New PB - Dean Macey

I can quite easily remember as if it was yesterday my first 20lb, 30lb and of course 40lb carp. They are all very special stories that get told after a few pints down the pub, but until now, I have never had a story to tell of my very first 50l, and I had been trying for almost a decade!
A few years ago, I was lucky enough to visit Gran Canaria to make a fishing show. In doing so I met a man by the name of Keith Gladden who ran a guiding service. Since then we kept in touch and have had a few very fun trips away together. When I heard he was setting off on a new venture and setting up a carp fishery just outside Reims in France, with Tony Hibbert of Everton FC, I was keen as mustard to sample the goods and when an email came over asking me to visit Lac de Premiere, I didn’t need convincing.
With the weather quickly turning cold and after having a couple of hard frosts already, I thought that with the four nights ahead of me I would be very happy if I could winkle out a couple of fish every 48 hours.
I left home at silly O’clock on the Friday morning after attending the Korda Underwater 7 premier, so as you can imagine, I was gagging to dust off the Infinity’s. The drive from door to door is smack on 250 miles and took just over a couple of hours from Calais, it couldn’t be simpler. When I arrived I was met by Keith and a stunning 35-acre lake with a top quality bar/restaurant and everything else you need for a good trip.
We had a quick walk around the lake and got some info off of the other anglers that were already there and decided to start in swim 16 looking out to a nice out of bounds area of rushes. My plan was to spend the first 24hrs in this swim and move after every night if I had to go find the fish. The first job was to map out the swim. Without whipping it into foam, I made three casts in a fan shape with the marker float to see if there were any obvious features. I had been told that the gravel spots do plenty of fish but I was keen to find some softer areas. After half an hour I had my spot sorted, the rods were clipped up and I soon put 3k of Mainline Cell and New Grange on and around the area. Rig wise I opted for simplicity and strength in the shape of a Korda size 6 Wide Gape X, 9in of 20lb N-Trap coupled with a running lead clip, 18in of Dark Matter tubing all on the ever faithful 15lb Subline and a snowman hook bait.
As the light faded on my first night, my right hand Delkim made the first of many war cries and I soon had my first chunky carp of just over the 20lb mark on the mat and help up for a grip ‘n’ grin. Over the next couple of hours, Keith and I sat in the swim righting the world as you do and steadily catching a few fish that were quickly approaching the 30lb mark. I tried to turn in around midnight but couldn’t sleep and then in the early hours of the morning I received a take that was slow and steady as if it didn’t know it was hooked.
I lifted into the fish and straight away turned to Keith and said “this could be a kipper my son”, nut little did I know what was going to happen. As it kited I was able to make line but when she turned and wanted to go, I didn’t have much say in the matter. I have to say that I was holding up quite well until I saw the lengths and girth of the fish for the first time, then my legs went to jelly. Eventually, and with very little control of my own body, I managed to slide her into the waiting net and as we looked down and parted the mesh, I knew I had cracked it. At 51.2lb it is a dream carp and I still had three more nights to go.
The fishing in truth got better and better the more bait I put in and come the last night I was so tired from staying up every night, that I even at one stage wound my rods in to get some rest but then felt so guilty and lazy I got back up and cast them out again.
It was an awesome trip on a great venue with some top company that saw me experience some of the best carp fishing I have ever had. Not only did I catch my very first 50 but I also bagged 36 other fish, all over 20lb with 8 over 30lb. If that’s not a great way to spend a long weekend away, then I don’t know what is!
Lac De Premiere I thank you, I will be back!

Dean Macey