FL09June - Page 91



International Virgin
Left and below: Chanty
figures commons. Over the next 12
hours we were inundated with commons of around 12lb-22lbs. During
the second night all the heavy rain we
experienced on the drive down was
now coming through with rafts of
weedbeds, trees, etc, and we couldn’t
even hold bottom with 8oz leads. So
that morning, with our rigs dangling
from tips of our rods, we had a look at
the maps of the local area on the bonnet of Richard’s pickup. I was quite
keen to move onto the Grosne now,
but after a little debate, Richard and
Simon decided to head up to Chantecoq instead. We arrived by the lake
late that afternoon, and we got our
tickets for one of the zones near the
famous church. We crashed out that
night and decided to get set up at first
light.
The following morning was a cold
one, with a ground frost and a cloud of
mist hanging over the lake. I got the
kettle on and had a cuppa to warm
my cold bones up. The other two then
set off to a local shop for supplies
while I looked after their gear and got
fishing! The lads then returned and
proceeded to get set up too. Simon
looked after my rods while I went out
in the boat with Richard to survey the
area, and I was happy where I was
fishing just casting from the bank.
While in Richard’s boat, I baited up
with about 10 kilos of particles and a
few kilos of boilies. On my return to
the bank, I noticed my middle rod
swinger dangling down, so I quickly
ran to my rods, struck, and just wound
in the line. The fish must have taken
me round a tree stump, for which the
lake is famous, but Simon hadn’t
heard a thing. Then I trudged back
through the mud to my bivvy, got rerigged up, and cast the rod back out
at around the 80-yard mark. When
setting my rod up on the alarm I
noticed I’d made a big mistake, the
roller of my Neville couldn’t move,
because the rods were resting on top
of them due to the steep angle I was
fishing at – doh! I adjusted my setup
slightly, and all was now ok.
It was only about 30 minutes before
I was in again. This time though it
was something smaller, and I landed a
chub of around 6-7lbs. I returned the
fish and got the rod back out again. 30
minutes later I was away again, this
time with a tench. The action carried
on until darkness fell with tench,
bream, roach, chub, and pike, the
smallest fish being a 5lb common
carp! By about midnight I’d had
enough, and wound the rods in to get
some much needed sleep. No doubt
the others were happy too! Nothing
occurred for Richard or Simon that
night or the following day. It wasn’t
until the final morning at around 5am
that they both had good takes, but
unfortunately lost them both. With
this action I decided to chuck my rods
back out while we began packing up,
and I had another tench for my efforts.
A warning to all who venture to
Chantecoq – if you are there for just
the carp, then don’t bait up with
hemp and pigeon conditioner!
We then crammed all the gear back
in the pickup and headed home. I had
a great time, and really enjoyed the
fishing and the company. The trip
really got a fire going in my belly, and
it left me with a strong desire to get
over to Belgium and have a go at their
canals. But as they say, that is another
story… n
FREE LINE 91

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