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It Ain't Over Until The Fat Lady Sings

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Last Updated: 11th November 2016

They say it ain’t over till the fat lady sings, and that was the case for sure!

Last week I finally had a chance to fish a lake that I’ve been wanting to fish for several years, Les Teillats. I joined a few friends from the UK who had several swims booked and finally got my chance.

It’s a very nice lake, but the stock is mind blowing with famous fish like the Digital Common, Cut Tail and of course the Long Common which can push 90lb!


Swim choice is always done by draw and I was very happy to pull out the golf ball with No.1 on it, giving me the first choice of swim for the week ahead. I decided to choose a swim called New Biffos, which has shallow water on the right and some deep water on the left.

Weather forecasts showed that after the nice, sunny weather with very high air pressure of 1036, the air pressure would drop on Tuesday to Wednesday to as low as 1005. That would normally mean that the fish, which showed on the shallow part of the lake at the start of the week would move into the deeper water and would really start to feed. So New Biffos gave me the best of both worlds.


The lake gets a lot of pressure over the course of a year, so I decided to wash-out some of my bait in a bucket of water. I stuck a good few kilos of Solar’s TunaMino boilies in the bucket 4 days before the trip. This method has helped me in recent years on difficult lakes where ‘fresh baits’ can be viewed with caution. Washed-out baits give the impression that they have been in the swim for quite a while and so can be viewed with less ‘caution’ by the carp.


The lake is about 30 acres I would say and there were 12 anglers on this week. As mentioned, the air pressure was high for the first few days, so I didn’t expect too much and was setting myself up for action from Tuesday onwards.


As expected, very little happened on the first few days. Only 3 fish were caught up to 52lb, but the worrying thing was that that predicted drop in air pressure was now postponed until Thursday. Fish were crashing out every night, but they just wouldn’t drop down in the water and feed. The only conclusion was that the fish were spending most of their time in mid water, but unfortunately zig rigs aren’t allowed on Les Teillats any more.


If I would have known I would have taken some Up & Down Mix from Solar as that’s the ideal bait to draw fish down in these conditions.

1 or 2 fish came out over the next few days, but the strange thing was that the captures were pretty spread out across the lake. Fish had so far had been caught from both ends of the lake and in depths from 10ft to 20ft, and the fish were showing themselves all over the lake too. So, there were no clues as to where to concentrate the rods.

Very frustrating as we all struggled with the situation. I decided from the start to apply the ‘sit on your hands, tactic with at least two rods. Meaning that the rods were put out at the start of the sessions and I was going to leave them out for as long as it takes, even if that meant leaving them there all week.


For the two ‘sit on your hands’ rods I had hard, glugged hook baits with me and 18mm Tunamino boilies, air dried and gluged in the Tunamino liquid so that they could stay out for the best part of the week. On a lake like Rainbow for example, I will leave the rods out all week if the going is tough, but as I had never fished this lake before, I was going to have a look at the baits on the spots on Tuesday/Wednesday just to make sure all was okay.


On the Thursday the air pressure finally started to drop, but less then forecast, so still nothing happened. On Friday the pressure finally dropped considerably and yes, the fish started to feed! Fish were clearly feeding as fizzing could be seen on several spots in an area between me and the opposite bank and also to my left. I had a few liners on one of my rods in the afternoon and again in the evening, so things were definitely looking up. This rod had been out since Tuesday, so it all looked very promising for the last night.


On Friday afternoon the rain rolled in, and was due to stay for 24 hours… proper feeding conditions! Mark, who was fishing to my left left in a swim called Biffos caught a fish on Friday evening, so that was a confidence boost as well.


Late that night, the last night of the trip, the same rod that had the liners gave a few bleeps again, so fish had to be close by. At 5am it finally happened, the take came. I knew it wasn’t one of the lake’s biggest, but the fight was great and the relief and joy at being rewarded for my efforts was immense. A 31lb mirror got me off the mark, with some 3 hours of the session left!

It shows that patience does pay in the end. And the saying “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings ” was appropriate to the extreme this time.


Until next time, Dennis de Wilde