Tom & Neil – 9th to 16th May 2009 November 10, 2010
Neil, Tom & friends enjoy a carp filled week at Vivier in the torrential rain!
I left work early on the 9th and met my son, Tom, at home at 15:30 after he had finished school.
I had taken all of our kit around to Pip’s to be loaded into the van the night before so after a quick cup of tea and a sandwich, we met up with the rest of our fishing party. Tom and I were joining Kelvin, Matty, Pip, Tom H and Johnny for our long awaited trip to Etang Du Vivier, France.
We set off around 16:30 on Friday afternoon from Wirral, UK and after a trouble free journey; we arrived at Ian’s house at about 10:00 on the Saturday morning.
Ian welcomed us, made us a cup of tea, went over the fishery rules and proceeded to walk us around the lake pointing out the best areas to cast and giving some good local advice. As we got to the Tin Hut peg, the heavens opened – torrential rain.
We made a dash for the caravan where we waited for the rain to subside. Whilst in the caravan watching the rain, we decided which pegs we would fish. Tom and I drew the two platforms directly in front of the caravan.
When the weather broke, we set up our bivvies, stored our gear and eventually, between down pours, got our rods on the pods and started fishing. Saturday was coming to an end. We were pretty wet and hadn’t had a bite but we took the opportunity to catch up on some sleep.
I was awoken early Sunday morning by a bite alarm. The line was being stripped from the reel and I was in a bit of a daze as I picked up the rod and set the hook into the first fish of our visit. A couple of minutes later I had landed, weighed and photographed my first carp, all 16 lb of her. This was closely followed by a fish of 18 lb – Tom’s rods hadn’t twitched at this point.
About an hour later the heavens opened again and we witnessed some of the worst weather I have ever experienced. The storm was directly overhead, the thunder made the air vibrate – it was quite scary!
Just as the rain lightened off, Tom had a run and he hooked up a good fish. He was into the fish for no more then five seconds when his other rod screamed off. Instinctively, Tom picked up the other rod so now he had two fish on with no means to reel in. I responded to his pleas for help and I went to his assistance. I was handed the second rod just as the rain became heavier.
So, you have to picture this, dad and lad, double hook up in torrential rain – by the way, in the excitement, we forgot to put on our wet gear so we were fishing in tee shirts.
Tom gradually brought his fish to the bank and we could see that it was a good fish.
We had set up our landing net but there was also one left by the previous occupants of the peg. As this was closer to hand, I slipped the net under Tom’s fish and slowly drew it to the bank. At this point, the spreader block failed. I had a rod in one hand and a landing net pole in the other. Tom’s fish was netted but one swish of that powerful tail and it would have been away, taking the net with it.
As I panicked, Tom calmly bent down and grabbed the net and covered the fish. We pegged the broken net whilst we landed my fish in our net. We then swapped the peg and removed Tom’s fish from the water.
Tom, at the tender age of 13 had landed a monster which weighed in at just over 41 lb. You can see his pleasure in the photograph below. What a fish.
In case you’re wondering, my fish weighed in at 24 lb. You can see from the photos how wet we got but no complaints – what an experience. You couldn’t make it up!
We were soaked through so, after returning the fish to the lake, we reeled in the other rods and went up to the caravan where we had a shower, change of clothing and a bite to eat. We didn’t stop laughing the whole time as we relived those twenty minutes or so over and over again.
We never looked back from that day and we caught some great fish. Tom’s best fish was his first fish at 41 lb. The best I managed was a very respectable 36.5 lb.
Tom managed 1 x 40s, 6 x 30s (to 38lb), and 12 x 20s. He caught 30 fish in total and his weight for the week was 696.5 lb. Not bad for a 13 year old school boy!
I managed 34 fish, 6 x 30s, 15 x 20s and I had a cat at 16 lb. My total weight for the week was 708.5 lb. We weighed in at 1405 lb between us – what a week!!
Below are photographs of some of the better fish that we caught throughout the week.
Special thanks to Ian for all his advice and tips and also his hospitality – he really looked after us.
Time to start saving the pennies for next year!