by Gareth Watkins
I remember sitting watching the lake with another carp fisher and a large mirror swam by us only feet from the bank….we could see clearly that it was a linear carp
‘Look at that!’ exclaimed my companion.
‘How big do you reckon it is?’ I asked
‘Got to be 25lb+” he replied.
I knew from that moment I wanted to catch that fish to see just how big it was.
I had acquired the Croix Blanche Lakes way back in 1999, and during that first year I set out to catch as many of the resident fish as possible prior to a stocking of some 300 plus carp.
I started out then in the April fishing the Croix Blanche lake and documented all the fish I caught on the internet, an unsual but successful marketing tactic at the time.
But once I started catching the same fish twice or three times I felt it was time to move on to the second lake the ‘Tortue’. Now I had observed fish to over 40lb from the very first time I set foot on the venue… so I was sure I’d catch a big fish if I was able to connect with one…
My first night on the lake saw me row out a bucket of maize, hemp and boilies to the central plateau, that anyone who has fished the lake will know well. I’d cast my rig to the same area and was able to see my hook link on the bottom amongst the freebies. The first night saw me catch two fish, the first a 27lb mirror and the second the carp in question a 35lb 15oz linear, the very same fish I had seen swimming in the limpid waters that summer… So we had under estimated the fish in the water by some 10lb…
How big then were some of the other fish I’d seen?
This question was answered to some extent when an angler banked the 44lb 12oz mirror on the first ever week of fishing in April 2000.
But I never really got the chance after this to fish for the original carp, as we had to begin stocking which in many ways changed the water for ever.
It was then with great pleasure that I saw my good friend Eric Dalenoord land my ‘linear’ as a new top weight of 40lb 8oz., some ten years after my first capture of the fish. I had been convinced that she had succombed to the huge angling pressure the lakes have suffered over the last 10 years, and was no more… my joy then was huge to see this magnificent lady of my lakes alive and well, despite all the named fish that have come and gone… long may she live!!