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Apr 2009 by Lee Fletcher
This was a second trip to Laroussi in France, in our opinion, one of the best lakes available. After a not too productive trip in November 2008 due to poor weather, we were not put off simply because of the massive potential this lake holds for a specimen of carp, cat and sturgeon angles alike. At short notice we decided to fill two empty spaces on a trip and loaded up the van and off we went.
Upon arrival at the lake we met David from Angling Lines and his brother Kevin, 2 lads from Wigan and Ed, a Dutch angler. David, Kevin and Ed had indicated which swim they preferred and the rest of us picked from what was left. Ed turned up late due to traffic in Paris on the drive down and I jumped into his preferred choice of swim and boy what a change it turned out to be. Ed did eventually arrive, albeit one hour late and fished the only peg available. Let battle commence, the rods were in by 2:00pm and so the story goes;
I was into fish more or less straight away, the best being a 48lb 4oz a new lake record common. By early the next morning i was up to 6 fish. Could it get any better for me? The fancied pegs were throwing up a few fish mostly late evening or early morning. My dad and I were catching steadily using bright yellow pop up's over Quest boilies and particle at distance. Ed and the two lads from Wigan were finding it hard going in the corners of the lake and decided to move to Old Oaks, again a move that paid off as they caught the rest of the week with fish to 42lb.
Around Tuesday afternoon my dad had a run and appeared to have the fish on for a long time. Curiosity got the better of me and I decided to walk round for a look and 50 minutes later after a massive battle slipped the net under a 115lb catfish. Now we are not catfish anglers, having never even seen one on the bank, and were amazed when this fish came to the surface, 42" landing net, 72" catfish! It was like getting a square plug into a round hole! And just as difficult weighing it! We would not have been able to without the help of one of the lads from Wigan. After much huffing and puffing we slipped it back and watched it swim away, what an experience. After talking to the lake owner Mehdi the next morning he confirmed it was a new lake record... "wow" a lake record each and on two pieces of corn... only at Laroussi!
By about Wednesday my dad and I were having a really good match between us and my dad was about 150lb in front but at Laroussi this is only three or four fish so I was still in it. A good tactic was to rest the swim in the afternoon as I found out to my cost the day previous when my dad came back from the supermarket and had four fish by dark. During the week I had two 50's that came one after the other, a 54lb 11oz my new PB mirror (beating my previous PB again from Laroussi) followed by a 53lb 1oz mirror and I was back in the race.
One morning while my dad was winding in after losing a fish he was startled by something behind him in the early morning fog. A deer had walked down the track and upon spotting my dad, panicked and launched itself into the lake about five feet from my dad. It swam over dad’s lines and casually got out about 75 yards away as if it had just had its daily swim. Another PB for my dad as Mehdi had never heard of a deer in his grounds, but they have been seen in the area.
With a couple of nights left it started to slow slightly. Dad and i were level on weight and 1 fish could win it. David and Kevin left early Friday and Ed moved back on andI really fancied a few more, the last night came and as far as our match went the next fish would win. I rang dad the next morning and he had not caught but I had a caught a forty, but it was to get better. We started packing up and whilst I was loading into the van I had a screamer on my middle rod.
I jumped out of the van and picked up my rod and leant into another sizeable Laroussi "lump". After a short battle Ed slipped the net under and we weighed it at 58lb 12oz another new PB for me! Surprisingly both my last fish came to Quest Baits, Rhaja Spice bottom baits after fishing bright pop-up's all week on all three rods. What might have been if we had fished bottom baits on at least one rod all week, and are the fish getting wise to bright baits?
I ended up winning our little "match" by about 100lb, the same two fish I caught last on Rhaja Spice, obviously quality bait.
Our final tally was 36 fish for 1244lb, an average of 35lb 5oz.
- 3 x 50's to 58lb 12oz
- 14 x 40's to 49lb 8oz (48lb 4oz lake record common)
- 6 x 30's to 38lb
- 1 x 115lb catfish and new lake record
Rest were 20's and grasscarp up to 19lb
All the best, Lee Fletcher