One thing I look forward to most each year is my annual trip to France and more often than not, this will be to Les Teillatts. The majority of my time spent when I was a student was on local club waters and syndicates but now I'm in the real world with a full time job, my trips to France are definitely more appreciated due to limited time in England. The group of lads I go with are what make the trip for me but obviously we all go out there to catch fish and the fact all 12 of us caught, made it a memorable one.
For me one of the worst parts of the trip is the draw, as it can make a huge difference to your weeks fishing. I usually come out in the top 10 but when I pulled out number one, I knew the pressure was on! I choose a swim which had previously done me well, called New Biffos and I was soon setting about getting my rigs in the zone. MC Nut was my bait of choice, which I had full confidence in due to my recent success on the same venue, where I’d caught mirrors to 68lb and commons to 81lb. MC Nut pellets and chilli hemp completed my mix and I was soon spombing this out to a plateaux at 110 yards.
Two nights in and all was quiet and although a few fish had been out I still felt confident, as there were clearly fish out in front of me. From previous experience at les Teillatts, I knew how important it was to stick to your spots and to not start panicking and changing things around. More often than not on these heavily pressured venues, the fish will turn up at some point and once they do, you can be fairly confident of a few more. Two awesome looking mirrors that morning eased the pressure. One went 35lb and the other 44lb, so it was a good start! The first fish or 2 of a week-long trip always help to settle the nerves and ease the pressure somewhat, so the rest of the day was spent drinking everyone else’s beer!
After those 2 fish, it all went quiet until the following afternoon. A take just after midday in scorching heat took me by surprise and after a hectic battle in the 30 degrees heat a long leathery looking mid 40 mirror was in the net. I wiped the sweat from my face as a crowd had gathered in my swim by this point. We were all in agreement that it was an awesome looking fish and at 44lb 8 I was more than happy. The week before the trip I'd actually put an Instagram post up of a carp I'd caught 2 years previously saying that 'I wouldn't mind seeing this one again'. As soon as it went in the net I knew it was exactly the same fish and although I don't normally like recaptures, when they look like this I'm not too bothered!
A few hours later and for the first time that week my right hand rod was away, which on a different spot, so all 3 rods had now done bites. Ideal!
It was a weird fight, with the fish just waddling around. It wasn't until we bundled it in the net that I realised why it gave such a weird fight. It was undoubtedly one of the most ugliest and demented looking carp I'd ever caught and me and Dougers next door had a right old laugh at its expense. Poor thing! We decided to name it 'Ricky' as it held a lot of similarities to one of the lads on our trip and that was his name.
The following day only one mid 30 slipped up from the 110 mark on the plateaux. The Thursday was the most productive day of the week for me. Late afternoon I noticed a lot of activity over my right hand rod with numerous fish crashing right over the top of it. I'd introduced about 15k of mc Nut over the course of the week and they were clearly loving it, after eventually finding it. I knew it was only a matter of time before one got nailed and a frustrating couple of hours followed and finally the Neville started screaming. This spot had only done 1 fish all week but within a few hours I caught three fish from it, topped by a banger of a common at 41lb and my one and only common of the week.
It was clear that the fish in the lake had a routine as and come mid-afternoon, there were always fish over me before the moved down into the bay in the evening, so I just hoped they would return the following as I was still yet to catch anything over 50 and considering I’d now had 7 bites I felt confident that my luck my change. I was praying one of the big girls turned before I left but it wasn't to be. One more mid 30 completed yet another memorable week on the incredible les Teillatts.
Somehow the place just keeps getting better and better! All 12 of us caught with 9 PBs smashed, so it has to be up there with one of the best trips yet. Loads of carp caught, loads of beer drank and loads of laughs had- what's it's all about! Roll on the next one...