Chronicle of the Etangs de la Croix Blanche – Part 2

For the second time in my life, as a carp angler I have been in a position to try out a water, before everyone else, in true pioneering style. There's a special feeling, when you walk round a water knowing it has huge fish and that you have it to yourself, for a time at least.

And so it was that I set about discovering the secrets of the "Etangs de la Croix Blanche", hoping that I could unlock them and reap the treasures.

Tortue Lake, FranceI'd been told the "Croix Blanche" lake itself held the most fish, but that the "Tortue" had probably the biggest. Observation of this water showed that there were indeed some real whackers swimming around in the clear, limpid water. But the lure of larger numbers to try for saw me opt for the "Croix Blanche", to begin with at least.

Early in April I set up for a three-day session with my eight year-old son, William.  I chose a swim half way along the "Croix Blanche" lake where it narrows, and is around 5 feet deep, offering a good opportunity to intercept fish. I baited with soaked maize, hemp and boilies near the far bank trees, placing three lines, one balanced snowman style, one popped up and one bottom bait in the area. Things were looking good when I started to see some very big swirls coming from the baited zone. As darkness fell I eagerly anticipated the night. Up until midnight no takes were forthcoming so I climbed into my sleeping bag. Around 4:30 am I was awoken by a fast run on my left-hand rod. Dashing past my carefully placed boots I ran in stocking feet out to strike the run. The fish moved to my right and after several minutes I was able to gain enough line to bring it into the margins, unfortunately the line snagged a branch hanging in the water to my right, which I was unable to free. Pulling hard simply lifted the fish's head up towards the tree. I called for my son, who was asleep in the bivvy. After what seemed like ages he staggered out into the night. I asked him to grab the rod as I went in for the fish. On my command he heaved on the line to bring the fish back up to the branch and I scooped her up in the net, pulling hard to break the branch off. On the scales she went 33 lb 4oz. I was soaking wet and cold, but very pleased indeed. A new personal best.

A carp of just over 34lbThe rest of the night and early morning was uneventful so I recast around 10 am and sat back to reflect on the night's action. First fish a good thirty this certainly was promising. All was calm until mid-afternoon, when out of the blue the left rod dropped back. I struck into another heavy weight. This one did very little as I pumped her towards me. Avoiding the dreaded tree, I netted her easily and staggered up the bank with my prize. A fat mirror similar in shape to the first one was weighed in at 34lb 5oz. Two thirties for two fish - wow!

The weather was by now none too good, drizzly rain and quite chilly. Typical April. I baited again and recast my rods in preparation for my last night. As the rain came down I hit the hay early awakened by an enormous swirl over my baited area. The anticipation grew, I felt sure I would get a run. Sure enough at 2:45 am the middle rod with the popped up bait took off and immediately I felt a heavier harder fighting fish. The others had given rather disappointing accounts of themselves, this one, however, made up for that. After ten minutes or so it was still cruising around the margins reluctant to come up to the surface. With aching arms I finally slipped the net under a gorgeous fish. It was longer than the others with a big hump on its shoulders and a much larger tail. It took the scales down to 36lb 6oz, a new personal best, for the third time in 3 fish.

As the Spring gave way to Summer I continued to catch a good number of the biggies in the water. One of the stars of the waters is a broad shouldered mirror. This fish was to grace my net for the first time in May at 40lb and again in August when it had gained three pounds in weight. It also holds the lake record at 43lb 8oz caught by a visiting angler, also in August.

My tally of thirties is at present up to eleven and the forty has fallen twice to my lines. To say that the waters have surpassed my expectations is an understatement!

A Tortue linear carpAnd so I have turned my attentions to the "Tortue". The water was beginning to fascinate me, anyway. I had seen a real lump swimming around on several occasions. By far the biggest fish in the complex. I therefore decided to set my stall for the rest of the summer for this fish.

One day as I stood on the edge of the water contemplating on where to start. I called out loud "Carp where  are you? " As if to answer my question, a fish crashed out over a gravel bar in the centre of the water. This then was where I placed my marker. I baited with maize and boilies for ten days every other day. My first night session passed quietly, but the second saw a fast run on the middle rod. I was soon looking at a pristine mirror a shade over 27lb. The next night at almost exactly the same hour, 11:15 pm, the same rod roared off and I was fortunate to be graced by another of the jewels of the "Croix Blanche" complex, a linear a tad under 36lb. A magnificent fish.

This brings us to September and despite a couple of three-day sessions I'm still to take another fish. I've seen the big'un several times in a very impressive group of eight fish. All over 35lb, I'm sure. I hope with a bit of patience and good fortune I shall soon be able to recount the capture of this giant carp.

Gareth

And so it was that I set about discovering the secrets of the "Etangs de la Croix Blanche", hoping that I could unlock them and reap the treasures.

Tortue Lake, FranceI'd been told the "Croix Blanche" lake itself held the most fish, but that the "Tortue" had probably the biggest. Observation of this water showed that there were indeed some real whackers swimming around in the clear, limpid water. But the lure of larger numbers to try for saw me opt for the "Croix Blanche", to begin with at least.

Early in April I set up for a three-day session with my eight year-old son, William.  I chose a swim half way along the "Croix Blanche" lake where it narrows, and is around 5 feet deep, offering a good opportunity to intercept fish. I baited with soaked maize, hemp and boilies near the far bank trees, placing three lines, one balanced snowman style, one popped up and one bottom bait in the area. Things were looking good when I started to see some very big swirls coming from the baited zone. As darkness fell I eagerly anticipated the night. Up until midnight no takes were forthcoming so I climbed into my sleeping bag. Around 4:30 am I was awoken by a fast run on my left-hand rod. Dashing past my carefully placed boots I ran in stocking feet out to strike the run. The fish moved to my right and after several minutes I was able to gain enough line to bring it into the margins, unfortunately the line snagged a branch hanging in the water to my right, which I was unable to free. Pulling hard simply lifted the fish's head up towards the tree. I called for my son, who was asleep in the bivvy. After what seemed like ages he staggered out into the night. I asked him to grab the rod as I went in for the fish. On my command he heaved on the line to bring the fish back up to the branch and I scooped her up in the net, pulling hard to break the branch off. On the scales she went 33 lb 4oz. I was soaking wet and cold, but very pleased indeed. A new personal best.

A carp of just over 34lbThe rest of the night and early morning was uneventful so I recast around 10 am and sat back to reflect on the night's action. First fish a good thirty this certainly was promising. All was calm until mid-afternoon, when out of the blue the left rod dropped back. I struck into another heavy weight. This one did very little as I pumped her towards me. Avoiding the dreaded tree, I netted her easily and staggered up the bank with my prize. A fat mirror similar in shape to the first one was weighed in at 34lb 5oz. Two thirties for two fish - wow!

The weather was by now none too good, drizzly rain and quite chilly. Typical April. I baited again and recast my rods in preparation for my last night. As the rain came down I hit the hay early awakened by an enormous swirl over my baited area. The anticipation grew, I felt sure I would get a run. Sure enough at 2:45 am the middle rod with the popped up bait took off and immediately I felt a heavier harder fighting fish. The others had given rather disappointing accounts of themselves, this one, however, made up for that. After ten minutes or so it was still cruising around the margins reluctant to come up to the surface. With aching arms I finally slipped the net under a gorgeous fish. It was longer than the others with a big hump on its shoulders and a much larger tail. It took the scales down to 36lb 6oz, a new personal best, for the third time in 3 fish.

As the Spring gave way to Summer I continued to catch a good number of the biggies in the water. One of the stars of the waters is a broad shouldered mirror. This fish was to grace my net for the first time in May at 40lb and again in August when it had gained three pounds in weight. It also holds the lake record at 43lb 8oz caught by a visiting angler, also in August.

My tally of thirties is at present up to eleven and the forty has fallen twice to my lines. To say that the waters have surpassed my expectations is an understatement!

A Tortue linear carpAnd so I have turned my attentions to the "Tortue". The water was beginning to fascinate me, anyway. I had seen a real lump swimming around on several occasions. By far the biggest fish in the complex. I therefore decided to set my stall for the rest of the summer for this fish.

One day as I stood on the edge of the water contemplating on where to start. I called out loud "Carp where  are you? " As if to answer my question, a fish crashed out over a gravel bar in the centre of the water. This then was where I placed my marker. I baited with maize and boilies for ten days every other day. My first night session passed quietly, but the second saw a fast run on the middle rod. I was soon looking at a pristine mirror a shade over 27lb. The next night at almost exactly the same hour, 11:15 pm, the same rod roared off and I was fortunate to be graced by another of the jewels of the "Croix Blanche" complex, a linear a tad under 36lb. A magnificent fish.

This brings us to September and despite a couple of three-day sessions I'm still to take another fish. I've seen the big'un several times in a very impressive group of eight fish. All over 35lb, I'm sure. I hope with a bit of patience and good fortune I shall soon be able to recount the capture of this giant carp.

Gareth

And so it was that I set about discovering the secrets of the "Etangs de la Croix Blanche", hoping that I could unlock them and reap the treasures.

Tortue Lake, FranceI'd been told the "Croix Blanche" lake itself held the most fish, but that the "Tortue" had probably the biggest. Observation of this water showed that there were indeed some real whackers swimming around in the clear, limpid water. But the lure of larger numbers to try for saw me opt for the "Croix Blanche", to begin with at least.

Early in April I set up for a three-day session with my eight year-old son, William.  I chose a swim half way along the "Croix Blanche" lake where it narrows, and is around 5 feet deep, offering a good opportunity to intercept fish. I baited with soaked maize, hemp and boilies near the far bank trees, placing three lines, one balanced snowman style, one popped up and one bottom bait in the area. Things were looking good when I started to see some very big swirls coming from the baited zone. As darkness fell I eagerly anticipated the night. Up until midnight no takes were forthcoming so I climbed into my sleeping bag. Around 4:30 am I was awoken by a fast run on my left-hand rod. Dashing past my carefully placed boots I ran in stocking feet out to strike the run. The fish moved to my right and after several minutes I was able to gain enough line to bring it into the margins, unfortunately the line snagged a branch hanging in the water to my right, which I was unable to free. Pulling hard simply lifted the fish's head up towards the tree. I called for my son, who was asleep in the bivvy. After what seemed like ages he staggered out into the night. I asked him to grab the rod as I went in for the fish. On my command he heaved on the line to bring the fish back up to the branch and I scooped her up in the net, pulling hard to break the branch off. On the scales she went 33 lb 4oz. I was soaking wet and cold, but very pleased indeed. A new personal best.

A carp of just over 34lbThe rest of the night and early morning was uneventful so I recast around 10 am and sat back to reflect on the night's action. First fish a good thirty this certainly was promising. All was calm until mid-afternoon, when out of the blue the left rod dropped back. I struck into another heavy weight. This one did very little as I pumped her towards me. Avoiding the dreaded tree, I netted her easily and staggered up the bank with my prize. A fat mirror similar in shape to the first one was weighed in at 34lb 5oz. Two thirties for two fish - wow!

The weather was by now none too good, drizzly rain and quite chilly. Typical April. I baited again and recast my rods in preparation for my last night. As the rain came down I hit the hay early awakened by an enormous swirl over my baited area. The anticipation grew, I felt sure I would get a run. Sure enough at 2:45 am the middle rod with the popped up bait took off and immediately I felt a heavier harder fighting fish. The others had given rather disappointing accounts of themselves, this one, however, made up for that. After ten minutes or so it was still cruising around the margins reluctant to come up to the surface. With aching arms I finally slipped the net under a gorgeous fish. It was longer than the others with a big hump on its shoulders and a much larger tail. It took the scales down to 36lb 6oz, a new personal best, for the third time in 3 fish.

As the Spring gave way to Summer I continued to catch a good number of the biggies in the water. One of the stars of the waters is a broad shouldered mirror. This fish was to grace my net for the first time in May at 40lb and again in August when it had gained three pounds in weight. It also holds the lake record at 43lb 8oz caught by a visiting angler, also in August.

My tally of thirties is at present up to eleven and the forty has fallen twice to my lines. To say that the waters have surpassed my expectations is an understatement!

A Tortue linear carpAnd so I have turned my attentions to the "Tortue". The water was beginning to fascinate me, anyway. I had seen a real lump swimming around on several occasions. By far the biggest fish in the complex. I therefore decided to set my stall for the rest of the summer for this fish.

One day as I stood on the edge of the water contemplating on where to start. I called out loud "Carp where  are you? " As if to answer my question, a fish crashed out over a gravel bar in the centre of the water. This then was where I placed my marker. I baited with maize and boilies for ten days every other day. My first night session passed quietly, but the second saw a fast run on the middle rod. I was soon looking at a pristine mirror a shade over 27lb. The next night at almost exactly the same hour, 11:15 pm, the same rod roared off and I was fortunate to be graced by another of the jewels of the "Croix Blanche" complex, a linear a tad under 36lb. A magnificent fish.

This brings us to September and despite a couple of three-day sessions I'm still to take another fish. I've seen the big'un several times in a very impressive group of eight fish. All over 35lb, I'm sure. I hope with a bit of patience and good fortune I shall soon be able to recount the capture of this giant carp.

Gareth

And so it was that I set about discovering the secrets of the "Etangs de la Croix Blanche", hoping that I could unlock them and reap the treasures.

Tortue Lake, FranceI'd been told the "Croix Blanche" lake itself held the most fish, but that the "Tortue" had probably the biggest. Observation of this water showed that there were indeed some real whackers swimming around in the clear, limpid water. But the lure of larger numbers to try for saw me opt for the "Croix Blanche", to begin with at least.

Early in April I set up for a three-day session with my eight year-old son, William.  I chose a swim half way along the "Croix Blanche" lake where it narrows, and is around 5 feet deep, offering a good opportunity to intercept fish. I baited with soaked maize, hemp and boilies near the far bank trees, placing three lines, one balanced snowman style, one popped up and one bottom bait in the area. Things were looking good when I started to see some very big swirls coming from the baited zone. As darkness fell I eagerly anticipated the night. Up until midnight no takes were forthcoming so I climbed into my sleeping bag. Around 4:30 am I was awoken by a fast run on my left-hand rod. Dashing past my carefully placed boots I ran in stocking feet out to strike the run. The fish moved to my right and after several minutes I was able to gain enough line to bring it into the margins, unfortunately the line snagged a branch hanging in the water to my right, which I was unable to free. Pulling hard simply lifted the fish's head up towards the tree. I called for my son, who was asleep in the bivvy. After what seemed like ages he staggered out into the night. I asked him to grab the rod as I went in for the fish. On my command he heaved on the line to bring the fish back up to the branch and I scooped her up in the net, pulling hard to break the branch off. On the scales she went 33 lb 4oz. I was soaking wet and cold, but very pleased indeed. A new personal best.

A carp of just over 34lbThe rest of the night and early morning was uneventful so I recast around 10 am and sat back to reflect on the night's action. First fish a good thirty this certainly was promising. All was calm until mid-afternoon, when out of the blue the left rod dropped back. I struck into another heavy weight. This one did very little as I pumped her towards me. Avoiding the dreaded tree, I netted her easily and staggered up the bank with my prize. A fat mirror similar in shape to the first one was weighed in at 34lb 5oz. Two thirties for two fish - wow!

The weather was by now none too good, drizzly rain and quite chilly. Typical April. I baited again and recast my rods in preparation for my last night. As the rain came down I hit the hay early awakened by an enormous swirl over my baited area. The anticipation grew, I felt sure I would get a run. Sure enough at 2:45 am the middle rod with the popped up bait took off and immediately I felt a heavier harder fighting fish. The others had given rather disappointing accounts of themselves, this one, however, made up for that. After ten minutes or so it was still cruising around the margins reluctant to come up to the surface. With aching arms I finally slipped the net under a gorgeous fish. It was longer than the others with a big hump on its shoulders and a much larger tail. It took the scales down to 36lb 6oz, a new personal best, for the third time in 3 fish.

As the Spring gave way to Summer I continued to catch a good number of the biggies in the water. One of the stars of the waters is a broad shouldered mirror. This fish was to grace my net for the first time in May at 40lb and again in August when it had gained three pounds in weight. It also holds the lake record at 43lb 8oz caught by a visiting angler, also in August.

My tally of thirties is at present up to eleven and the forty has fallen twice to my lines. To say that the waters have surpassed my expectations is an understatement!

A Tortue linear carpAnd so I have turned my attentions to the "Tortue". The water was beginning to fascinate me, anyway. I had seen a real lump swimming around on several occasions. By far the biggest fish in the complex. I therefore decided to set my stall for the rest of the summer for this fish.

One day as I stood on the edge of the water contemplating on where to start. I called out loud "Carp where  are you? " As if to answer my question, a fish crashed out over a gravel bar in the centre of the water. This then was where I placed my marker. I baited with maize and boilies for ten days every other day. My first night session passed quietly, but the second saw a fast run on the middle rod. I was soon looking at a pristine mirror a shade over 27lb. The next night at almost exactly the same hour, 11:15 pm, the same rod roared off and I was fortunate to be graced by another of the jewels of the "Croix Blanche" complex, a linear a tad under 36lb. A magnificent fish.

This brings us to September and despite a couple of three-day sessions I'm still to take another fish. I've seen the big'un several times in a very impressive group of eight fish. All over 35lb, I'm sure. I hope with a bit of patience and good fortune I shall soon be able to recount the capture of this giant carp.

Gareth

And so it was that I set about discovering the secrets of the "Etangs de la Croix Blanche", hoping that I could unlock them and reap the treasures.

Tortue Lake, FranceI'd been told the "Croix Blanche" lake itself held the most fish, but that the "Tortue" had probably the biggest. Observation of this water showed that there were indeed some real whackers swimming around in the clear, limpid water. But the lure of larger numbers to try for saw me opt for the "Croix Blanche", to begin with at least.

Early in April I set up for a three-day session with my eight year-old son, William.  I chose a swim half way along the "Croix Blanche" lake where it narrows, and is around 5 feet deep, offering a good opportunity to intercept fish. I baited with soaked maize, hemp and boilies near the far bank trees, placing three lines, one balanced snowman style, one popped up and one bottom bait in the area. Things were looking good when I started to see some very big swirls coming from the baited zone. As darkness fell I eagerly anticipated the night. Up until midnight no takes were forthcoming so I climbed into my sleeping bag. Around 4:30 am I was awoken by a fast run on my left-hand rod. Dashing past my carefully placed boots I ran in stocking feet out to strike the run. The fish moved to my right and after several minutes I was able to gain enough line to bring it into the margins, unfortunately the line snagged a branch hanging in the water to my right, which I was unable to free. Pulling hard simply lifted the fish's head up towards the tree. I called for my son, who was asleep in the bivvy. After what seemed like ages he staggered out into the night. I asked him to grab the rod as I went in for the fish. On my command he heaved on the line to bring the fish back up to the branch and I scooped her up in the net, pulling hard to break the branch off. On the scales she went 33 lb 4oz. I was soaking wet and cold, but very pleased indeed. A new personal best.

A carp of just over 34lbThe rest of the night and early morning was uneventful so I recast around 10 am and sat back to reflect on the night's action. First fish a good thirty this certainly was promising. All was calm until mid-afternoon, when out of the blue the left rod dropped back. I struck into another heavy weight. This one did very little as I pumped her towards me. Avoiding the dreaded tree, I netted her easily and staggered up the bank with my prize. A fat mirror similar in shape to the first one was weighed in at 34lb 5oz. Two thirties for two fish - wow!

The weather was by now none too good, drizzly rain and quite chilly. Typical April. I baited again and recast my rods in preparation for my last night. As the rain came down I hit the hay early awakened by an enormous swirl over my baited area. The anticipation grew, I felt sure I would get a run. Sure enough at 2:45 am the middle rod with the popped up bait took off and immediately I felt a heavier harder fighting fish. The others had given rather disappointing accounts of themselves, this one, however, made up for that. After ten minutes or so it was still cruising around the margins reluctant to come up to the surface. With aching arms I finally slipped the net under a gorgeous fish. It was longer than the others with a big hump on its shoulders and a much larger tail. It took the scales down to 36lb 6oz, a new personal best, for the third time in 3 fish.

As the Spring gave way to Summer I continued to catch a good number of the biggies in the water. One of the stars of the waters is a broad shouldered mirror. This fish was to grace my net for the first time in May at 40lb and again in August when it had gained three pounds in weight. It also holds the lake record at 43lb 8oz caught by a visiting angler, also in August.

My tally of thirties is at present up to eleven and the forty has fallen twice to my lines. To say that the waters have surpassed my expectations is an understatement!

A Tortue linear carpAnd so I have turned my attentions to the "Tortue". The water was beginning to fascinate me, anyway. I had seen a real lump swimming around on several occasions. By far the biggest fish in the complex. I therefore decided to set my stall for the rest of the summer for this fish.

One day as I stood on the edge of the water contemplating on where to start. I called out loud "Carp where  are you? " As if to answer my question, a fish crashed out over a gravel bar in the centre of the water. This then was where I placed my marker. I baited with maize and boilies for ten days every other day. My first night session passed quietly, but the second saw a fast run on the middle rod. I was soon looking at a pristine mirror a shade over 27lb. The next night at almost exactly the same hour, 11:15 pm, the same rod roared off and I was fortunate to be graced by another of the jewels of the "Croix Blanche" complex, a linear a tad under 36lb. A magnificent fish.

This brings us to September and despite a couple of three-day sessions I'm still to take another fish. I've seen the big'un several times in a very impressive group of eight fish. All over 35lb, I'm sure. I hope with a bit of patience and good fortune I shall soon be able to recount the capture of this giant carp.

Gareth

And so it was that I set about discovering the secrets of the "Etangs de la Croix Blanche", hoping that I could unlock them and reap the treasures.

Tortue Lake, FranceI'd been told the "Croix Blanche" lake itself held the most fish, but that the "Tortue" had probably the biggest. Observation of this water showed that there were indeed some real whackers swimming around in the clear, limpid water. But the lure of larger numbers to try for saw me opt for the "Croix Blanche", to begin with at least.

Early in April I set up for a three-day session with my eight year-old son, William.  I chose a swim half way along the "Croix Blanche" lake where it narrows, and is around 5 feet deep, offering a good opportunity to intercept fish. I baited with soaked maize, hemp and boilies near the far bank trees, placing three lines, one balanced snowman style, one popped up and one bottom bait in the area. Things were looking good when I started to see some very big swirls coming from the baited zone. As darkness fell I eagerly anticipated the night. Up until midnight no takes were forthcoming so I climbed into my sleeping bag. Around 4:30 am I was awoken by a fast run on my left-hand rod. Dashing past my carefully placed boots I ran in stocking feet out to strike the run. The fish moved to my right and after several minutes I was able to gain enough line to bring it into the margins, unfortunately the line snagged a branch hanging in the water to my right, which I was unable to free. Pulling hard simply lifted the fish's head up towards the tree. I called for my son, who was asleep in the bivvy. After what seemed like ages he staggered out into the night. I asked him to grab the rod as I went in for the fish. On my command he heaved on the line to bring the fish back up to the branch and I scooped her up in the net, pulling hard to break the branch off. On the scales she went 33 lb 4oz. I was soaking wet and cold, but very pleased indeed. A new personal best.

A carp of just over 34lbThe rest of the night and early morning was uneventful so I recast around 10 am and sat back to reflect on the night's action. First fish a good thirty this certainly was promising. All was calm until mid-afternoon, when out of the blue the left rod dropped back. I struck into another heavy weight. This one did very little as I pumped her towards me. Avoiding the dreaded tree, I netted her easily and staggered up the bank with my prize. A fat mirror similar in shape to the first one was weighed in at 34lb 5oz. Two thirties for two fish - wow!

The weather was by now none too good, drizzly rain and quite chilly. Typical April. I baited again and recast my rods in preparation for my last night. As the rain came down I hit the hay early awakened by an enormous swirl over my baited area. The anticipation grew, I felt sure I would get a run. Sure enough at 2:45 am the middle rod with the popped up bait took off and immediately I felt a heavier harder fighting fish. The others had given rather disappointing accounts of themselves, this one, however, made up for that. After ten minutes or so it was still cruising around the margins reluctant to come up to the surface. With aching arms I finally slipped the net under a gorgeous fish. It was longer than the others with a big hump on its shoulders and a much larger tail. It took the scales down to 36lb 6oz, a new personal best, for the third time in 3 fish.

As the Spring gave way to Summer I continued to catch a good number of the biggies in the water. One of the stars of the waters is a broad shouldered mirror. This fish was to grace my net for the first time in May at 40lb and again in August when it had gained three pounds in weight. It also holds the lake record at 43lb 8oz caught by a visiting angler, also in August.

My tally of thirties is at present up to eleven and the forty has fallen twice to my lines. To say that the waters have surpassed my expectations is an understatement!

A Tortue linear carpAnd so I have turned my attentions to the "Tortue". The water was beginning to fascinate me, anyway. I had seen a real lump swimming around on several occasions. By far the biggest fish in the complex. I therefore decided to set my stall for the rest of the summer for this fish.

One day as I stood on the edge of the water contemplating on where to start. I called out loud "Carp where  are you? " As if to answer my question, a fish crashed out over a gravel bar in the centre of the water. This then was where I placed my marker. I baited with maize and boilies for ten days every other day. My first night session passed quietly, but the second saw a fast run on the middle rod. I was soon looking at a pristine mirror a shade over 27lb. The next night at almost exactly the same hour, 11:15 pm, the same rod roared off and I was fortunate to be graced by another of the jewels of the "Croix Blanche" complex, a linear a tad under 36lb. A magnificent fish.

This brings us to September and despite a couple of three-day sessions I'm still to take another fish. I've seen the big'un several times in a very impressive group of eight fish. All over 35lb, I'm sure. I hope with a bit of patience and good fortune I shall soon be able to recount the capture of this giant carp.

Gareth