|Domaine des iles.
By Brian Keane.
I first heard about this big fish carp water about two years ago and I just had to go. My son Eddy and I did a four day session in March last year (1999) in very cold conditions and we blanked, in fact we didn't evan get a bleep. It took me a week to get over it, but not one to give up, my wife Margaret and I re-booked to go back again on August 23rd last year for rour days.
Mr Caron, the owner of Domaine des iles, met us at the gate and showed us to peg 10/11 (the old swim 10/11 is now a shooting hide), a secluded swim. We fished 5 rods. 3 for me and 2 for Margaret.
From monday to wednesday night we hadn't had one run but I was confident we would and our spirits were high. I must have fallen asleep about 12:30am wednesday night, and the next thing I heard was bleep, bleep, scream, and off went one of Margarets rods. I shot out of the bivvy and hit into a strong fish. I shouted to Margaret but she was sound asleep. After about five minutes, she fell out of the bivvy, still half asleep, and agreed I should continue playing the fish as she had never caught a fish as yet and it seemed a good one. So I struggled with it for about ten minutes more before it came to the top about 10ft from the bank. I missed it with the net in the dark, and my heart missed a beat thinking I had lost it, but after one last dash for freedom it was in the net. I could then look to see how big it was and thought it was a forty. Margaret and I struggled to weigh it and the scales stopped at 52lb. My PB up to then was 24 and a half pounds. I did not sleep the rest of the night but Margaret was asleep again within five minutes. We had two more runs the last night but lost them both as the hooks came out.
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In January 2000, we re-booked to go back on the same week in August, and I could not help thinking if it would be a special night one year later, it was going to be. This time we had seven days fishing. Peg 10/11 was no longer there as some changes had taken place to the lake, but we had a choice of swims opposite from the old one from pegs 22-14 and we settled for peg 15. Monday and Tuesday night Margaret had two fish each night and I had two small fish. Margaret's best fish so far was a 16 and a quarter pound grass carp and she asked me if I was a bit down, I laughed and said no, I had five nights to go and I was sure that the bigger fish would move in.
Wednesday night, I could not sleep and just lay on my bed chair thinking of last years 52lb-er. Margaret was sound asleep by 10:30pm. 11:25pm came and I was still wide awake and I had no plans to sleep that night, but I did not have to wait long for at 11:30pm one of the rods screamed off. I was on it in seconds and as my rod bent right over Margaret had heard me shout and was soon helping with the light. Ten minutes later it was in the net on the carp mat and in the carp sling and I could not stop a feeling of disbelief on seeing my second 50, one year to the night. Mr Caron and Dave Rakins confirmed the weight at 50lbs the next morning. We ended up having 16 fish between us. I had a nice mirror of 30lb and one of 28 and a quarter, and my first catfish at 12lb and Margaret had a P.B of a 27 and a half pound mirror and a 27 and a quarter pound common. Needless to say we have allready re-booked to go back next year on the same week - now I wonder?
P.S. I forgot to say the first 50 was caught on a £40 second hand rod, a Normark Nover 2 and a quarter TC and 12lb big game line - 18ml one active8 on the bottom. The second one was caught on Nash whiskey and squid, also in 18ml and on a mark 2 2 and a quarter TC Normark Nover rod in open water, the new rod only cost me £68. Also I must say sorry about my spelling/writing, I am not the worlds best so you will have to help me out if you decide to print any of my story about domaine des iles. Its a lovely lake and if anyone would like to go, its easy to find, only one a three quarters of an hours drive from Calais just off the A1 to Paris. May see you there.