Rainbow Result - Nico Vereecken

An early season trip to the famous Lac de Curton AKA Rainbow Lake in the Bordeaux region is becoming a lovely tradition for me. Every time I look forward to it, knowing the size of the lake’s inhabitants. Last year I was there on the same week of the year and suffered freezing temperatures. This year however, we had 30 degrees full days of unblemished blue skies. How strange is that?
Things didn’t looks so good on arrival and we’d heard that the lake hadn’t been fishing so well. My friend Niko Vervaet and I arrived and went immediately to the swim that we had booked, Peg 19. There were two Italian anglers preparing for their last night. The problem was that they didn’t speak a word of English or French. However, I managed to ascertain that they’d had four carp that week, with no big fish. They were a little bit disappointed. But they kept their spirits up for the last night. We wished them good luck and went back to see Pascale, the owner of the lake. And like every good tradition, two good whiskies where already waiting for us in the clubhouse.
Next day, after the Italians left, we were free to prepare our swim. The night before, I discussed our tactics with Niko and we both agreed that we should adopt a softly, softly approach to baiting up. The plan was to fish the known hotspots with only our rigs and a little bit of bait (a couple of 15mm boilies with a particle and pellet mix) and bait some alternative spots that looked interesting and leave them to rest until the second half of the week. Our first day was very strange. We heard fish jumping in a bay off the island swim but couldn’t see any activity in our area. There was also a temperature drop of 10 degrees and rain, in fact, normal April weather. It looked like also our strategy for the lake had failed. But at 6pm I had the first bite from a rod fished close to a known hot spot called The Golden Triangle. It was a lovely common of 39lb 6oz, a good start.
The next day dawned beautifully but there was no time to enjoy the scenery because Niko was in action with a 35lb 2oz common. Half an hour later I struck gold again with a 49lb 2oz common. We didn’t get too much time to rest because at 1pm Niko netted his first forty pounder of the session, a 46lb 2oz mirror. The strange thing was that we could hear and see fish jumping close to our area but not in our actual swim, but who cares with such a result. At 8pm I managed to bank the final forty of the day, a nice 44lb mirror. It seemed that our tactics had worked. It’s worth mentioning the rigs that I used for what is quite specialised fishing. Fishing near the abundant snags in Rainbow, I used size-six Korda Kurv Shank hooks, in combination with the awesome 50lb Arma-Kord. I fish it KD style with a simple snowman presentation. I also tried to camouflage the rig by colouring it with black and green alcohol markers, allowing me to disguise the white Arma-Kord. The rigs that were positioned very close to the snags needed a different setup. I used the brand-new 30lb N-Trap in combination with the Korda Wide Gape X also in size six. I chose to use a long hair baited with with two simple bottom baits. The hair was set to leave the hook on the bend and I also used a line aligner on this one. The coating on the hair and the last inch of the rig was stripped away to leave the hook to turn free. Because we are fishing near or in the snags we had to pay maximum attention to safety. Simple Korda lead clips with 10 oz Big Grippas completed the setup. Because we were fishing in snaggy terrain, we had to use some kind of buoys, which look strange the first time you use them but they do the job perfectly. The result was also that we only lost one fish in that week, which is a super result over there.
Every day we caught fish but the tactics of baiting on alternative spots failed. So I concentrated solely on the hotspots again, to immediate effect, taking fish to 40lb 7oz. During the latter part of the session we caught some smaller fish but we weren’t disappointed by that. We were happy with the action. Rainbow had one last surprise in store though! In less than 12 hours we caught two fifties and an upper forty – a 53lb 6oz mirror, a 49lb mirror and a 54lb 1oz common. I can assure you that you’ll always leave Rainbow lake with a big smile on your face!

Nico Vereecken