Chas with his 43.08 mirror
Kevin and Nikki arrived at Vaux on Saturday, 7th July. A large area of low pressure had settled over northern France giving lower than average temperatures and higher than average rainfall which continued throughout the week, but this weather did undoubtedly contribute to the catch rate. Our anglers fished their own tactics for the whole of the week, using slack lines, smaller leads and back leading even to the far banks, using their own baits and only fishing days and not all day, every day. The carp were showing by rolling or topping and were so active that Kevin and Nikki said that they would have taken any bait, freezer or preserved, and would have come to any tactic; the tactics worked because of the aggressive nature of the feeding carp. 85% of the carp came from the top of the lake where it is shallower and, therefore, water temperature is higher than the main body of the lake.
Kevin and Nikki left early on Saturday morning and I was looking forward to a week of fishing myself, due to a cancellation. Weather conditions continued wet and miserable. At 10am I could see a large number of carp topping and rolling in the top bay, with a few showing on the dam wall. So I decided that I would not fish to the top bay, but would fish for the week from the dam wall to the deeper part of the lake to the right hand bank, heavily baiting one area with 150kgs of particles and carp and trout pellets and using my own big carp tactics, completely different tactics to those of the previous week, with the aim of pursuing the larger carp in the lake and trying to exclude the smaller ones. I usually like to fish the day following heavy baiting, but an hour later a good sized mirror rolled on my baited spot and contrary to my normal practice, I decided to put two rods out to the baited spot immediately. Both rods were baited with critically balanced DNA dumbells, a set-up rarely seen by the carp. My hook lengths and lead set-ups were as shown in my Big Carp Euro Rig article. I spent seven hours thoroughly enjoying my fishing, managing to catch nine carp of good size: mirrors – 2 x 40s at 46lb and 43lb8oz, 5 x 30s at 36lb, 34lb, 32lb, 38lb and 38lb14oz, and commons – 1 x 35lb and 1 x 29lb. I believe the 46lb carp came from where the first fish had rolled and judging from the colour and scale pattern of that carp, I believe it was that same fish. I ended my session at about 7pm with the intention of returning the next day to bivvy at Vaux for the rest of the week.
However, on Sunday morning Kevin and Nikki returned for a second week at Vaux, continuing their same tactics from the previous week, largely ignoring my baited spot and chasing carp in the top bay where no heavy baiting was needed. They achieved two outstanding weeks’ of fishing with a final total of 69 carp, but including my catches, 78 were landed during the whole two weeks.
During that fortnight, the large carp were showing by rolling and topping, but although they were very active, no 40s fell to to our anglers. The fact is that my complete change of tactics of baiting and hook length set-ups definitely contributed to the downfall of the 46lb and 43lb8oz
Fishing Holiday at Vaux