Mammoth Session, Massive Carp - Darrell Peck

After a busy summer period, finishing off the last of my tuitions, I promised myself a monster session on the other side of the channel. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Initially I’d hoped to fish one the huge public lakes in France but after a couple of successful filming trips to another venue I was helplessly drawn into changing my plans.

The lake in question is over 100 acres, with a low stock of around 1 fish per acre. They aren’t enormous by mainland European standards but all the same, they are special old fish. I knew I would be up against it, targeting a venue this difficult in a foreign country, but with three weeks at my disposal and a healthy motivation to locate and move, I hoped I’d be in with a shout.

It proved tough going and after two weeks hard graft, endlessly moving and cycling about, I’d managed to catch five nice commons of 15lb, 35lb, 38lb, 39lb and 42lb. The last week however, my hard work was matched with better conditions and a big slice of good fortune. I caught three in a row over 55lb. The first was a lovely old mirror of 56lb, the second an amazing bright orange koi of 55lb and the last one a cracking leathery brown mirror with tiny pearly scales on the wrist of its tail, weighing in at 56lb. All in all it turned into the perfect trip, hard work and effort finally paying out right at the end with some lovely fish.

Tactics wise, as you would expect, there was nothing revolutionary from me. Simple eight-inch Dark Matter braided rigs, knotless-knotted to size-six Wide Gapes. These were fished on Hybrid lead clips with mixed-sized Distance Casting leads, depending on the range. Twelve inches of Dark Matter tungsten anti-tangle tubing completing my simple, but effective, end tackle. Bait was the ever-faithful Banoffee wafters, generally fished over a scattering of 40 baits, which were a mixture of the Banoffee and IB boilies from the Hi Impact range from Mainline.

These fish and quite few others will feature in the next Masterclass DVD, as well as my video blog and Carpworld Diary, so keep your eyes out for them. I’m already buzzing to see them myself!

Until next time, tight lines,