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Land Of The Giants

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Last Updated: 10th December 2012

I’ve just returned from my latest trip to Rainbow Lake, which I embarked upon with a good friend of mine called Raf. This was to be my fourth week of the year on the lake, but thus far it hadn’t been my year at Rainbow, with the previous sessions proving rather difficult.

As per usual we left home at 2:30am on Friday to get south of Paris before rush hour. Get stuck in that and you can easily see hour after hour slip by while making very slow progress. The journey is something I hate, but as they say, no pain, no gain. Almost nine hours later we arrived at the gates of Rainbow Lake.

As always, we had a talk and a beer with lake owner Pascal about what had been caught over the previous week, before heading down to swim 16, our plot for the week ahead, to speak to the guys set up in there. They’d be leaving in the morning and we’d move in behind them, but it’s always a good idea to be finding out what been going on.

Swim 16 is a beautiful area of the lake. There’s loads of water to go at and it’s been a known area for producing big carp for a few years now as well. The weather was great on arrival, better than expected for the time of year, and as we wandered into the swim we found the two guys fishing there in shorts and t-shirts. After a quick chat with Nico, who turned out to be a Belgian photographer that works for various newspapers, we headed to swim 12 to chat with Dale Turner and Kevin Ellis, who I know. They’d landed a few decent fish between them, upto low 50lb, but none of the real heavyweights. Martin Locke was in swim 11, he’d also caught, but again none of the real big ‘uns and I knew that Alijn Danau was fishing from the Island swim, but I didn’t want to disturb the water by paying him a visit. However, the following morning news reached us that the guy Alijn was fishing with landed the Briggsy Fish at over 80lb, so at least one of the known huge carp had put in an appearance.

Raf and I had already agreed which sides of swim 16 we would each be fishing. I was on the right fishing between the islands because I had been there before whereas Raf wasn’t too confident about maneuvering among the islands in the boat to reach the back of the channel. By Saturday afternoon or camps were set up and we were off in our boats to find some spots and get the rods out. I was also looking for a couple of spots that I could bait up and leave for a few days, primed for dropping a rod onto later in the week.

The first take came on Sunday afternoon as one of Raf’s rods was almost ripped from the rest. After a good fight a 24.6kg (54lb 4oz) mirror slipped into the net… A nice start to put it mildly. Less than half an hour later Tom Duncan Dunlop, who was fishing in peg 17 also landed a decent fish, so things were looking promising. The rest of the day remained quiet though.

At 6:30am on the Monday another rod tore off, and this time it was my turn. Again the fish fought hard, but eventually, after jumping in the boat and getting right over the top of it, I had a brute of a fish in the net. It far from the prettiest of carp, but at 26.4kg (58lb 3oz), I wasn’t too fussed.

The following day, Tuesday, at about the same Raf was in again. After freeing the fish from a large snag and enduring a battle that he never thought he’s win he landed another carp of 24.6kg (54lb 4oz), exactly the same weight as his first.

That afternoon another of Raf’s rods, one fished into a quiet bay to the left of the swim, received a single bleep and out of the corner of my eye I could see his rod tip gently bending over. No wasting any time, as that rod was placed close to a submerged tree I grabbed the rod and piled on the pressure to get the fish clear of the obstruction. I was just about to jump into the boat when the line dropped slack. Damn it! It was probably a very big fish as that particular spot is not known for producing many takes, but the takes it does produce are often from the real big ‘uns.

Wednesday afternoon saw the next action as one of my rods fished on the left side of the swim near a sunken rattled off. Another powerful fight ensued and a 26.1kg (57lb 8oz) mirror was my prize. The rest of the day and that night remained quiet, although we could hear some huge fish crashing and jumping in the swim during the hours of darkness. By now, we’d established that around 6am was the best ‘bite time’, so we had our alarms set for 5am to make sure we were ready for it.

The following morning, stood with a cup of coffee in hand as a new day dawned it happened right on cue. Raf’s rod hooped over and he was in again, but after just 30 seconds everything dropped slack. With rods usually being sat in position for two days or more before a take, and it already being Thursday, it was unlikely that the same rod, the most productive one, would go again before the end of the trip, so Raf was gutted he’d lost that one.

As it turned out, that was the last action of the week for us in swim 16. With two fifties to my name it was by no means a bad trip, but it could have definitely been better, but there’s always next year!

All of the carp were caught on 16mm Club Mix boilies combined with either a piece of Brazil nut, a tiger nut or a 14mm Quench pop-up.

Kurt Deproot