Mathieu's Marolles Haul - Mathieu Baert

Last August I needed to go to Brittany for work. Instead of booking a hotel I went to a fishery called Etang Marolles. The lake has all the facilities an English-run commercial fishery has nowadays. This enabled me to work during the day, fish overnight and take a shower in the morning. Caroline, the lady of the house, turned out to be a very good cook. What else could an angler wish for?
When I arrived on Monday evening, four other anglers were already trying their luck. A young Dutch lad had hooked and landed three fish since setting up on Saturday. The other anglers hadn't had a bleep. That didn't look too promising for my days to come. I only had a couple of hours left before it went dark so I made a quick tour of the 13-acre lake.
At the back end of the lake a carp completely leapt out of the water just as I walked by. That would do for me! I popped into a swim next to some overhanging trees. Apparently, the fish had fled the pressure from the other anglers, staying under their radar would be ever so important. If I didn’t, they would leave my swim as well. This was the ideal opportunity to test the Kontour fluorocarbon main line. Slack lines, flying back leads and intelligent back leads assured that the line hugged the bottom from the lead to just under the rod tip.
The rig itself consisted of a 1oz Flat Pear swivel lead, fished on a Hybrid Lead Clip system. I used an eight-inch, 18lb Supernatural hook link on which I mounted two small Sinkers and a size-six Kurv Shank hook.
I like to fish small leads whenever the situation allows me to. I think they spook the fish a lot less than big leads do and the splash is also a lot less noticeable.
The three rods where spread out to carpy looking spots. Another 50 Cell freebies per rod, in different shapes and sizes, went into the lake.
Just before midnight on the first evening I landed my first fish, a 29lb mirror. Later that night another mirror kissed the spreader block. It pulled the scales to a very respectable 35lb.
Before I left for work about 2kg of Cell went in, nicely spread out over the whole area in front of me. ‘That should keep them busy for a couple of hours’ I thought.
From then on it only went better. The second night I landed three fish, the third and fourth night brought four each. All fish weighed between 22lb and 37lb. When fishing overnighters between workdays, I have a four-fish rule. After the fourth fish I reeled in the rods in order to get some decent sleep.
In the meantime the other anglers were still struggling to get a bite. On the the third day I gave Steve, the friendly angler to my right, half a kilo of Cell boilies just as a test. That day he caught four fish! The carp apparently liked the Cell, but hey, which carp doesn't?
On my fifth and final night I had to wait until half past one before I got my first take. Once again, it felt like a very good fish and, after a heated battle, I slipped the net under a 46lb mirror. The owner, David, came over to take a couple of pictures. This big fish really was the cherry on the cake.
I reeled my rods in and enjoyed a good nights sleep. When I woke up, two fish where fizzing right in front of me. Two rods were immediately cast out onto the bubblers. Half an hour later both rods roared off at the same time. The hook pulled on one fish, but I was able to land the other one. Another very nice mirror of 36lbs graced the bank.
Good bait and a stealthy approach were the keys to my success. I drove home with a very big smile on my face.