Pictured here is the mighty Two Scale Split Fin, which is one of the original A team from Lake Juvanzé, France. At 52lb 14oz, this monster was taken on a blow-back rig, size 6 barbless, with a critically balanced Entity barrel that was shaved down. This was fished over hemp, tigers and a large spread of Entity boilies, which was topped up daily. This trip was my first in France and I finished the session with three lost fish and three landed, that consisted of a 27lb 7oz common, 33lb 8oz mirror and the big one.
After two and a half days, I managed to find a lovely drop-off around 35 yards out from the bank. The spot went from gravel to around four feet of clean silt. Because the weather was extremely hot, I decided to bait up and rest the area during the hottest part of the day. This time wasn’t wasted and I spent many an hour paying attention to fish movement and signs of feeding. I would begin fishing once again from around 6.30pm each day, when it began to cool down. I fished two rods on the same spot every night, producing takes between 9.45pm and 10.30pm. I easily identified this as the feeding time due to the amount of visible signs of movement and fish rolling on the spot.
Having never fished this venue before, I was more than happy with my approach and it definitely paid to rest the swim during the heat of the day. In my opinion, resting the baited area was key to the confident feeding pattern. Also finding a deviation (feature) in the lake bed was a very important factor because the main lake was very similar in depth and topography.
This was a very emotional trip because I was originally supposed to be going with my father, who sadly passed away before we got the chance to fish together abroad. That said, this was a successful and memorable trip that will stay with me for some time. I even used my dad’s rods to bring me some luck, which we all need from time to time, and in a way it was like he was accompanying me on the trip.
I managed to exceed all my expectations and bag a great fish with the help of Steve Ivey, who acted as ghillie, and Munch Bait field tester Craig Murby, who gave me a masterclass in photography and big-fish handling.