July 28th - August 4th 2012: Session report Nicky at Etang de la Livardière!

After a long and exhausting drive in the night we arrived at Saturday around 8 in the morning finally at the water. There we meet Bas who is about to leave after 2 weeks fishing with Dutch youngsters...
After a short chat with Bas we wanted to walk around the lake to take a look at the swims... Exited we started to walk, but after a couple of hundred of meters we decided to walk back to the car. After we put our boilies in the freezer we had decided to continue our journey to a nice swim by car, because a walk around the lake is a full time job.
After our inspection at swim 21 till 13, we prefered swim 14. We haven't looked any further after that, but we went back to the lodge hoping nobody else wants the same swim... luckily this wasn't the case. After a little talk with the other fishermen at the lodge, Bernard (the best French guy there is) told us we could go to our swim to start our fishingweek.
In good spirits we unpacked the fully loaded car so we could start off with putting up the rodpods, bivvy's and our stretchers. Then we took a good view over the water and thought on how we could take on this week. Once we had our action plan, we went with the boat on the water and put out some markers... once everything else was settled, we started with our rods.
Late that evening we put our rigs on the chosen spots. Once that was done, exhausted we laid down on our stretchers and fell asleep very soon. This was of short notice, because a bitealarm woke us up. By great annoyance this didn't bring any fish on the mat. After dropping the rig very tired we tried to catch some sleep again. Unfortunately this wasn't for any longer than 2 hours when we were awakened by a screaming bitealarm.
This was the second run without any result and we decided irritated that we were too tired for this crap and reeled in our lines... After a couple of hours of lovely sleep a heavy shower woke us up... We used this weather to think of the reason why we missed 2 runs in a row, this happens rarely or never.
We came up with the idea to change the hooklinks and to fish our own ways, we didn't do this the first night, because we were told we had to use a very long hair of about 1,5cm length. This hairlength seemed to be way to long in our eyes at first sight, but we tried it anyway because we were not familiar with this water. Quickly we changed to our own trusted way of fishing and started fishing with a short hair... Soon this appeared to be a better tactic: we landed our first fish around 10 o'clock in the evening... a nice 12kg mirror carp was the result.
A couple of hours and some false beeps later, we were able to catch the second fish after a screaming run. This appeared to be a stunning 20lb mirror (small but beautiful). After taking some pictures we put the fish back and row out the lines again. We smoke a cigarette and happy we lay down on our stretchers with the intention to take a nap. Still I am wondering how it could happen that we missed 2 full runs in a row... would it really be the hair that was too long? Actually this must be the cause because since we changed our hairlength we had 2 fish in 2 hours... Next to me, my girlfriend and my dog were already asleep, I decided to do the same and zipped my sleeping bag... I didn't even put my head on my pillow or outside the bitealarms started to produce some sounds again, the first 2 beeps I ignore, nothing happens, until we sit straight up in our tent after 10 minutes!
Another beautiful bite... Quickly I put on my shoes and walk to my rod to take the run. I feel the fish pulling very hard and the clutch is doing some overtime until I totally don't feel any resistance at all and I can reel in the line very easily. Confused, yet a bit agitated I look at my girlfriend who stands next to me with the landingnet in her hand... for a split moment we thought this fish was pulled, but fortunately from out of nothing something in the water is pulling my line. A good fight of about 15 minutes was the result. The both of us thought this was a small fish because usually they fight harder than the big fish... wrong thought! We were surprised by a very beautiful mirror, just under 40lb.
Finally, and with a good feeling, I can get some sleep and all the doubts about my rigsystem are gone... The fish was perfectly hooked and without any problems we could land him, though this fish had a lot of power. For me, this is the proof that everything is okay about my hooklink. After a couple of hours sleep Bernard woke us up to have a chat. When he hearded about our catches he was very curious for the pictures. We watched them together on the laptop. Amongst a drink with Bernard in front of the bivvy we talked about taking the rods out to give the swims some rest. He told us that that would be a good choice, because during the day hardly anything is caught.
At 11.30h Bernard went to his car and wanted to start cleaning the toilets when my bitealarm gave a couple of short beeps. Immediately Bernard turned around and came back. Short after that a good take followed. This was the second fish that came straight toward us. Very soon the fish was in front of us but whatever I tried, I couldn't get the fish to the surface. After many times swimming from the left to the right, we finally got to see its back... The first thing Bernard said was: wowww, that's a really big fish. He said it with a smile and the three of us couldn't wait to weigh this fish. After some little resistance the fish gave up and I could pull him in the net. It was a beautiful common, quickly I removed the hook and some pictures were taken. When we hang the fish on the scale, it immediately went towards the 21kg and Bernard jumped half a meter in the air and yelled that this was the new record for a common. According to him, the heaviest common ever caught on Livardière was 18kg. He had never seen this fish and he thought this was a fish from the new stock... He promised me to bring me a present for breaking the record that hold at 18kg... The next evening Bernard came along with an icecold bottle of Champagne!
We took a short look at the pictures and then I drove with Bernard to the lodge to get some new boilies from the freezer.... When I arrived back at our swim I immediately saw my girlfriend with a curved rod. Fish again, she exhausted the fish pretty good, so I could get the net to help her land the fish. Unfortunately this one wasn't 21kg but still it was a nice fish to see... a small mirror of 14lb could we write down on the list...
We reeled in all our lines and went to the store to do some groceries. When we arrived back at the swim we crushed some boilies so we could put them together with some groundbait in the baitboat to bring to our markers to keep the fish feeding. That evening around 10 o'clock we put back the lines and once that was all done we watched a movie, which we were able to watch without any disturbance of beeps... The rest of the evening and night went by very silent. We haven't heared anything until the next fish came around 3.30h … After a nice fight I had a 22lb mirror in the weighsling.
The next morning during breakfast we were disturbed by a nice 15kg mirror which took of very hard. Once taken pictures of the fish we put him back and continued breakfast, after that we reeled in our lines and put a lot of groundbait with some boilies on the swims, hoping that the fish would stay... We decided to take this afternoon 2 rods each and fish for a couple of hours on the small lake. Catching fish is fun, but on this lake it went very fast. The first line was in the water for maybe 5 minutes when I got the first bite, a nice small mirror was landed.
The second mirror was caught 5 minutes later followed by a little common on the other rod... 20 minutes and 7 little strong carp later we decided to go back and lay in the sun. For those who want to catch a lot and have a real sport on it, definitely worth a shot, because you will not believe it until you find out yourself. I have never seen something like this, so many fish in less than half an hour.
The rest of the day we enjoyed the sun and we went shopping... Around 22.30h all the lines were put out again and we watched a movie. By the time of 1 o'clock it was one of my girlfriends bitealarms which started to scream and she caught a nice 20lb mirror. We were still weighing the fish when one of my bitealarms started to scream, followed by a nice but though fight which lasted for about 20 minutes. This fish tried everything to avoid the net and found a difficult spot in the bushes. I was afraid I would lose this fish because he kept going on and on thru the bushes and a tree. Still I managed to catch this fish and soon it was clear that all the afford wasn't a waste of time, the verdict of the scale: 16,9kg.
I will not forget this night very soon, we caught 4 beautiful mirrors: 10kg-16,9kg-17kg.. and the fish that gave the perfect ending: 20,6kg. This mirror was absolutely beautiful without any damaging. Because of the big fight he gave, he was so exhausted that we were able to take some outstanding pictures!
On the 6th day many anglers were moving to other swims, a new French guy came on the other side of my swim and the guys on our right hasn't had any fish for the last 3 days. Because I wanted them to catch some fish too, I gave them some of my boilies and said they could fish my marker.. unfortunately they didn't accomplish to catch something.
The new guys on the other side of the lake were a bit too eager with a large rowboat and they had decided to use a prodding stick. After an hour of rowing, they had placed and replaced 4 markers... Because of these French friends it was over at our swim and there was totally no fishactivity anymore. In spite of this, as last present I caught a 13kg mirror
Not a lot of fish was caught this week, I have caught 14 fish, not counting the fish from the small lake, 2 of them were caught by my girlfriend... the other fishermen caught this week at top 4 carp, some even less, this seems very awkward to me, considering you drive 800km hoping to catch some nice fish. Maikel and Kim weren't very lucky this week, even though they have been here twice before so they know what to do and what not to do... This week was only bad luck for them because the second day they were until midnight at the hospital because Kim had a boilieneedle very deep in her hand. The last night Maikel got to break his PB though, he landed a nice 35lb mirror.
For me and my girlfriend it was a fun week with almost only big fish and a lot of sun. About the water there is only one thing to say: Superb! And the most beautiful about Etang de Livardière is bailiff Bernard!
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