The Swain Thing
With his syndicate and beloved canal swamped with angling pressure a trip to Luke Moffatt’s The Graviers couldn’t have come at a better time.
October saw our good friend, ground worker Andy Gannon from Southport, make the long awaited trip to the Prestigious The Graviers complex in the Dijon region of France.
In company with Andy was his good friends Ken and Andrew.
The trip to the complex was booked based on Andy’s previous sessions there which saw him have multiple captures ranging from 40lb to 60lb.
The Graviers is a lake steeped in carp angling history having been the home to the 2010 world record carp at 99lb.
The then record carp known as The Scarfish has since passed away but was succeeded by another colossal fish of 89lb known as The Brown fish. Luke Moffatt the owners’ PB from the complex to this day, caught on the same bait Andy went armed with for his recent trip. The Brown fish also sadly passed away this spring.
However, it isn’t a surprise to learn that there are now other monsters that lurk in the lakes rich waters.
No doubt this is testament to the fantastic fishery management.
When asked about the stock in the main lake Luke Moffatt the owner said “There are so many fish over 50 now that apart from very distinctive fish, they would be difficult to keep track of”.
The ongoing future of this lake looks very bright.
Andy and his friends arrived at The Graviers on the Saturday and once they acquainted themselves with the venue they took up place on the point swim, a spit of land giving all three anglers ample water.
A week away from the packed venues of the UK got Andy hungry to get started.
Having walked the 25 acre lake he was surprised to find the margins devoid of any fish, even other species.
Once back at his swim he devised a game plan.
Andy opted to fish the right-hand side of the spit, they would call home for their stay.
All four of Andy’s rods were placed on an area in open water about the size of a tennis court. Each rod got a good helping of DT Baits developments Cold Water Green Beast, glazed in the matching activator liquid. He finished up by using a throwing stick to spread a further 2 kg of bait amongst his spots to keep any fish in the area mobile.
His rig of choice across all four rods was a simple but effective snowman rig consisting of a Cold Water Green Beast hardened hook bait and pop up. That was attached to a lead clip and 5oz lead.
The morning after his first night Andy awoke slightly concerned about his presentation. Through the night he’d had multiple bleeps from his alarms that never resulted in any runs.
He quickly came to the conclusion the pesky crays had moved in.
With this in mind Andy bought the rods in for an inspection and while his assumptions were right the Krays had been at his baits they were still more then holding up to the attention.
With renewed confidence in the hardened hook baits he freshened up the rigs replacing the baits before boating them back out to his spots.
Another 2KG of bait was spread over the area in anticipation.
That evening the lads sat watching the water.
A number of fish could be seen showing over the back of Andy’s baited patch some distance away.
Faced with the decision to move his rods to where he’d seen the showing fish or stay put, Andy felt it was only a matter of time before the fish would move over his spots and opted to stick to the plan. A brave decision but would it pay off?
That night after a good meal and a few drinks with his friends, Andy turned in.
A quiet night gave way to the morning and after a good nights rest Andy sat with Ken and Andrew watching the water again.
With a hot cup of tea in his hands, he debated on if he’d made the right choice by not moving onto the showing fish the day before.
It wasn’t long before his thoughts were answered when one of his rods hesitantly came to life.
During an exclusive interview with DT Baits here is what Andy had to say.
“The take was slow to begin with, the bobbin creeping towards the blank of the rod. As I picked it up and wound down onto it, the fish seemed to plod off taking line as it did.
I shouted over to Andrew and told him it felt like a big fish. As if it wanted to prove a point it woke up and the fight began.
It kited around the spit and left of my swim, which saw me eventually playing it in the bay, which was Ken’s water.
The fish gave a dogged fight, lunging and surging. I did manage at that point to get a brief look at her. It left me thinking she was a 60 possibly even a 70.
The fight continued in much the same way with pulsing runs before I got her to the surface a second time. I saw her suck in a huge gulp of air and thought it was job done she’s ready for the net, but the fish had other ideas and burst off on another brutal run leaving a huge wake of water.
I remember thinking I can’t do anything with it this feels seriously heavy.
After a few more bursting runs she began to slow down and allow me to gain line. Eventually she was finally ready for the net.
Andrew did the honours my heart in my throat as he struggled to bundle her in the net.
She was so long.
I said to the lads we’d need to call Luke, as he asks to be made aware of any captures over 60lbs.
We gave her an oxygen bath and time to recuperate after her epic fight while we waited.
With Luke having joined us to witness the weight we removed her hulking mass from the water placing her on the mat before attaching the sling to the scales.
Andrew had them facing towards him and he laughed aloud.
It's over 60 mate.......its bang on 85.
Blown away I could only utter the breathless words NO WAY.
Luke arrived a short time later and witnessed the weight.
He recognised the fish from a double barb on its lip.
It was a fish known as The Swain Thing.
This capture eclipsed my previous PB of 72lb and the other captures from previous trips to this lake.
What an amazing place, Its has everything,great facilities, no crowds and what a stock of fish, it’s absolute bliss”!
Although Andy didn’t have any other bites that week I can’t help but think given the option to catch the fish of a lifetime prior to his trip he’d have ripped your arms off.
Congratulations Andy from all of us at DT baits on a very special capture.
It was also great to hear Ken managed a fish of 46lbs 8oz and Andrew bagged a 49lb mirror before the three of them returned to Blighty.
Andy’s monumental capture was taken on DT Baits Developments Cold Water Green Beast. Head to www.dtbaits.co.uk for more information and to see our extensive range of quality baits.
We’d like to say a big thank you to Luke Moffatt for taking the time to talk to us about The Graviers and its fantastic stock. For lake inquiries head to www.lukemoffatt.com