FREE LINE 03 - Page 43

France’s best kept secret
With the hustle and bustle of a busy work life, Brad maximises him
time on the bank, bagging himself several stunning captures. Over to Brad…
After an intense couple of weeks at work after the launch of a big
project, there was nothing I was looking forward to more than having
a week’s fishing abroad in France. It wasn’t just the fishing I was
looking forward to; it was also just the thought of once the rods were
out, just lying on the bedchair, mobile phone switched off for once
and just chilling out and relaxing as I watch the water for any fishy
signs whilst the world and nature goes by. Cherpont lake, also known
as “France’s best kept secret” is a lake which I have always heard
about, so when I got the heads up about an available space with my
brother and a few mates, I jumped at the opportunity.
Cherpont Lake is based in the Limousin region of France. Limousin
is famous for its stunning scenery as it’s full of woodlands
surrounded by big valleys. Cherpont exceeded expectations, as I can
honestly say it’s unbelievably picturesque, and the landscape
backdrop/scenery of the valley hills above the trees give the most
breathtaking views.
We arrived on Saturday morning, and after a brief walk around and
being greeted by Dan and Jackie with a full English breakfast, we all
chose our swims and away we went. I opted for a swim known as
Moorings. I chose this swim because it’s a point swim, which covers a
large expanse of the lake, and if the fish are moving between a big
bay to my left and open water to my right, I would be at the perfect
interception point. With the bottom being silty and completely
uniform/flat all over and only one main feature in front, I decided to
make my bait the feature in the swim.
Two rods were fished over an area that was heavily baited with
heavily glugged, chopped and whole Mainline Hybrid boilies in
conjunction with the matching pellet. The other rod was on a small
patch of pea shingle type gravel amongst the heavy silt and baited
quite tight. With the bottom being extremely silty and very murky, I
wanted to create a really potent mix. A little tip of mine, which I
often do , especially on long sessions, is washing the baits out. My
main reason for doing this is that with the bait being soft, not only
does it appear older therefore less dangerous to the carp, but it also
makes it a lot easier for the fish to chew and pass through the bait,
therefore getting through your bait a lot quicker, which hopefully
brings quicker bites.
In this situation though, I was mixing the lake water with matching
Hybrid Activator, so even though the baits were washed out, I still
wanted a high attraction and flavour level due to the murky nature of
the water. Once the baits had been properly washed out, before
Spombing/boating out, I would drain off the water and the give the
bait a quick glazing of matching boilie dip. Rig wise, I opted to keep it
extremely simple but effective. The rules dictate that for fish safety,
quick release lead clips only are to be used. Therefore, my choice of
rig was 12 inches of N-Trap Soft (long and supple to combat the silt),
blowback style mounted onto a size 4 Kurv Hook. This was then
attached to a Hybrid quick release lead clip and three feet of Dark
Matter rig tubing.
One thing I was doing was carefully critically balancing my Hybrid
snowman hookbait, and with the putty strategically placed on the
hook link, even with a very subtle coated braid like N-Trap, the rig will
still slowly kick away from the lead and reset. This is vital, especially
because on the cast I was attaching a couple of nuggets of PVA foam,
not to protect the hook, as there’s no weed or anything, but purely to
help the rig to fall as slowly through the water as possible on the cast
when feeling the lead down to help stop the rig penetrating too
deeply into the thick silt.
The weather for the week was not in our favour. High pressure had
properly kicked in, and we were having temperatures of 24 degrees


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