Gigantica Update - Danny Turtle

Last autumn was the first time accurate catch reports had been recorded, because the previous owner was a simple French man, with little idea of how to run or promote a fishery.
The ‘Giant’ as we have called it is our largest known resident and was previously caught at 72lb 8oz in Sept 08. It had been seen this spring priory to spawning by several people including myself and Tom Dove looking absolutely huge. It was simply too big to put a weight on it.
The week started slowly, which is usually the case, as anglers get busy plumbing and baiting. Ray & Keith were ironically competition winners from Carptalk. Both anglers, veterans’ of French fishing, neither had fished waters of this size before ( 35 acres ).
Both anglers chose to fish swims close to the lodge for convenience, Keith in Alcatraz & Ray in Pole position.
This year, all baited rigs have to be cast from the bank, previously, the rules allowed rigs to be rowed and dropped from remote control boats. As a result, fish are being caught much closer to the bank than previous years.
Ray chose to fish at 60yrds in Pole position, due to Rays health issues, which stop him fishing at any greater distance.
Ray had watched the latest free issued Korda DVD, and followed Danny’s advice on fishing Gigantica to the letter, using a Gigantica Total camo running inline lead on a gravel coloured Safezone leader.
A size 6 Korda Wide Gape B hook, due to the barbless rule now in place, tied to a 5” Hybrid Soft hooklink. The bait being the ever consistent Mainline Fusion bottom bait topped with Enterprise plastic corn, over a baited area of Gigantica pellet and seed mix.
We had found baiting earlier in the afternoon would produce bites earlier in the evening.
Ray, 5 days into his week, had already banked several big 20lb fish and was still recovering from a heavy battle just 20 minutes earlier with a beautiful 38lb mirror.
I was cooking the evening’s BBQ when Ray had another blistering take, be pre-occupied with the sizzling flesh, I didn’t have time to watch the battle. Only when Keith called out “ its a big 40 !” did I begin to walk over to Rays swim. Immediately I could see the fish on the mat and could clearly see it was a huge fish, well over 60lb.
We quickly rang another fishery for their scales, as ours had been bottomed out, even though we had backed them up by 6lb. A set of Rueben Heaton 120lb scales duly arrived and we confirmed the weigh at an immense 72lb!
The fish, clearly a male, was in exceptional condition, in spite of the fact it had been spawning in the previous weeks – still milting on the mat – prior to weighing.
Ironically Ray is 72, as old as the fish is heavy. Suffering a heart condition, he is unable to lift heavy fish due to a disability in his arm, so I did the honours with Ray’s agreement, to guarantee good photos.
Ray ended the week with 5 fish, totally blown away with the whole event, and I’m sure it will stay with him, and me, for a very long time.
I hope the next time I meet the ‘Giant’ will be because I’ve caught it.
I have not fished much since arriving here at Gigantica in October 09, preferring to allow the customers a clear choice of all the swims, but I have managed another of the larger fish, the ‘Twin’ at 56lb 4oz and also have done photo’s of a new 60lb fish, named Fudgey’s at 61lb 10oz caught by Dave Fuidge.
Contrary to the rumours, no fish have been removed from Gigantica, by us, or the previous owner and I have seen a large number of the bigger, known fish in the water, at very close quarters that have yet to be banked. This autumn should see some enormous fish caught!
We are not as busy as most people imagine, there are still places available in August, October & November and our winter season starts in December at reduced rates for the real big fish anglers, hoping to bank these big fish at their biggest weights possible.
Check out Gigantica section of Anglinglines.co.uk for our gallery of fish, tactical advice and latest news.
The next two ‘Thinking Tackle’ show’ on Sky sports are dedicated to a match held here at Gigantica between Benelux, Germany & England. I won’t reveal the result but if you’re still bitter and twisted by Englands football results, these show’s will be worth watching.
Danny Fairbrass, owner of Gigantica says “ I was absolutely over the moon to hear the ‘Giant’ had been caught. Danny Turtle was straddling the fish in the weigh sling, in the margins. I can’t repeat how he described it, but I’m sure the word Enormidon was used.”
Words by Danny Turtle