Fieldtest at Etang P. from May 5th-12th!

Update Sunday afternoon May 6th

This spring it has been exactly 10 years ago that I have been to Etang P.... Back in that time I left The Netherlands to go to France for 6 months of work experience. Away for a while , and looking for adventure! Every week I closed with a night out in the French nightlife, after that, I spent 2 nights at the water. Variable I chose to fish the Mayenne, a middlesized river, or Etang P. In the six months I were there, I managed to catch several 30lb fish and even 3 40lb!
Because of the temptation of other waters, we went split up, and it was at the market of Montluçon this spring when I met the owner of Etang P. for the first time. A reunion with the lake was planned, and the water in all his beauty could be in our package of French paylakes. Late March Jeroen Albers and I visited the water, and a fieldtest early May was planned to toast the cooperation.
Here we are, after a successful journey via Etang de la Livardière where we received the guests for the Shimano, Dynamite Baits and ACE press week, we arrived at the water at 3 o'clock and we look for a swim. Due to the bad weather the last weeks, a swim with deep water in front of us at the North side of the lake was reserved for us. Additional luck for us, this swim is one of the favorites of Richard Lous, he could give us lots of information about this swim.
After the usual talks, preparing the material, baiting up and doing some research, we cast in our bait at around 6.30 PM. A nice and welcome diner is what's next and, before we are safe and sound on our bedchairs, we get a bite on Maarten his rod that was set in the margins. A nice fight is what's next, a little later he can land a small, fat 13,8kg mirror. Not a bad start at the first day!
The rest of the night nothing happens, but in the rare morningsun, another bitealarm of Maarten starts to scream. This is the rod which we casted at the maximum casting distance by wade as far as we could and we came pretty close to the old river bedding. The slow bite and the calm fight makes us think we are dealing with a big fish, but totally surprised, the cause off all this was a beautiful scaled 8,4kg mirror. The fish was pretty long, probably without any chance of growing very big, but he makes us smile because of his beautiful scalepattern. We are happy that the bite was at 11 in the morning... This is a sign that the fish also feeds during the day!
The water itself is just as beautiful as I remembered... Big, wild, natural and situated very peaceful. If the old oaks around the water could talk, without any doubt the would tell about all the great party's in the castle or probably about the many anglers who set a new PB at this water. With both common as mirror carp who pass the 30kg line, and an average weight of 13kg, Etang P. is not an easy water. To guarantee the natural character of the domain and keep the peace, the rules about fishing are pretty strict. Only casting is allowed, this is a challenge in the modern carpfishery... but it has its charmes.
Because the water is big and the bottom is pretty flat so we decide to bait up in a big area and to fish different distances to intercept groups of fish and to keep them at the baited area. For now, this plan seems to be a success, considering the fact that we have already caught 2 fish. With a full week ahead we have to wait and see what the weather does and how this effects the fishing. One thing is for sure, we enjoy this fishery and the astonishing environment.
Talk to you in the next update!
(Due to the fact that we have a very slow internet connection, our updates are without pictures)

Update Monday afternoon May 7th

Unfortunately we haven't caught anything yesterday, the French neighbours neither caught anything. We have spent a lot of time looking at the water and looking for other swims. At a 150 acre big lake, this is a pretty tough job. Between our swim and the isle there is a shallow bay, we see several carp in the margins here. In spite of the water only being 15°C, it looks like the fish is preparing for spawning.... Time for some action, because if that is what's going on, we shouldn't expect a lot on the deeper spot of the lake.
At the deep side of the lake there are several free swims, closer to the shallow part it is going to be difficult to find a free swim. Swim 21 is situated just beyond the isle, about 700 meters from our current swim. We move to that side, bait up some new spots and in the beginning of the afternoon we are ready to go!

Update Wednesday afternoon May 9th

Because of the bad weather not a lot of fish has been caught on the entire lake. The fish wanted to start spawning, but everything stopped because of the cold, the wind and the rain. Until now we have worked hard and managed to catch 3 more fish... hopefully the weather will help us catch some more fish during the last days. We keep up the good mood!

Update Thursday may10th

In the meanwhile we have been fishing for 2 nights at swim 21... we managed to catch 3 fish there so until now we have caught 5 fish. The last 2 fish, and another bite which was unfortunately a puller are all from 1 rod. This most right handed rod I fished with a Proline boilie about 50 meters around the corner in the great bay in front of the castle. Ralph gave me this advice in a text message... I really appreciated this. Tough the Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty grey, the fish was in the shallow bay between the island and the castle garden. During observation in the evening there were some jumpers. At Wednesday night they finally started feeding, we had 3 bites! The size could be bigger, 2 nice 20lb fish: 10,4 and 13,6kg!
Thursday, at the end of the morning, we decide to move again. The wind is blowing the whole week long in the corner of swim 27. In combination with the predicted good weather for the last days of this week and the shallowness of this bay we expect to find the fish here. 2 English anglers had to leave early due to work commitments, and thankful we take over their swim. Although they had 'only' caught 7 fish up until mid thirties, we give it a shot and believe in the saying: “third time lucky”!
Halfway the afternoon the six rods are back in position and we have chosen for Proline boilies as well as fluo pop-ups and particles. With 2 more nights ahead it is now or never! At least we enjoy is here. Here at the end of the lake is is one big paradise with a lot of quietness and lots of nature's beauty. Singing birds, quacking frogs and every now and then a fish jumping out of the water it is a true joy to be here!
See you at the next update!

Update Friday afternoon, May 11th

After our moving and the update yesterday, we hadn't had a moment of rest at swim 27... in total we had 10 bites and landed 8 fish, amongst them were several beautiful 20lb+ fish! A good result which we secretly hoped for the whole week. Because of the upcoming spawning period, the fish is gathering and from our swim we can perfectly intercept them. It isn't easy, the most beautiful spots (point out by Ralph and our English neighbour) are at pretty big distance. After every bite on the two left handed rods we have to wade for about 100-150 meters to get the rods at the right spots. It is fun tough, and wading in the middle of the night thru the water has something special in it. Between 11 at night and 5 in the morning we get the most bites, and after the 'last' bite in the morning at 6.30 we can get some sleep, so we can go full power again at 11 in the morning.
The most fish we catch are between 10 and 14kg... our English neighbours at swim 25&26, and the anglers at the other side of the lake at swim 19 manage to catch some bigger fish, they catch not as much as we do tough. We have only one night to go, and we hope one big fish will make the mistake to take our bait. We will see!!
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