Etang Du Manoir by Paul Michael Smith
“Nothing beats the adventure of going to a new lake to fish, especially when the lake is in France. Etang Du Manoir in Brittany is a 7 acre lake with islands, weedbeds, gravel bars and silty areas. All likely areas to hold carp. When the carp weigh upwards of 60lb, the excitement and anticipation grows stronger. I arrived at the lake after travelling through the night and after a walk round with the owners I opted for a quiet area of the lake called “Weedy Bay.” As it was in March, the weed hadn’t fully grown back yet and was easily fishable with the correct rigs. I tied the now famous “Ronnie Rig” using Advanced Angling Solutions components. Size 4 Preditor Curve, a small hook ring swivel, quick change ring swivel, hook bead and shrink tube. I wanted the hook length to kick out straight and re-set itself so settled for the super stiff 25lb Choddy stiff link, which in conjunction with a helicopter setup and the Ronnie Rig hook arrangement with putty to balance the Eclipse Baits pop up. A confidence rig and it presented really well on the bottom of the lake bed. I found 3 likely spots to fish to. One was cast to the 4ft deep margin of a island spit and this was the first rod to rattle off with a 29lb 12oz Mirror. It was a great start, however, things went really quiet in Weedy Bay after this disturbance. There was no sign of any carp activity and I felt like I had to move as the fish had moved out. I really fancied a peg called “All Alone” which covered snaggy areas towards two separate islands with lovely tree lined “holes” and fallen branches to fish to. I had the benefit of the use of a bait boat which you can hire at the lake to ensure I could place my baited rigs bang on the spots under the overhangs and snags. Whatever your view on bait boats, they do have a place in certain angling situations and I felt like this was one situation where I could benefit from it. I fished locked up to minimise the chance that any takes I had were not going to end up with lost fish. Within a few hours my right hand rod was away with a 23lb Common. The moved had instantly paid off. A 35lb Mirror followed and my confidence was well and truly boosted. By fishing the “All Alone” it gives you the added benefit of fishing “Weedy Bay” as this is directly behind the swim. As long as no one is fishing that area of course. I noticed the carp had moved back in there due to there being no lines in the water and no angling pressure. I opted to use one rod, single Eclipse Baits pop up hook bait, with a light lead and a slack line to cause as less disturbance as possible. With the rod laid on the floor and with a loose clutch the reel went into meltdown. After a lengthy battle a really long looking Mirror graced my net. At 33lb 10oz it looked like a sub-missile. With the fish returned, I stealthily re-cast my bait into position and it wasn’t long before it was away again. This time, it felt heavier. Really slow but purposeful runs taking line from the clutch as I tried to control the battling carp in front of me. A few tense moments later she was safely in my landing net and I could instantly see it was a decent mid forty. On the scales she weighed in at 44lb 8oz. It was the highlight of my holiday as I had used my watercraft skills to successfully hook and land this wonderful creature. I have every confidence in my Advanced Angling Solutions end tackle as all the fish were nailed plumb in the bottom lip. Testament to the rig and the components used”.
Enjoy your passion,