Hinder's Steve Clarke on a memorable week in France!
Steve Clarke of Hinders Tackle in Swindon has recently returned from a very memorable trip to France, which saw him and his friends bank fish to a massive 65lb!
He explained: "Having never fished anywhere other then the UK for carp myself and a few mates decided it was about time to venture out and what better place then France. We booked ourselves a six night session on one of the more popular venues in hope of a few chunks. To be honest I'd have never of guessed just how much time and effort goes into booking a trip, and the cost for that matter, but with bait/tackle and everything finally sorted we loaded up and headed off late Friday afternoon.
We endured a long but relatively smooth drive and arrived in the early hours of Saturday morning. Having not slept for a fair few hours you'd have thought we would just chuck out the rods and catch up on some much needed sleep, but this was not the case. We took the time to examine each lake to make sure we ended up in the best of swims.
The first night for most of us was uneventful but Liam managed to get off the mark very quick, he fished a tree lined swim and managed to catch a fair few fish. I didn't get off the mark until the second night and In the early hours I received an absolute tanking run and after a long and very aggressive battle I slipped the net under this colossal 44lb 10oz common. Looking down into the net I could see it was over the 40lb mark, the shoulders were huge! A few pictures and she was back. With the others not catching we decided to move, this resulted in an upper double for me and both Ken and Dan lost one, unfortunately Dan's being a fair size!
Liam decided to move out of the tree lined swim in hope of finding some bigger fish so myself and Ken moved in which left Dan on the outside of the bay. We did managed to bag a cracking 37lb common which was shortly followed by a few more lumps but it really kicked off on the forth night for myself and Ken. Over the space of four hours we received 12 bites, a few upper thirties for me and something a little bit special for Ken.
Having moved into a good swim I couldn't let the others blank and I decided to do a fish each with Ken. Now this for some might be hard to bear what happened next... I was just landing an upper thirty on my middle rod which was sat in the landing net when my right hand rod received a massive drop back and having just landed one it made it Kens turn! After a short battle I slipped the net under what could only be described as a colossal fish... She went 65lb on the nose and both our jaws dropped, Beast! I was absolutely made up and if anyone deserved a lump if was the chefo for driving over 900 miles.
After this fish the rest was a blur but I've listed the fish below, now one thing I've left out is tackle and bait! We approached this venue with two approaches Spombing and bait boat, both of which did the business. We fished Mainline Cell boilies in every form, chopped, crushed, 15mm round, and a few broken ones mixed in. Hookbaits were something a little different a 10mm Milky Toffee soaked in the Almond Goo topped off with an added cap of our famous Betalin mixed together and left overnight turned them a lovely pink colour and an unbelievable sweet creamy smell which still smelt lovely even after a 12 hour soak. I know the Goo has had some bad press but having done so well on the commercial front using it and then to go to France and have a fantastic session, not too mention landing one of the lakes biggest on it I'm a true fan. Mixed with the Betalin I believe this can't be beaten, It really is the ultimate hookbait in my opinion.
Steve - 44lb 10oz Common,16lb 2oz, 26lb 14oz, 30lb 2oz, 38lb 14oz, 36lb 8oz and a 27lb 12oz mirror
Ken - 24lb 8oz, 37lb, 44lb 5oz, and a colossal common at 65lb