A Place Called Desire
Chemo crosses the Channel again...
This was a trip I was really excited about as I was going with one of my oldest buddies, Ronnie Buss. Ron has been going to Lac Desire in France for a few years now and was always banging on about how lovely the place is with loads of lovely carp.
The day arrived and after a fair old drive through the night we arrived to be greeted by the owners, Fred and Maria. The lakes and surroundings were beautiful, and swims were decided upon over a welcome cuppa, myself in peg 4 and Ronnie to my right in peg 5. These pegs were known for their long range spots, so rather than splosh around with casting, I'd taken along my RT4 baitboat to stop any unnecessary disturbance of the spots I had chosen to fish.
The tried and trusted Sonubaits 24/7 boilies was my bait choice for the week. With a combination of 12mm and 15mm baits and matching wafter hookbaits, I was confident I would get amongst the fish. I was using 4½oz leads to give me a better indication at 125 yards where I was dropping my baits and also to aid the hooking potential, although Avid Carp's size 6 CRV hooks are dangerously sharp anyway!
My first take came early Sunday morning and, just like buses, the second came while I was still playing the first! With Ronnie helping out, I managed a 34lb mirror and a super strange sturgeon. Late afternoon brought a flurry of bites with a 32½lb common and mirrors of 25lb, 32lb, 38lb and an absolute stunner at a massive 50½lb. I was loving it! Catching is what it's all about for me, but if there's a chance of a big 'un then all the better!
I had the odd morning bite, but late afternoon was the best bite time by far and I racked up an impressive list of thirties to low-forties as the week progressed. Whilst chatting with Fred the owner on the Tuesday I asked if many fish were caught using zigs. He told me that to his knowledge no one had ever given the zigs a proper chance. So, out went a 3ft zig with a bright yellow Ziglite in 6ft of water. Less than an hour later, I was battling with a mega 37lb mirror. "Pukka!" I thought, but try as I might that was my only zig bite for the week. Weird really, but it's always worth a shot.
So, back to bottom fishing. With each rig I was putting out about 200 baits and they were loving the 24/7 alright! That evening I managed three 40lb-plus fish on the bounce, commons of 43lb and 40½lb and a chunky 44lb mirror, as well as one or two twenties and thirties too. What an amazing place! The other guys were starting to get amongst them too, with fish to 49lb.
On the Thursday Fred and I were again enjoying a cup of tea when I hooked what we both thought was another sturgeon, as it would not give up. Ages and ages the fish ploughed around and what eventually rolled was no sturgeon but a blooming great common known as the Gladiator, which popped the scales round to 52¼lb - lovely jubbly! Much celebrating followed, but my next fish was the total opposite, a 5½lb brown goldfish...
The week came to an end with a few more twenties and thirties, and what a week I'd had! So many carp I'd lost count, plus a few forties and a couple of fifties to boot. The 24/7 went down a storm; I used about 20kg for a week, which isn't overboard, and they kept on munching.
Some stats now, Desire Lake 1, which I fished, is 12 acres of sheer beauty. The stock is around the 250 mark with lots of 40 pounders and a good number of fish well over 50lb. So, to Fred and Maria: thank you for letting us fish your amazing Lake. And to Ronnie Buss: I love you for inviting me! We will be back in the not-too-distant future.