Rainbow Lake produces a huge common for Alan Taylor!

Alan Taylor had an amazing result on his latest trip to Rainbow Lake when he landed the biggest one in there at 86lb 4oz!

The famous French water has produced fish to well over 90lb in the past – including a couple of previous World records - but currently this one, known as the Perfect Common, is probably it’s biggest resident, and venue regular Alan was over-the-moon to get it.

The well-known carper and BCSG member, who runs his own waters back in the UK, revealed: “Winter fishing can be hit and miss, and I’d not long returned from a gruelling two week trip to France, with 90kph winds and torrential downpours.

“More of the same was forecast for this trip with Alex Pistols, and we’d booked to fish peg 16, and as we were queuing for the train to depart, we were directed to lane 16, which we were hoping was an omen for good things to come.

“After driving 700 miles we arrived and Alex checked the local weather on his phone and they were now giving 100kph winds and rain for the whole of the first week, still we were at Rainbow and you’re only ever one bite away from the fish of your dreams!

“We decided not to fish the first night so that we could have a proper sleep and got all our gear sorted out and just sprinkled a bit of bait in. The next morning I spent some time out in the boat with my echo sounder, prodding stick and ‘donking’ equipment, as although I’d fished the swim before, that had been in the summer.

“The wet and windy weather made feature finding difficult, but not impossible, and by the end of the day I was soaked and exhausted, and felt I’d learned little and had managed to get two rods out – the plan was to do everything properly once the wind subsided.

“The weather didn’t improve though, and by the fourth day I was up to three rods, but all dropped on ‘drive-bys’ so I wasn’t that confident, but for the first time as it got dark the wind and rain died down and we even heard a few carp crash out in our vicinity.

“I was first off the mark with a nice common of 48lb and Alex had a 20 and a 30, and we joked that numerically a 50 would be next, and lo and behold a spanking looking common of 53lb graced my net!

“Apart from the continued terrible weather we were having a good trip and Alex had caught his fish from a spot known as the Brazilian, where a big fir tree was in the water, and he was in again and expertly extracted it from the fronds of the tree and into open water. He then manoeuvred a massive mirror into the net I was holding and it was a new personal best, a stunning fish of 68lb.

“I’d now managed to get all four rods sorted and was fishing on big floats to keep the line on the surface, fishing around the back of some dot islands in front of me in four to five metres of water – although one of the problems with this method is the resident coypu in the lake swim through your line, or take a liking to your float and eat it!

I had a single bleep just before light the following Monday morning and as that same rod had been had by a coypu during the night I expected to see one swimming through the line, but there was nothing there and then the bobbin dropped back and I was thinking it would be a bream as we’d had a few already.

“But whatever it was had gone a long way left and had picked up my other line, and when I jumped in the boat there was loads of water in it from the overnight rain and the battery for the motor was playing up.

“I was gaining line and approaching the fish, but then the battery died and suddenly I heard a clunking through the rod rings and looked up to see that I was now winding a massive birds nest through the rod rings, and then the whole lot jammed!

“I’d managed to wind the line on my other rod through the rings as well where it was tangled, and when I looked over the side of the boat I could see two floats side by side. I had a pair of scissors in the boat, but I didn’t know which line was which as they were both the same colour, and it was like cutting the fuse on an unexploded bomb!

“I snipped what I hoped was the spare line and frantically started pulling the float out of the water, and the other one had now disappeared and I could feel something on the end of the line I was holding and it started towing the boat.

“The rod and reel were useless now and I had a load of braid wrapped around my hand – I was half expecting to see my fingers end up in the bottom of the boat! – and then up came the stop knot, beads and float and I knew it wouldn’t be long before the fish came up, so I had hold of the net by the spreader block and as soon as the carp’s head popped up I scooped the net under it. I couldn’t believe my luck and looked up to the heavens and thought of my dear old dad and all the tangles he used to get me out of when we used to go fishing when I was little!

“It was now beginning to get light and I could just about see Alex waiting for me as I slowly rowed back and when he asked how big it was I said I wasn’t sure as I hadn’t really seen it yet but was hoping it was a fifty.

“As we carried it to the mat in the sling I could feel that it was heavy, and then Alex said that he recognised it and it was the Perfect Common, which was the fish of my dreams and possibly the biggest in the lake at the moment!

“I didn’t have a hope in hell of lifting it and holding it out for the usual shots and just wanted it to go back in the same immaculate condition it came out in, so I had a few quick photos in the water and then let it swim away. I never had another bite but didn’t really care!”

Alan landed all of his fish on Kurv Shank XX hooks with 65lb DuraKord and 65lb Snag leader XT, plus 50lb braided main line.