A French Adventure – Ben Hart

Ben Hart recently returned from a great trip across the water to France where he banked some fantastic looking carp from an equally stunning location, he tells us all about it here…

A couple of close friends and myself decided to go on a last minute trip to France. As it was a place we had been to before we all knew exactly what to expect so the planning and stresses of foreign fishing hols was at a minimum. The lake itself is quite small and intimate with a rally good head of carp into the low 50lb bracket with an average size of about 35lb with around 20 fish over the 40lb bracket.

The lake itself used to be run as an all inclusive holiday venue but in recent years the owner decided to close it and not take no further bookings as he now just wanted to use the place for himself and a few friends for there own private holidays. With it being an ex all inclusive venue everything you needed tackle wise was already there so the only thing we needed to take with us was our reels, alarms, a bit of end tackle and some bait. This also meant that the long 7 hour drive from Calais was not needed so we chose to take a short 1.5hour flight with a quick 25 min drive the on other side.

Once we arrived at the lake I decided that I was going fish the way I usually would back home, being ultra mobile and try to stalk the fish either in the edge or on the surface without doing any nights. For me it was just about having a relaxing time and enjoying the sun and surrounds with good friends.  On the 1st full day I went about priming every likely looking spot and introduced a mixture of whole and chopped 10mm Krill & Tuna boilies, Scopex Sweet Corn, 6mm Fishmeal Carp Pellets and a good dousing of KnT Super CSL.

With 4 or 5 spots primed it was a matter of systematically checking each spot for any signs of fish. The 1st day went fairly uneventful for myself with a couple of missed chances and nothing much more so I decided to bait 1 spot fairly heavily then relax with a few beers and a bbq, retreat to bed with the intentions of waking at 1st light for another go. This paid of well as at 1st light I put 2 rods on the baited area and within 30 mins of them being out I had a 37.8 common and 40.4 mirror on the bank.

I think the commotion of catching two in quick succession spooked the rest of the fish off as the spot went quiet for the rest of the day. That evening I primed all the other spots once again in anticipation for the next morning. The next days stalking went fairly well with a 35 mirror in the morning and a 30lb linear just on dark in the evening just by fishing KnT Wafters on short d rigs with a naked lead clip arrangement over the same simple mix of KnT boilie, scopex corn and pellet.

The next day I decided to do something a little different and went all out to try and catch 1 on the float. I prepped the hookbaits the night before which was cubed luncheon meat that had been given a good dousing of KnT CSL Glug and KnT Oil.  A small float was mounted with a couple of float stops to hold in place then just a simple size 4 hook tied straight to the mainline with the hook hidden inside the boosted meat.

This was really effective as the 1st primed spot I lowered the bait in it was picked up within seconds of it hitting the bottom resulting in a 39.8 mirror! The next spot was pretty much the same process but this time resulting in a loss to an underwater snag.. The next day we awoke the sounds of fish doing there yearly spawning ritual so we unfortunately had to write fishing off on this lake for the rest of the week. Not being disheartened by this as we had been told of a 100 acre lake near by which had very little angling done on it but had done fish to 30kg in the past! It was owned by a friend of the owner of the lake we was on so after a little chat with him he gave us permission to fish if we wanted to. . So the next few days were used just generally relaxing and having a good reccy around the 100 acre pit by boat and bank where we did actually find a fair few fish but decided not to fish for them and save it for our return next year geared up properly for the place.

All in all the holiday was a really great time shared with good friends and with the added bonus of catching a few fish along the way and the thoughts of what could be the 100 acre pit down the road?? Hopefully next year we shall find out!

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