My Time
Article by Richard Cooksey

This was my fourth visit to Etang du Bois, l keep comming back because every time l have been l have achieved a P.B. l remember speaking to Gary must be six maybe seven years ago when he told me about a lake he and Alan had bought. What l remember most of that conversation was Gary's enthusiasm to make it the best lake around.I now believe they have achieved this, when he told me it was perfect l thought he meant the surrounding's  no he was talking about the water quality and the P.H, weed to graval percentages the fact the area floods every year so replemishes the water with minerals. Anyway back to my fishing, as l came through the iron gates l noticed that the tree's seemed so much bigger than l remembered from last year it had been raining an hour or so before l got there so there was that fresh smell around the lake it looked great and l had it all to myself well apart from my good wife Amy and Caine the German Sheperd what a fantastic dog so friendly and playful. So The Point was going to be my swim. So up go'es the bivvy rods all set up no need for a marker as l know the spots a want to fish my approach to most of my fishing is to start of with little and often baiting l do not use much particle l prefere to use bollies and big pellets. As l was putting out my last rod l had a take on the first one which resulted in a 22lb Common, as leigh commented " it's only a baby" l was convinced l had caught the smallest fish in the lake but even though it was a little-un it was to prove the fish were up for a feed. Next morning l was up early looking out at the lake when a good-un jumped clear of the water not two yards from my baited area come-on l thought. The conditions were good around 18-20 degree's low pressure, plenty of rain with sunny spells, l decided to stick with the little and often approach so every four hours  l would put a couple of handful's of bollies and pellet in to the boat and drop them off near my hookbaits but not on top of them.By 10.30pm l had a 39lb.08 from open water and what a take in England l'm so used to fishing tight to features to get a one tonner was great.I then went 36hrs with out a take so decided to ease up on the bait going out and just sit tight so got my book out and started reading well l must have fell asleep because at 8.30pm l had a take from the far margin rod which peeled off line with ease and after a great fight resulted in a new personal best Mirror of 53lb.04 as l celebrated with Amy l had another take a 42lb 6oz Mirror then two hours later had a 47lb'10oz Mirror all in three hours. Followed at 6.15am next morning with a 45lb.04 Common thats four fish in 10 hours and all in perfect condition l was well chuffed. Then my bait boat started playing up when l would drop the bait it would conk out, so l was out in the big boat retrieving it time and time again thinking l was spooking the fish out of the swim Leigh had assured me this was not the case as he is out in the boat loads of times checking the oxygen levels and had fish swimming just yards from the boat and they had not spooked anyway l was not sure if he was just saying that or not, when as l was returning to my swim the rod l had just dropped off started bending round blimmey l thought its only been out five minutes and after a spirited fight a 46lber was in the net, it was going great. Then the next 28hrs just blew me away l had a 42.10, 46.04, 52.12 47.12 and a 29lber l was thinking this can not carry on it can't get any better but it did when l had two more fish a stunning 49.12 Mirror then l smashed my personal best again with what l would be happy to say was the most awsome fish l have ever seen at 58lb.04.As soon as l lfted the rod l new it was a good fish it just went off where it wanted to as l tried to tighten up it would just keep going now it was in front of the Duck run l could not believe the power of the thing it must have been 10-15 minutes of holding on before l could turn her then l had one of the best marginal battles l have ever had every time l would gain some line it would turn away back down to the depths there were huge vortex exploding on the surface and l was getting really tired hoping the fish would give up before me, then this awsome fish came to the surface about 10 yrds out l guided the fish over the block as l sat down l remember thinking l could sit here for a month.l still had three days to go but if l did not catch another fish l would have been over the moon but l did have more fish eight more to be exact. l ended up with 21 fish 4x50's 13x40's 2x30's 2x20's. The fishing was fantastic the best l have ever had and l've been fishing in france for 15 years the place looks great, Leigh is a very good man to have on site his knowledge on fishery matters is spot on so can't wait to get back next year even though l know l will be hard pressed to get any where near the results of this years fishing the beauty and the tranquillity of Etang du Bois is enough for Amy and me it is the best.            

Richard with some of this captures