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Supersession in France

It's early February this year and the 'carpvirus' takes a hold of me. I want to go fishing again! Plans are made for this year. The local waters are picked and off course a trip to France can't be missing. I want to go early this year, keeping the warm, better said hot, spring of 2011 in my head, I decide it all has to happen in March.

The preparation

Off course, the preparation started with the choice of the lake. My girlfriend joins me often, but she thinks it is too early in spring to go to France, not a good idea. The reason: 'it is too cold'. Well, last year it was really hot in March. The solution or the agreement, a cabin at the lake. Searching the net I am looking for some lakes with cabins. I don't like the prizes I see. Until I find Lac de Villedon on the site of The Carp Specialist. A true simple cabin, 2 beds and a small kitchen (without running water). In the cabin there is also a heater, so for my girlfriend, there is no need to be chilly.
Lac de Villedon is a 74 acre big water. Swim no. 21 with cabin is at the westside of the lake. The stock is estimated at 1200 carp with weights up to 27kg, with the expectation that it won't take long before the first 30kg fish is caught. This is not bad, and my 'carpvirus' only gets stronger! At Carp Zwolle I started snooping, mostly for freezerbaits. After visiting several stands, I ran into MTC Baits from Hengelo. After Carp Zwolle, I decided to test these boilies at a local lake. The new boilies were perfect, two weeks before departure, after 3 blank weekends, I caught 3 mirrors, weighing 14,6, 15 and 17,6 kg. The 17,6kg was also my new Dutch PB. This is a good start for the MTC boilies. Now I have chosen the water and the bait, the rest of the equipment was checked and completed.

The departure

At Friday, the 23th of March 2012 the time has come to pack everything in the car. The most of you will recognize this as a hell of a job, it never fits the first time! After a while I finally managed to get everything in the car. We leave at 11 o'clock in the evening from Zwolle and the journey went well. Around 8 in the morning we arrive at the lake. It is really amazing and 74 acres is pretty big! There are already some carpers and John (the bailiff) offers us a cup of coffee. John tells us what is and what isn't allowed and then we can start bring our equipment to the swims. With a trolley we are able to bring our stuff via a small path to our swim. (The most swims only are accessible by boat)!

Fishing, day one March 24th

Now we have all of our stuff at the swim, we can get everything in place for fishing. At first we inflate the boat, we install the fishfinder and do some research about the bottom of the lake. There is a little channel bedding in front of our swim, this ditch is about 3,2 meters deep. The bottomview is pretty steady, from 0,5 meters in the margins until 2,5 meters, then it is getting steeper to 3,2 meters, this seems to be a nice spot to me. We spread out the rods over this part of the lake. One in the middle of the channel, one on the middle of the plateau and one at the beginning . We will fish the last rod more to the right, it is about 2.5 meters. The bottom is much harder here. The temperature of the water is about 10°C. All rods are provided with a snowman presentation with dumbells. I make the choice to bait up pretty much in the beginning, about 0,5 to 1 kg per rod. The amount of bait is pure based on my feeling and the circumstances. The watertemperature is pretty low, this will warm up though because of the good weather. The wind is blowing in my direction and I know from earlier experience that the carp will follow the wind. Hopefully they will move in my direction, when that happens they mostly come in big groups. This fact made me bait up pretty good. The baits consists of hemp, pellets and the MTC Supa Tuna boilies.
Now all rods are in place I can start settle my other stuff ( I am always focused to get the rods in first), it looks like an hurricane has passed my swim. One hour later everything is done, let the fish arrive!
After a lovely dinner one of my Delkims comes to life. After a 10 minute fight I can land my first carp. It is a beautiful fish of 12,7kg. What a good feeling to catch fish this fast. With a lot of faith we enter the night. Unfortunately no sounds from the Delkims that night.

Day 2, March 25th

After a good night rest, my Delkim sounds at 7.15 in the morning. After a short fight I can welcome a small mirror carp. Quickly I boat out the line again and another kilo boilies is dropped over the spot. Time for some coffee! When I am about to start my coffee again the left Delkim starts to scream, it is 8.30h. Now I catch a 13.7kg mirror.
This is trustful for the upcoming day. But everything stays quiet. In the early afternoon I inspect the spots and put out the lines more precise. I don't have to wait long, 16:15h common 9,8kg, 18:30h mirror 8,4kg, 20:15h a small mirror. All the fish came from the most far left rod. Now it is starting to go somewhere. All beautiful fish, in spring the colors are really beautiful! That night no more action and time to get some sleep. Thus far 6 fish, not that bad.

Day 3, March 26th

I am in a deep sleep when one of my Delkims starts to scream at 2:15h. As fast as I can I try to get out of my sleeping bag. I run to my rod and strike it. My feeling tells me I have hooked something big. It is one hell of a fight, no carp though. After a long fight I see in the shining of my headlight a sturgeon ( it seems to be the only one in this water), it is a really big animal. After measuring and weighing the fish, this sturgeon appears to be 1.30 meters and 15 kg! After this catch the line must be put back in the dark. Satisfied I return to my sleeping bag. After a couple of hours of sleep a bite on the same Delkim. Yet again, as fast as I can, hurry to the rods and strike it. The fish doesn't stop though and slowly he takes his meters. (lovely, the sound of the clutch). This isn't a small one and I force myself to stay calm.
It's a pitty fight, then I can reel up some line and think I am on the winning team, the other moment the fish takes easily of and pulls all the meters line off the spool. This game continues for half an hour. When time passes by, I am able to block her runs. She is getting tired. I manage to land the fish and in the shining of my headlight I can see her body. What a big fish! This is going to be a new French PB (my previous French PB was 21kg). The fish is being unhooked and we weigh the fish. The needle sticks at 22,3kg! A new PB and what an astonishing fish, a beautiful yellow orange glimmer! What a beautiful creature! What a lovely feeling when you get the chance to get to catch such a fish. I put out the line again and it is time for some coffee. Now it is 7 o'clock. During the coffee I live thru the fight again and watch the pictures. I realize this session is already successful, 8 fish, 7 of them were carp and only 2 nights on our way. By noon again the left Delkim that produces some sounds. I catch a beautiful 16kg mirror. The party is not over yet and that afternoon and evening I can catch 5 more fish, all between 10 and 18,8kg. That day also the first puller. At the end of day 3 we can count 14 fish on our list! Really unbelievable, in France I never managed to catch more than 11 carp in one week.

Day 4, March 27th

I enter my sleeping bag at midnight for some good sleep. I can't get to sleep, the carp are feeding and I know it, I am just waiting for the next bite. It doesn't take long, 01:30h, again the most left Delkim. After a short fight, a small mirror comes to visit us. After putting the line back I enter my sleeping bag. At 7:15h my Delkim wakes me and another small mirror has taken my snowman. I just returned this one when one of my right Delkims warns me, the result is a 11,5kg common. It seems to be a busy day. And indeed, this day I get to catch 9 beautiful carp, all between 10 and 17,8kg. It is really going well. At the end of day 4 I have already caught 26 fish, 12 of them were on the fourth day, amazing!

Day 5, March 28th

Day 5 continues the way we ended day 4, catching fish. That day I catch number 27 till 42, 15 fish! Can it get any crazier? The day starts with a 16,8kg mirror. Followed by a series of mirror carp between 4,5 and 16,2kg. After this series it is 7 o'clock in the evening. The fish gives us some time for dinner, at 9 PM another Delkim sounds. At the moment I land the fish, another Delkim warns me. Really clumsy and with some help from my girlfriend I am playing a fish and another fish is already in the net. Confused of this all, another Delkim starts to scream! I tell my girlfriend she has to take that one, I am already playing a fish. She tells me there is nothing on, I can't feel anything. I tell her to continue winding, the fish can come towards you. And see here, my girlfriend is playing a fish, for the first time in her life. With a lot of afford we can get the fish in the net. I put on my waders to support the landingnet and take one fish out. When I take a look in the net I see three pretty big fish in there. I lift the first one out of the net on to the unhookingmat, this one appears to be 16,7kg, the second fish is 20kg, and the third (the first fish ever for my girlfriend) 21,8kg! This can't get any crazier, very amazing. After this everything remains calm and we finally can get some well earned sleep.

Day 6, march 29th

At 8 AM one of the Delkims screams and the day starts off with a beautiful 13,3kg mirror. At that time I see the line of the right rod is pretty tight and I have heard no beep at all. To be sure I strike it and feel some resistance. I reel in but notice the line is stuck. I have no doubts and get in the boat with the rod, after some artistic performances the line is set free, the carp swum around the marker a couple of times. A short time after that I can put a small mirror on the mat. Now first row out the lines. Enjoying a cup of coffee in the sun (the sun had warmed up the water until 13°C already) at 9.15h one of my right Delkims starts to scream, I hit it and the carp takes of like a mad one. About 5 minutes I have an insane fight and all of a sudden the line slacks. A puller and this felt like a good one. I feel bad about it, but due to the fact that it is going this well, it doesn't have any influence on my good mood. This in contrast to the sessions when you hardly are able to force a bite. When it happens and you get a puller at that time, you can die at that moment. That day I manage to catch 5 more fish, 2 small mirrors, one 14,6kg and one 19,6kg mirror and a 17,7kg common.
At the end of day 6, we count 48 fish. Every time I open my diary, I can't believe it. Sometimes you read about those carpers who catch a lot, but when it happens to you, you are frenzied and only happy

Day 7, March 30th

We entered the last day. At night I caught a 10.4kg common. In the morning during a cup of coffee I catch a small mirror. The small mirrors are very well scaled and colored here. All fish, big and small are so beautiful and nice. On other waters that is not always the case where you catch parrotmouth carp or other defects. Here non of that, a true carp paradise! After release of the small mirror another bite. Unfortunately the third puller. At 6.15 PM I get another chance and I am able to put my net underneath a long 16kg mirror. It will be the last fish of the day. Day 7 gave me 3 fish, the total now is 51 fish.

Day 8, March 31st

We enter the last night and we will spent the morning cleaning. I wonder if we will catch something beautifull this day. It is clear that the number of bites is decreasing. I think this is due to the fact that everybody knows I am catching pretty well and since 2 days 2 German carpers are fishing in front of me. They manage to catch the one after the other. From their swim, they can fish this corner where the wind blows even further than I can. The last night I catch a small mirror, a small common and a nice 15,6kg mirror. What's left is packing up all the stuff. A little after 10 o'clock everything is packed and we can sign out at John. When we arrive at John, we hear the catches in the West corner were good, but the more to the East, the worse the catches and even blanks. I could tell them I had caught 54 fish, 53 carp, 16 above 15kg and 3 of them above 20kg up to 22,3kg. Really weird!
I am aware of the fact that this will not happen too often, but it was great! I hope that every carper is able to have this experience once. Good luck with your search to our beautiful carpy friends!
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