THE CATCH ONE DREAMS OF…….. 12 fish in 7 days. 7 cat fish and 5 carp. How and where ? Read on.
We visited Le Val Dore in France, from 28th April to 6th May; it was our belated honeymoon. I have been there several times, the second time for my husband, who on his first visit last year, landed 6 fish, where I lost an extremely large sturgeon. Arriving on time, we set our rods up on Lake 2, Peg 11. I chose to fish the open water, but have a rod down the left margin. Kevin chose the right hand side of the double swim, and kept all 3 rods close to the margin.
Over the week I used different hooks, sized 4,6 and 8, wide gape, choddy and gripper, all supplied by AW Tackle. I did not need to renew a hook due to bluntness, I just fancied a choice of hook. We make our own baits, so I did my normal and did what I wanted to do. So I used one 18mm boilie on all 3 rods. On a short hair rig so that the boilie just sat on the bend of the hook. 12lb mono line, with rigs varying from 8 to 10inchs in length.
South Westerly winds were regular which helped as it was pushing into our swim. It rained only 2 days, and when the cloud lifted and the sun came out it was very warm. We had cooked some particle and took over 30kgs of boilies; as we had discussed that we would bait heavily with particle and boilies on first arriving and top up daily using the bait boat …… Did we heck! I again did my normal, “I did it my way”. So no particle, no bait boat and lets just catapult boilies over a scattered area. Did it work? Oh yes it did.
I’ve never caught a catfish in my life and never on a carp set up. But on 29th April around 4.30am I landed a 9.12lb cat (my PB), size 4 choddy hook and as I said before, a single boilie. 30th April at 5.43am I upped my cat weight to 12.4lb, size 4 gripper hook. 1st May in the early afternoon, I hooked into a fish, the fight was frightening, I was sure I would lose the fish, instead I landed a 20.10lb cat (new PB). Then at 2.47pm I was graced with a carp, the reason I fish, a lovely 34.4lb mirror, size 6 wide gape. Could it get any better, I was so happy. Then at 5pm the same rod rattled and the line tore off, after so many cats I thought another one, but no, a wonderful 47.2lb mirror (new PB mirror).
On 2nd May using a size 4 gripper hook, with no fight at all I landed an 8.3lb cat at 3.41am. Are all cats night feeders I wondered? No …. As I was doing breakfast on 3rd May, my middle rod practically took off. After a 14 minute fight I netted a whopping 31.8lb cat (new PB). My arm hurt and the bruises I sustained! So they do come in the day. Well, Im now Cat Woman, 5 cats to my rods. Then at 4.45pm an elegant 23.6lb common, to a size 8 hook graced my net. The 4th May, in the evening, produced a lengthy 28.6lb mirror to an 8 wide gape hook.
Only two days to go before going home, could I catch any more? The morning of 5th May gave me a tender 22lb mirror, followed at 3.27pm by a 31.12lb cat, on a size 8 wide gape, the newest cat PB. I thought it a ritual only to put my rods out on the last night, with no expectation of being woken at 5am to a screaming reel, and catching an 87.4lb cat that took 47 mins to net. Using a Sonik SKS 12ft rod, 2.75lb test curve, with a Sonik Tournos 8000 reel (thank you Sonik Sports for such great, flexible rods).
Do not believe that cats will not come to carp boilies or that you will never land a heavy cat without the right rig set-up. I’m a carp fisherwoman who landed 7 cats, using a carp set-up. All because the rod was good and the rig correctly put together and well presented.