Road Trip - Dean Phillips

After a conversation with my good friend Ali Hamidi, I managed to score my Dad and I a trip to the Gigantica Road Lake for the beginning of March.

I haven’t spent a lot of time fishing lately, but my dad persuaded me to get back out on the bank last year and the bug bit again, big time.

The goal of the trip was to score my dad a new personal best. He had only been carp fishing for two years and his personal best stood at 19lb, so a trip to the Road Lake was planned.

We received our holiday confirmation from Gigantica. The Euro Tunnel was booked and we were both extremely excited at the thought of our first trip together to France. We both spent some time doing some research; watching episodes of Thinking Tackle Series 8 to gain all the info possible.

The day of departure came and we were up early to get the 7:50am train from Folkestone. Thirty-five minutes later and we were in Calais ready for the drive to Gigantica.
It was a very easy drive from Calais to Saint Christophe, Dodinicourt. It would have been bang on 3 ½ hours if it wasn’t for the fact the windscreen wipers broke and to make matters worse it was raining, which caused our pace to slow somewhat. I have to say the directions were spot on - no need for Sat Nav.

We arrived at Gigantica all in one piece and were greeted by the bailiff, Barty. The complimentary coffees were consumed, everyone introduced themselves and we were soon ready to go for a reccy.

I have to say what a beautiful place; the blue water was mesmerising, just like bath water, except somewhat colder. We had a quick walk around, there were two other people fishing so we decided not to encroach upon them and fished the opposite end of the lake. We pretty much followed the advice of Barty and fished in the Poo and the Goo for the first night.

Barty arrived to deliver our nets, retention slings, scales and unhooking mats. At Gigantica, they supply all these items, which saves loads of space in the car.

We got the rods out and baited with a scattering of boilies and pellets. For some reason I didn’t feel confident in my swim. During the first night my dad managed to catch a nice 19lb common, he was chuffed to get off the mark, but I unfortunately blanked!

The following morning Barty arrived with breakfast, a fresh, very tasty bacon, sausage and egg baguette for a mere 6 euros - bargain!

Tom “the Machine” Maker had managed 7 fish that night and I felt somewhat in adequate. Consequently, we decided that we needed to move swims and ended up in Dunkirk and the Cage. The rods were positioned again ready for the night ahead. My Dad was first into the action. He managed a 16 pounder and then a new PB mirror at 21lb, mission accomplished.

By this time I was feeling the pressure, Dad was 3 nil up. I had to keep the faith. My first bite came a 4am resulting in a beautiful 31lb 8oz mirror. This was followed by another at 8.30am, a common weighing in at 32lb. The pressure was off.

Both of my fish came from the same rod position two-rod lengths out. Rig choice was a size 4 Wide Gape X (barb pinched) to 15lb N-Trap Soft, with an Almond Goo’d 18mm Hybrid bottom bait, topped with a piece of IB corn. I trimmed the boilie around the edges so it looked similar to a large pellet that the fish were used to being feed on.

The next day my dad managed a small 16lb common, but it then went quiet for him. During that night, I managed another three fish; a 37lb 4oz mirror, an 18 and a 31 pounder all on my margin rod.

On the final day and night my Dad managed three thirties within two hours and I managed one more fish over the 30lb mark.

That was four new personal bests for my Dad and an unofficial lake record for me. In total, I had six fish with five being 30’s and my Dad landed a total of seven fish with three being 30’s. What an awesome fishing session in what still felt like winter.

The hospitality we received was first class. The facilities were excellent, with good quality, clean showers and toilets. There are large chest freezers on site for your bait too. We can’t speak highly enough of the experience we had.

We will definitely be going back, can’t wait.