Below is Paul Cooper’s write up from his August week fishing at one of his all time favourite French waters, Domaine de Boux, a 14 acre lake infamous for it’s big carp since the 80’s….
Sometimes you can take your fishing ability for granted, making your expectations too unrealistic for your own good. This visit to Boux in August 2014 was a typical example.
I would not normally have a particular area of lake as my target, but having previous knowledge of Boux, I realised that I would struggle to fish on the wood bank due to my recent knee operation. So my camping area for the week was going to be on the un-shaded dam wall, not the best position on Boux in August, but with easy access to the water and soft ground to kneel on, I had little choice. Jim decided to join me on the dam to assist me in case I got into any difficulty and so that we could leave the wood bank to Dave and Heather Keep who were due to arrive on Sunday.
On arrival at the lake Jim and I spoke to the departing 5 Dutch guys and established that they had captured 41 carp from the East bank margins in the previous week. Most of their fish were caught on tigers so as to avoid the crayfish. In hindsight it would have been better for both Jim and myself not to have known where they had been taking the fish from, as this influenced us both on our initial tactics for the beginning of the week.
We both positioned ourselves on the right hand side of the dam with myself to the far right. I fished the near margins of the east bank and Jim further along the East bank margins. What a mistake, we couldn’t buy a bite. The baits were either meshed boilies or tiger nuts. We might as well have fished with bare hooks.
Dave and Heather arrived on the Sunday for a short 5 day session and took up their position at the far end of the lake on the wood bank. Dave was into a fish the following day and appeared to be holding lots of carp at the top end of the lake. Jim and I sat in our swims until Wednesday morning watching a display of carp launching themselves out of the water, at the far end and in the middle of the lake.
On Tuesday evening, Jim realising that the carp were not patrolling the east margins, and moved his rods to around 130 yards out into open water. He began to pick up the odd fish. It took me until Wednesday evening to realise that I was wasting my time fishing 3 baited areas on the margins. I was pulling my hair out trying to get just a single run.
After a long discussion with Jim I decided to pull all my rods off the margins and make a totally different approach to the lake. I resorted back to what I do best and that is to select one baited area and fish both rods on and just off this area. I put away the spomb and out came my throwing stick to really spread the bait. I was already aware that the lake bottom at around 50 yards out was sweet silt. I started off by throwing out around 3 kilo of Quality Baits 18mil Squid and Orange shelf life boilies. Initially I meshed the bottom baits to deter the attention of the crays.
Thursday morning and my strategy began to work and produced a 30+ common for me. By lunchtime on the Thursday I had fed off the crays and took the chance of putting out un-meshed bottom baits. What a great decision! All bar one fish that I captured in the next 2 days came to the un-meshed bottom baits.
My tally was 11 carp, including mirrors of 40lb 2oz and 46lb 8oz, and 3 thirties to 39lb 9oz with the rest twenties. Jim tallied 10 carp including a 41lb 15oz, 40lb 4oz , 5 thirties to 33lb 14oz, 1 twenty and 2 doubles, all caught on Quality Baits CM60. Dave had caught one fish per day and left the lake on Friday morning with a total of 5 carp – a 44lb mirror, 3 to thirties to 39lb and 1 twenty all caught on tigernuts.
We all make mistakes! I made a lot on this particular trip but all came good in the last 48 hours by me making some drastic changes to my tactics. Jim also made a tactical change, although he made his move a day before I even thought about it. I am sure that if we had remained on the line that we had started at the beginning of the week, both Jim and I would have experienced a blank, or at least been close to one.
Boux has the potential to produce some massive results for most anglers and the average weight we caught was very impressive, but you need to think about your fishing. As for the crayfish, Jim and I overcame this by pulling away from the margins & David by using Tigernuts. Perhaps in future I shall ignore previous catch reports and once again do my own thing.