• Posted: 27th June 2023
  • Author: Team DNA
Mick Bentley’s annual trip to Mar-Peche in France wasn’t without its usual challenges, but it culminated in the capture of a giant common that had him on cloud nine for the journey home and for many days after!
After starting the trip with a 40lb common and then losing one the following day, things then went quiet until the very final morning, when Mick’s solid-bag trap was sprung one last time by a colossal common of 61lb.
Mick said: “Mar-Peche is renowned for being a tricky venue, but that has never put me off from travelling there at least once a year, as the stock of big fish is insane!
“On previous years I’ve noticed that big beds of bait are not the one for these pressured big fish; they just don’t respond to it, in my opinion. With this in mind, I wanted to try something different this year. So, after getting a good draw and getting a swim on fish, I wanted to keep disturbance to a minimum, so four solid bags were tied, filled with Crayfish Mini Mix pellets, Insect Meal, Calanus Hydro, Bug Liquid Food and Hot Hemp Oil, with Crayfish wafters for hookbaits. I wanted loads of attraction in my bags to draw in the fish without spooking them with loads of bait.
“After the long drive, I got an early night, but I’d only been asleep a couple of hours when one of my rods was away! A bite on Mar-Peche always gets the legs shaking and it was a relief when I saw a good-sized dark common go into the net, giving me a first-night 40-pounder! I quickly tied another bag and got it back on the spot.
“The rest of the night passed with no more action, but around mid-morning the same rod was away again! Feeling like a good fish, I was absolutely gutted when the hook pulled. After sulking and licking my wounds, another bag was tied and put back on the spot.”
With the weather being so unsettled over the course of the week, ranging from red-hot temperatures and high pressure to storms and low pressure, the next five days passed without so much as a liner for Mick, but he was still happy with what he had achieved by this point.
“I always set a target of one fish for the week on Mar-Peche, so I was more than happy to have just caught that common early in the week. So to say I was surprised to get a bite on the final night, just four hours before packing up, would be an understatement!
“As soon as I lifted into the fish, I knew it was a good one due to its slow plodding. I started praying to the carp gods that I wouldn’t lose it, and after what seemed like an eternity, a massive common went over the net cord. I knew I’d got something special, as the length of it was unreal! With the help of my pal, we got her out on to the mat and up on the scales, the needle spinning around to 61lb. I was gob-smacked, as I’ve had bigger mirrors, but I’ve always wanted a big Mar-Peche common and here she was! In my mind, these small smelly bags filled with DNA goodness are a massive edge when targeting pressured fish.”