Mark Parker from IYCF Goes to France

Being primarily a specialist angler, a week’s carp and catfish fishing in France was to be a new experience for me.

Going with my very good friend, Andrew Botterill – as a match angler, he was also out of his comfort zone!

We have both done a little catfish fishing in the past though, but never for the size of fish that lived in the venues we were going to – Rock Lakes, near Migne.

At 13 acres in size and nine swims on offer, with carp approaching 50lb and catfish to 200lb, the excitement was palpable as we pulled up to the side of the lake after the drive from Calais.

Mixing up what I like to call my ‘Bucket of Wrongness’, a heady blend of fish oils, tuna, and Bait-Tech Halibut Pellets, Special ‘G’ Gold and Green groundbaits and a little Bait-Tech Halibut Method Mix, we both primed areas for the catfish, while more subtle tarps were laid for the carp.

The results were a 36lb mirror for Andy as well as a host of smaller 30lb’ers and 20’s. He added a pleasing 57lb catfish to his tally also.

I ended the week with a brace of common carp just short of 30lb and a host of 20lb’ers, while the carpet of ‘Wrongness’ brought me a run from a 63lb catfish.

After playing the fish for around 30-minutes, it was weighed, photographed and returned.

With-in literally six-minutes of the bait being repositioned on the edge of the island, the rod was off again. This one turned out to be 101lb catfish!

What a great week, what great fish and what great bait!

Mark (Happy Bob) Parker
Features Editor
Improve Your Coarse Fishing magazine

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