Roy van Goor is a Laroussi regular, having landed a 61lb mirror on a previous trip, he returned for more this May. Roy has kindly provided us with a great write up of his recent trip to the lake and the capture of the 62lb ‘Le Grand Male’…
Big fish on the feed
After a 6 hour drive from Holland we arrived at the gates of Laroussi. Mehdi must have heard the cars stopping because the gates to heaven opened almost immediately. We greeted Mehdi and had a little chat about the normal things in life.
Soon the subject changed to what we came for… tackling the big carp that inhabited the lake. Mehdi informed us how the lake was fishing and it all became clear nature was almost a month behind due to the bad weather last winter. Fishing was slow, but the fish that were being caught were, in most cases, the bigger residents of Laroussi.
The 2 other anglers were already walking around the lake as they arrived before us. We greeted them and after Mehdi completed his talk about rules and things we would need to know we were ready for the draw. First timer Jos had the first choice and went on the point. 2nd was Neill picking Le Chene. Damn… that’s the one I fancied were my thoughts. Coming out 3rd myself I was in a bit of a dilemma, L’Anse was still free and having already fished from there several times, knowing where to place the baits would be a big advantage. But the strong South-west wind pushing in Le Saule was also looking good. Knowing that there are nearly always fish there meant this would be the peg for me for the week. Ron took number 4 and jumped in L’Anse, Mark going in La Plage and Marco en Maikel in La Bouleau and Le Haut Fond.
After setting up camp the rods where placed in the obvious spots. 2 were placed on the far bank in 8 ft of water. The 3rd rod’s destiny was a bar running on the left of the swim. There was 6 ft on top of it and 8 feet around it.
My tactics for the week were to go for very small baits. Freebies would be a mixture of 10mm’s and a few 15mm’s fished over some of the partiblend that Mehdi supplies. To the partiblend mix I added some sweetcorn to give it a bit more attraction. Hookbaits would be 15mm’s with fake corn and a double 10mm snowman presentation. Rigwise I would stick to my beloved fluorcarbon hooklinks using Korda curved shank Barbless size 6 and Rigmarole Specimon.
I use these in 90% of my fishing, there very hard to tangle and in the gin clear Laroussi water they disappear almost completely. I don’t want to take the chance and have a tangled rig on the bottom when the time is limited. There are not a lot of snags on the bottom at Laroussi so fishing fluorcarbon is not a problem.
The rods were 2 hours out when one of the far bank rods was away. Striking the take it soon became clear that what was on the other end wasn’t very massive. Soon a grassie appeared in front of the net and was quickly landed. Mehdi had already discussed with us that grass carp that where caught would be removed, because they had now solved the weed problem and were getting too big. Mehdi came round to collect it and soon the rod was redone.
Only 10 minutes later it was screaming again, and another grass carp was the troublemaker. Another 2 fish found the way to my unhooking mat before dinnertime, a 3rd grass carp and 1 of the massive sturgeons.
Quickly it became dark and after hitting the sack I was soon off to wonderland due to getting up early and the long drive. The night was quiet and in the morning it became clear it passed without any action for the other anglers either. Rods were redone and the waiting game was on. Ron came round for dinner later that afternoon and told me Mark just landed his first fish around the 60 lb mark. Now how is that for a start! And caught from a peg that hadn’t seen a fish banked in the previous week. Its clear different ways of angling can make a huge difference. This would be confirmed true the rest of the week.
The day passed with just some more grass carp action for me and a lost fish for Maikel. We’re now on the Monday and still no sign of carp, well… saying that, the amount of fish showing in the middle of the lake is unbelievable and some of them are like cows falling in.
Its just getting dark and like every evening I started to get liners on all 3 rods. One of the alarms signalled, the bobbin moving up and I expected it to fall back like is always the case with liners. It didn’t and stayed there on a tight line. I picked the rod up quickly assuming it to be another grass carp on the end. After getting good contact with the fish it becomes clear it’s definitely not a grassie.
A slow big fish plodders from left to right and stays deep. Yard by yard is gained and in the light of my torch I can see a good sized mirror appear from the deep. It is in the net at the 1st attempt. A phone call is made to Marco to come over for some shots and carefully the fish is placed on the mat. A decent 30 was my 1st thought but the scales tell me wrong. 49.05 lb mirror, full of spawn.
Marco arrived and quickly some shots are taken and the fish got her freedom back. The rod was redone and after a few beers it’s bedtime. Again the odd liner occurs through the night but no takes. In the morning Ron came round with his camera. This could only be good news. He told me he broke his PB last night with a massive 55 lb mirror. I congratulated him as he walked on to take a shower.
Le grand male
It was getting close to lunchtime, I was drinking a coffee and watching the lake when suddenly the right hand rod slowly pulled tight. I never strike straight away on a take, often its sturgeon taking line with there fins, waiting until the line is being taken from the clutch is the advice. Slowly the clutch started to make the much wanted sound and the rod was lifted from its rest. There wasn’t a lot of movement on the other end.
Putting more pressure on my opponent got it moving slowly. Mehdi was watching it from his garden and called out to see what I thought was on the other end, “Sturgeon I guess” was my answer.
The fight was already going on for 20 minutes but not a lot of line could be gained. Mehdi came round and that was the first time the fish turned on the surface… “Massive carp” were his 1st words and my first thoughts. Mehdi took the landing net and after a few more minutes the fish came closer and closer. The fish turned in front of the net and Mehdi quickly pushed the net underneath the massive framed fish. Immediately he said “do you know what fish it is?” with a big smile on his face. “Le grand male”, easy to recognize due to his big back.
“Your new PB Roy”, he said. I wasn’t too sure but Mehdi told me it was banked 2 weeks ago at 62lb. The fish was placed on the mat with combined forces and the scales said 62lb. Yess!
“Your new PB!” Mehdi shouted. We shook hands and he did the honours of taking some pictures. After releasing the fish we talked about the history of the great creature.
Its a male fish and shows impressive growing rates. On my 1st visit in 2006 some Belgium anglers had it at 38.05 lb. The following year I banked it myself at 43.09 lb.
After that the fish seemed to increase in weight every year with 3-4lb. And taking in mind its a male fish it shows the potential of a lake like Laroussi. I am sure it will hit the 70lb mark in the next few years.
Nothing happened anymore for me that Tuesday and Wednesday. Ron managed another big fish on Wednesday afternoon of 45lb. The other anglers in our group struggled and only a few grass carp and crucians were being caught by them. The week was coming to a end and I struggled to get more carp takes, not that I could really be bothered with already having in my pocket what we came for. I assume there were not a lot of fish present in the bay in front of Le Saule because there were none showing all week.
A friend of Mehdi came round with a underwater camera on a pole and decided to check some of bushes on the far bank. My eyes could not believe what I saw after watching the recorded material. In about 10 seconds several decent mirrors and commons made an appearance in front of the camera leaving me with head breaking mind thoughts about how they evaded the hook.
In some cases the guy even saw fish feeding on anglers bait, and no indication or movement on the bobbins. So it shows how clever and clued up the Laroussi carp are, their growth rates confirm they benefit from anglers bait but often manage to stay out of their hands. Our group ended the week with 6 fish. 1 small common on the last evening for Marco and 2 mirrors for both me and Ron. Jos and Maikel blanked. The 2 English anglers did pretty well with Neill on Le Chene banking 2 fish to high 30’s. But Mark in La Plage did steel the show with a 6 fish by the end of the week with a 41.08, 45.08, 55.00, 49.04, 59.08 & 60.02.
We will be back next year and rethink the way we will be fishing the venue after seeing the footage. If you want a venue that’s a proper carp lake with a lot of big fish and are willing to work for it Laroussi is your carp heaven.
For more information, articles and photos from Laroussi follow the link – Carp Fishing in France