BRIT abroad Mark Lambert made the most of his French fishery being closed to visiting UK anglers by landing this venue record 80 lb 2 oz mirror.

The  37-year-old added a PB 60 lb common in great quick-fire haul at his Lac du Villefond water.

Mark, who hails from North Cheam, South West London, told Angler’s Mail: “I live out here full-time and the lake is our family business.

“Villefond is becoming increasing popular and my chances to fish were normally only in the cold and wet of winter.

So I decided on a session just over 24 hours which would be ample time to enjoy the lake and catch several big carp for a short video blog to promote our lake.

“Alone, confident, experienced and sure in my abilities with catching big carp I was walking into the most amazing 24 hours and actually a humbling experience.

“Before I set up I was struck with the beauty of the lake, the plants were all flowering in the spring sun and the birds singing their lungs out.

“Seeds falling from the trees making seem like it was snowing almost in the blistering sun.

Most-wanted Villefond carp

Mark continued: “Before my rods were out I sat down to quickly film my very amateur blog videos on my phone.

“I sat and talked my plans, my rigs and even included ironically the two fish I wanted the most.

“I mentioned our biggest resident male fish, called Arnold, who I hoped would be over 80 lb now.

“And then I mentioned a common carp I would love.

“This common had been out around 58 lb a couple of years ago and every since I had been desperate to catch it.

Mark displays his Villefond 60-pounder.

Mark displays his Villefond 60-pounder.

“I always fish two rods only and chick pea and sweetcorn was my bait, half a tin of each on both spots.

“My two spots were either end of the island that is about 60 -70 yards from the cabin swim in the shallow end of the lake.

“Chick pea and corn was on my hook in a style adapted to how our really smart big carp feed. It’s something that I continually work on and adapt over the years.”

Big carp run topped by Arnold

Mark continued: “That afternoon I had a 58 lb 8 oz mirror and then an hour later hooked into a really powerful fish.

“My reel nearly burst into flames as the fish did what no fish before had done and swam away from me and around the island at blistering speed.

“I couldn’t stop it and I realised I needed my boat and I had to put the rod down.

“I eventually brought Arnold up and slid my net under him and I was in shock. I couldn’t believe I had done it, I was beyond lucky.

“Then about midnight, my right island spot exploded into life. I netted her and she was the scared common bang on 60 lb. It was surreal.

“I added mirrors of 38 lb and 55 lb 10 oz but then I did what gamblers don’t do, I left the table while on a winning streak,” concluded Mark.

Fishing within France has since become possible for the French – not just those living beside water.

After some lockdown restrictions were relaxed on May 11, French residents were able to travel freely up to 100 km from their home. Beyond that, for the French, it has to be for ‘essential’ reasons only.

It remains to be seen when fishing holidays for anglers from the UK become possible again, due to assorted Covid-19 travel restrictions.

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