Daren Norman – Long awaited Cassien trip!

'Halfway through October, myself and two of my good friends George and Neil set off on a very long-awaited trip down to my favourite fishing destination, the historic lac de st Cassien in the south of France. We had planned the trip at the start of 2020 but 3 days before we were due to set off the whole of France went into full lockdown and the trip was pulled away from us at the last minute...'

Made up with this one!

Another year passed before we made the 800-mile drive south but finally we were on our way and after 3 nights at another large public water on the way down we finally crossed the infamous bridge to be greeted by a sun drenched Cassien. The water level was extremely low, with some of the plateau and bars sitting well clear of the water and from previous experience I knew that we might be in for a hard time in such conditions. We started off looking in the South arm and found fish on the first evening so Nelly concentrated up there for the first 6 days and managed to catch 4 carp, including 3 30’s which was a right result on his first trip to the great lake. I went up to the top of the North arm and found a big group of fish up there, so me and George concentrated on that area for a while, both landing fish up to low 30’s, however I did lose one that felt a hell of a lot bigger!After 3 days up there, I fancied a change and headed for the middle section landing one carp but what a corker it was! A very long, white tipped mirror that made my trip straight away.

An iconic water in every sense of the word!

After that the area went quiet and I ventured back up the North arm locating them and landing 3 carp very quickly, topped by a lovely 37lb 4 oz common. The bites were coming between 35 and 40 ft and using just a kilo of Sticky Krill active over the 4 rods per day seemed to keep things ticking along nicely. Nelly joined me for the last few days halfway up the North and George carried on doing the battery zapping boat trip up to the top of the North every day. We all got in on the action with Neil taking the only real big fish, a lovely long mirror of 46lb 4oz but we had some real lookers between us and were over the moon with our results. I managed to land 9 and George and Neil had 6 each, so 21 Cassien carp between us in 11 day sessions made the 15 hour drive home all the sweeter. It sure is bloody hard work fishing Cassien but my god I love it and after just getting back I can’t wait to do it all again and next time I am going to get a monster!

Another belting Cassien fish

It was a good test of the Onyx 10ft 3.25lb tc rods and I’ve got to say they are great for boat work and will be my go-to rods for France in the future. Size 2 grippers, tungsten loaded along with all the other ESP bits created my short slip d rigs and with only one loss in 10 bites from that very hostile terrain showed once again that it was all up to the task.

A smaller one but a great looking mirror.