubles, 11 x 20’s, 6 x 30’s to 38.04 and 3 x 40’s. One was a new 40 common which has been named ‘All about the Hat’ and weighed in at 41lb, he caught ‘The Unnamed Common’ at 44.06 and finally a mirror known as ‘The Nose’ at 44.12. With the exception of one fish they were all caught on combi rigs and either fished at 17.5 wraps straight out in front or at 15.5 wraps down the right hand margin. Essential cell boilies proving irresistible to the carp along with different goo’d hookbaits to nick the bites. Wonderberry on Mainline peaches and cream wafters definitely scored highest.
Number 11 out of the draw was Keef from the dispatch department. He chose to fish in Tea Party 2 and was baiting over onto the tree line with 2 rods and one to the right of the island in open water. The fish seemed to stay either to his left or right but didn’t spend a long tine directly in front. With a bit of chasing he soon got in on the action with a combo of Zigs and 10” of Hybrid stiff Gravel knotless knotted to size 4 Wide Gape Barbless fished blowback style. Over the course of the week Keef managed 12 bites landing 7 of those. 4 x doubles, 1 x 20 and 2 x 30’s. The biggest being 35.15
Finally, number 12 and Mr Tom Wager. He wasn’t able to get out until the Sunday so at draw time we said that we’d simply leave him with the last ball. So unlucky for it to be 12!He didn’t let that stop him though, choosing Bachelier’s. The 24 hours with no lines may well have helped him as very quickly he was off the mark with a cracking 26lb mirror. Switching between Zigs and short pop ups Tom finished with 22 bites, landing 21 fish! 11 x doubles, 4 x 20’s, 5 x 30’s and topped off with a 40.04 Mirror now known as Hanson after his previous pop career. Other than a couple of bites on Zigs most fish fell for 8” N-Trap Semi Stiff knotless knotted to size 4 Kranks and hookbaits were either single wafters or snowmen hookbaits with goo’d tippers. These were fished at 21.5 wraps (90 yards) and baited regularly with Essential Cell and Cell.
So there we go, what can only be described as a MEGA successful week on the lake! one of the main factors was definitely bait. When you get a bite on here the chances are there are more than one fiosh feeding so as its landed put some more bait out straight away. Lots of bonus bites were had by doing this. The fish clearly travel in shoals so when they turn up you have to make the most of it. Having a tinker with hookbaits too; I played around early doors and on that particular trip found that a white hookbait soaked in Wonderberry Goo definitely worked best, on another week it will definitely be different. In total there were 232 bites with 181 of these being landed!
Cant wait to get back over there!