FL11 All pages - Page 168



In Search of Monster Carp
fish jumping at the other end, so we
moved over. We actually set up on the
little beach, and I caught three fish
that first night once I got on them –
two 30’s and a 40, which were still
mega fish in those days. There was no
one else on the lake at all, and I
caught another 30 the next day. Then
loads of people turned up; I remember
a couple of French guys setting up on
the other bank, and then three blokes
walked down to me on my bank. I
thought I recognised them, and it was
Roger Smith, Roger and Kerry Barringer. They had met this French guy
at Cassien who said, “I know of this
little lake we can go to,” so they
turned up on this lake and hey presto,
we were all there together.
Even in those days it was a very
small world, carp fishing. You could go
a thousand miles from home and then
see someone who lives just round the
corner and things like that. It was
tough after that, because there were
so many people on there. One thing I
(Above Left) Joan with her first
Cassien carp after quite a tussle.
(Above Right) Only three rods were
allowed then at Cassien, and we
always hired our boat from Chez
Pierre’s.
(Right) A lovely Cassien common, and
my first over 30lb.
168 FREE LINE
remember is that all the fish moved
out from the beach where I was fishing, and as soon as everyone set up, it
all went quiet. There was one little bit
in the middle where no one was fishing, and I thought if I were a carp,
that’s where I would be, sitting out
there in the middle. So I blew my boat
up, took a little bit of bait out there,
and dropped it. They were the same
sort of big baits I was using at
Cassien; the big rock hard baits with
just a few freebies around, and the
next morning it went off with a
50lb’er on the end. 50lb 8oz it was; a
nice dark mirror with little starburst
scales on it. It was a brilliant trip; I
just sneaked down there, and we
were fishing for six days, or something like that. It was the first other
water I had fished in France other
than Cassien, so that was nice to do.
We’re up to 1994 now, and the only
other French water I went to that year
was Chantecoq with Pete Jones. We
fancied venturing out a little bit more;
Cassien was always a long drive, and
I never minded driving down there,
but the other big waters around Paris
were starting to get known – the Orient and Chantecoq – so we decided
to go out there. It was easy fishing to
be honest, and the only difficult thing
at Chantecoq was the conditions,

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