Korda's Ben Hervey-Murray breaks PB!

Korda staff member Ben Hervey-Murray smashed his overall PB during a session in France with a previously unknown 48lb 10oz mirror, just missing out on a lake record by 14oz.

Fishing Etang 52 – a new venue in the Champagne region – Ben made the most of a short feeding window in otherwise tricky conditions to land five fish, topped by the big mirror.

“We quickly found the fish up one end of the lake, on the back of the cold wind, and I had a bite within an hour of putting the rods out on a central plateau – the trip couldn’t have started better!”

“Over the next 20 hours we had a steady stream of fish – mostly pretty mirrors of around 20-28lb – before I lifted into a mid-afternoon bite and the culprit carried on taking line, obviously a decent fish. It went into the net without too much drama but we didn’t realise how big it was until we went to lift it.”

“The owner, Ross Denny, is fairly sure the fish wasn’t one he’s stocked and it’s not been caught before, certainly since Ross has owned the lake. It had a great deal of attitude and was in perfect condition – a real privilege to catch and photograph.”

“I’ve had three great sessions on Etang 52 in the past year and I’ve caught some great carp on all three trips without anything massive, so it’s really satisfying to get amongst the bigger fish. It’s a proper big pit with lots of interesting features – plateaus, bars, gullies, weedy areas and dozens of margin spots - so I’ll definitely be back for one of the big commons and hopefully a few more surprises in the near future!”

Using a mixture of 18mm and 20mm boilies plus maize as loose feed along with 18mm Mainline Peaches & Cream and IB wafter hook baits, the successful rig and tackle consisted of 15lb Touchdown main line, a Safezone leader, Hybrid lead clip, 5oz Gripper lead, 30lb N-Trap Semi-Stiff gravel hook link, the new Kickers in medium and a size 4 Kontinental hook.

Etang 52 is a 52-acre gravel pit near Romilly-sur-Seine that has recently been taken on by Ross Denny, who also owns holiday venue Lac De Laneuville in the same region. With full facilities including kitchen, toilets, showers and freezers recently installed along with lots of comfortable swims and boats to hire, Ross is now taking bookings via carpingetang52@gmail.com or 003 368 5162851. Bait including maize and boilies can also be supplied at the venue, which is approximately three hours from Calais. Go to www.etang52.com for more information.

After a few days on Etang 52, Ben headed east for a recce of some of the big canal and lake systems near Strasbourg before a session on Hans Sissingh’s Resort Du Der to end the trip with a bit of luxury, picking up a nice spawned-out common on a Bumbleberry Goo’d up hook bait and COG lead system.

One of Ben's other fish from the session

Etang 52 from above