April Angling
Article by Paul Standing
After what seemed ages we were packed and ready to go we had booked a lake called Etang du Bois the first week of April it that had been highly recommended by anglers l know, so  off we set down to Folkestone for the 5.30 am train. After a straightforward journey we reach our destination and pull up at the gates to be greeted by a German Shepherd called Kaine barking like mad leigh says one word to the dog and he sits down, once inside the gates Kaine is the friendliest dog l have ever met good training l guess, as we walk along the path down to the lodge the lake starts to unfold we ask Leigh the usual things anglers do but all looking at the lake rather than listen to him [sorry Leigh] As we get to the Point swim Gary one of the owners is putting the last of his gear into the tractor Neil has a quick chat with him and tells us he had 3 fish the night before one of which was a 60lb 10oz common. l knew Neil wanted to fish The Lawn and he had pulled number 1 out the bag so was now deep in thought as to what swim to pick, hard life this fishing Ha Ha. As l was last out the hat my wish to fish The Lawn seemed a no chance. Anyway decision time Neil Point, Lee Duck Run, Jim All or Nothing [ great name] Nikki The Gate well #### me lm in The Lawn. While sorting my gear out a hear an almighty splosh down the margin l jump up half expecting to see if Lee had fallen in only to see the ripples come from the right hand margin so 1 rod sorted. 2nd rod to the left in front of the aerator 3rd corner of the island. Sunday morning at breakfast there was plenty of chat about the very impressive photo board these fish are stunning. Neil Jim and myself had been to other lakes in France but this place looks great and we are only in early spring. Sunday fish start showing about 4.30 pm al over the place but no fish so we bend Gary's ear he say's sit tight do not go after the fish wait for them to come to you fish how you fish at home keep putting bait in every couple of hours. Sitting in the silence taking in the surrounding's l get 3 bleeps on the margin rod l'm up and lift into a fish it heads toward the aerator so l tighten up on it and hold on hoping the fish kites away as l start to get some control of the fish it's soon in the sling just as a loud Wayhey comes from the other end of the lake as Nikki lands his 1st french carp a 45lb 8oz Mirror, my fish goes 45lb 7oz of fin perfect Mirror now will know why ther are 50" nets huge double matts weighing frames and antiseptic are provided its obvious fish care is top of the list at Etang du Bois. 1st fish in the bag sat down and cracked open a beer, 2 hours later the same rod goes again resulting in a scaly 28lb 10oz mirror who cares about size when they look this good but l knew there were only a handful of 20's in the lake.   
Monday arrives with a fantastic dawn something about the clarity of early spring that makes dawn and dusk look so stunning, anyway l decide to bring all the rods in, two of them l'm going to change bait it was something Gary said the other day about bait presentation so l go for a K.D with 2 pieces of maize with a bit of rig foam on the end i then do the same on the over rig but in reverse with the foam next to the hook. I drop them in a bucket of water and watch them sink which one does very slowly the other floats so l trim of some foam as this one sinks l look at the two rigs now on the bottom straight away l see the difference the one with the foam nearest the hook has lifted the hook up so it sits next to the bait cocked ready to hook anything that picks up the bait or so l'm told we will see. 12:15pm 2 bleeps bang l'm in again a slow plod of a fight till l get it in the margin, the fish starts stripping line of lively bloody hell what have l hooked into hear after some heart stopping moments the fish comes to the surface and soon is in the net as l peer into the net l release its the biggest fish l have ever seen and let out a loud YES to all on the lake.49lb 12oz Mirror gutted it did not go 50 but what a lovely fish Jim came round to do the pic's, at the same time Nik landed a Common of 47lb 8oz and another p.b he was chuffed. l put that rod out and within 40 mins it was of again quite literally as the fish powered up the margin l tightened up on it then all slack hook pull bollocks was it the new rig should l change back to a normal set up, l thought about it for about 20 minutes but decided to leave the upside down rig on so out it went. that evening a slow lift on the bobbins and l lift into a fish  after about 5 minutes of a steady pull the fish gives up now it feels like a bag of spuds, Grassie l'm not a fan of these fish but it was huge so called Jim over to do the honours. I wanted to get it sorted asap as l heard a few rods had been broken in past years by jumping Grass carp. Sure enough as l walked down to the fish it went completely metal thrashing around in the net when one of the landing net arms snap luckily l'm there to grab the net before the fish swims off with it. Leigh is straight on my case telling us to peg the nets down when you leave the fish even for a second and l can see why. 55lb 10oz of power pics done fish safely back Yes. 5 fish for me and only Monday.   

No action Monday evening so l moved the rod l had on the island over two the right hand margin. Tuesday am gets a strong take the slap head hits the rod and l'm in!! Neil had just come round for a coffee so was where to assist landing and pic's thank's again Bruv 41lb 6oz Common l felt l could do no wrong. Then heard a screech of delight Neil had his first Etang du Bois carp l reeled in and went to congratulate him a 42lb 8oz fin perfect Mirror. As we sat round talking about this beautiful place l offered my swim to Jim who was not of the mark he declined wishing to work on the swim instead fair play. the high pressure Leigh had told us about arrived on Wednesday about 1045 26 degree's fishing slowed for a few days but there were still fish showing at night Thursday first light l get a screamer on the right hand rod as l lift in to the fish l just kept going towards the Duck Run 30 mins later l was starring at a truly awesome Common, as Jim came over the grin on my face said it all, 5 mins later Neil arrives just as l'm in the water for some pic's water is freezing but l don't even think about it l'm on cloud nine. l was so made up l reeled in and went round for a social with my mates. Jim who had turned down my offer to swap swims had decided to go in The Gate so we helped him move round and set up. As we do this Neil has a run resulting in a 40lb 8oz Mirror, so far we have had 11 fish 3 lost already passing our expectations for the week.Friday morning was crazy Nik landed a 38lb 10oz Common Jim then gets a take from The Gate with a stunning dark coloured 48lb 10oz Common as l was landing a mid 50 Common then Neil chips in with a 45lb 4oz Mirror, Jim then has a second take from The Gate and lands a 42lb 4oz Mirror what a couple of hours that was. 7.30pm Friday it really dawns on you last night it seems to have gone so quickly then a slow take this time and a lift into a solid lump after another epic battle it's in the net l call round to my brother Jim as he arrives on one of the bikes he looks at me and see's the smile on my face another 50 then!! we both burst into laughter what a place,54lb 10oz Mirror with lovely marking's on her flank. 4,30 l'm into another hard fighting Du Bois fish that seems to hang on for ever just can't get it to the surface the fish just will not give in l even thought it might be foul hooked l was giving it everything when Neil arrives in the swim see's the bend in my rod say's slow down mate we don't leave till 11am l was so desperate to see the fish l was lucky that it had not broke my line 10 mins later she is in the net Neil looks in there and say's #### off thats huge 53lb 10oz of the best looking Common l have ever seen with the length to grow a lot more.pics done thats it l'm officially knackered. l reel in and sit in Jim's swim gutted l'm going home but over the moon about the week we have had when Jim has a take and is into a fish, Just as Neil gets a one tonner result Jim has a 48lb Common Neil a 48lb 10oz Mirror. 

The week ended with our party landing 20 carp 4 lost total weight in excess of 900lb with an average of 45lb 4oz Etang du Bois is a credit to the work Gary Alan and Leigh put into this superb venue where dreams are made l doubt l will ever have a session like this again in my life time or maybe next year at the moment don't really care im buzzing. Jim, Neil, Nikki and l