Etang la Saussaie Haulin

We were lost for words. A truly fabulous fish

Etang la Saussaie is a fabulous water with some magnificent fish, but it isn’t always easy, so after some debate, and a nice bottle of red we settled on a fish each, a day, would be a result, and if they happened to be some of the lakes bigger residents we wouldn’t complain.
The Pride of Bruges docked on time, and a smooth trip down, has us arrive at the lake for early p.m.
First impressions was a lifeless lake (we were in the middle of a very static high pressure), and a lack of water, the level being well down on our previous visit. Having said that, the lake looked beautiful, with the far bank trees starting to show their Autumn colours
We had a bit of a discussion, selected pegs, and gradually got organised.
“Why on earth do we need so much gear too catch a few fish?”
We put the kettle on, had a brew and were ready to get the baits out. Little did we know what was to happen over the next few days. We had a quiet night, but just after first light I’m into the first fish of the trip, an immaculate 29/12 common, which was followed later in the day by two 30 plus mirrors. It goes without saying we were well pleased with the start. My peg continued to tick over, but Bill was struggling at this time, and after 48 hours decided to rest his swim and move in to the end peg to my right. This was a good move and he was soon off the mark, with three fish over the following 24 hours.
I’d also had a great day with a thirty plus fully scaled, one of the loveliest fish I’ve ever seen, and a stunning mid forty common. We needed a trip to the shops, and on return Bill decided to return to his original swim.
What a great decision, because soon after putting the baits out, he hit into what can only be described as a fish of a lifetime. As the net went under a huge common we both just stopped and stared at each other. It was that sort of moment. Eventually we came out of our trance and between us carried the fish to the unhooking mat.
The scales were put on the weighing bar, which bent under the strain, as the magnificent fish turned the dial round to 78lbs- 6oz . What could we say?
The rest of the week was a blur, with some more lovely fish gracing our nets. We’d long forgotten our wish of a fish each a day, and for the record we ended the week with 26 fish between us, 11 over 40lbs, and in case I forget 1 over 78lbs … some trip!!!!
I would love to catch the big common, and I hope to return to the lake next year, for now I just feel privileged to have been there when Bill caught it … A moment in time that I suspect both of us will remember for a very long time.
Ps If you would like a more detailed write-up of the above trip, from Bill’s point of view, then watch out for his new book “Behind the Rods” I’ve seen some of the chapters and it’s a fabulous read.