The real deal

Article by Neil Stevens

(Aka Golden Balls)

At last the long wait for my yearly french carp fix had arrived, it seemed an age to come round. I have had my fair share of foreign carp trips

in recent years but ever since l had a social trip to Etang du Bois the previous year l fell in love with the place it was my kind of lake. Now we

were Dover bound full of excitment and anticipation of the coming week. After a straight forward journey we were driving down the track through

the woods to the lake. Leigh the manager was there to greet us as he started talking l found myself peering around his shoulder so l could get a

glimpse of the lake l was iching to get the draw for swims out the way so l could start fishing, so off to the lodge we went as we walked down the

gravel track to the lodge we were all picking his brain about how the previous anglers had done as we walked into the lodge we were greeted

by a very impressive picture board of the fish which had been caught that year and l have seen many big fish from other venue's but you have

 to admit these fish are very impressive.I couldn't take it any longer l was desperate to see what swim l would be making my home and was well

chuffed when l came out first in the draw. So where to fish The Lawn and The Duck Run had fished well the week before but instinct told me it had

to be The Point. and from this swim you can look straight up two thirds of the lake so could easily see if the carp were giving any sign's that they

were feeding. Finally all set up l sat back and took in the beautiful surrounding's and enjoying the peace and quiet, it really is an amazing setting

then bosh!!! an absolute donkey let everyone on the lake know what was install in the coming day's. Although the first couple of day's were quiet as the

temperature dropped each day we were getting a good showing early morning from these huge residents by night they would go mental crashing out

over our baits.Finally the tranquility was broken as one of my rods screamed in to life with a strong take as l lifted the rod l new straight away it was a

good fish as it powered along the far margin as l watched my reel line zipping off at a now alarming rate l had to tighten up on it and it began

to kite in to open water, by this time my mate Tom had heard all the commotion and had come round to offer assistance as l got the fish on the 

top about 20yrds out Tom said that's a lump don't let it fall off after an arm aching battle the fish is ready for the net as the fish crossed the block

you start to see why there are 50 inch nets, huge matts and sling's all provided nice touch and needed. As l lifted the net l realised the fish was

bigger than l thought and was over the moon when the scales stretched round past the 50lb mark, and duly let out a screech of delight as they

stopped just past the 52lb mark and what a stunning fish.


Neil with the first of his big Common's

So now full of confidence out went the rods more bollies on the spot l was hungry for more l did not need to wait to long as the following morning

the rod l had placed in a gravel patch in open water roared off l was pulled of balance as l lifted the rod shit what have l hooked here with my 3.5tc

rod bent double all l could do was hold on the power was incredible leaving massive vortexes and tail patterns in 8 feet of water as it headed

for my other line trying to stop it when everything went slack No No No hook pull l was gutted it felt enormous but after a few minutes of swearing

and kicking my tackle box up the path l sorted thing's out and got the rod back out with a few kilo's of bait. Sitting back trying to get the loss out

of my head l cracked open a beer and took in the scenery when off went the margin rod this time l was not letting the fish take the lead so tightened

up the clutch wrong move the fish although moving slower than the other fish just used its immense weight to go anywhere it wanted so l soon let it

have some line after about 10-15 minutes of arm aching action  a sound l  was not anticipating another strong take on the margin rod now panicking

a shout out for assistance Tom is quickly on the scene grab my other rod which he needs no encouragement  luckily the first fish or should l say hippo

 is ready to be netted. Now already feeling drained l commence battle and what a fight if l thought the other specimens were hard fighting his one

was unbelievable pulling line off for a good 50yrds  before l could start to slow it down, mental fight is the only way to describe it but as the fish

 came to the net l just stared at it in amazement. Not knowing my arse from my elbow l set about weighing the first fish still totally obvious of what

l had managed to achieve as Tom and l weighed the first of my brace 54lb 4oz of superbly conditioned Common carp while Tom kept the fish safe

in the net l setabout the second fish l remember not taking to much notice of the second one as l wanted to get the first one back in the water as 

soon as possible so as l opened the net to get my first look at another terrific fish l realised l was looking at the biggest fish l had ever seen

this was something special the width of the fish was staggering. As l struggled to lift the fish it dawned on me this was already a session of a lifetime.

As l looked at the huge fish on the matt a truly awesome sight graced me an absolutely pristine brace of Common's of immense proportion 63lb a 

new PB. and 54lb 4oz Andy and Tom had both reeled in to enjoy this amazing moment as he looked open mouthed at these beautiful creature's. 


The picture that Say's a thousand words

Now all rods out and baited l sat in the bivvy and looked at the picture's still thinking about the day's event's l would sleep well tonight or would l.

Just as a lovely dawn began to come to being  with the night frost shimmering in the sunlight l peered at my rods when a single bleep on the right

hand rod then another l was up like lightening as l got to the rod the bobbin lifted about 10mm that was enough l lifted the rod and bent in to

another fish his was just to good, an epic battle ensued the result a 49lb you guessed it Common what a session. I was on a roll an even though

the weather was getting really cold -6 at night with heavy frost's there were fish still crashing out at night. The final night seemed to come round

so quickly but here we were Friday morning and of we go again this time a long 49lb5oz Mirror. I went to sleep that night with fish crashing over

my baits l did not want it all to come to an end. So Saturday morning was here l was struggling to reel the rods in that last time and leave this fantastic

place so as l put my things in the van all the other's all packed and waiting for my margin rod which had produced so much joy for me in the day's

before roared of again followed by at great scrap ending in a cracking 48lb Mirror. What an end to an unbelievable week l really did want to stay

longer and i'd like to thank Alan and Gary for producing an awesome fishery, also a big thanks to leigh an unusmuming sort of person who is more

than happy to help when needed, can't wait till next year.