Archive for the ‘Carp Fishing’ Category


Review: Free Spirit Hi’S Special BW Barbel rods

May 14, 2014

Just thought I’d do a brief review of the Free Spirit Hi’S BW Barbel rods. I’ve had these now since the end of January and fortunately with the mild Winter and Spring we’ve had, I’ve had ample opportunity to put them through their paces.


Hi’S Special BW rods ready for action

I gave my first impressions of the rods in my previous post so I won’t bore you with that aspect again. See: Hi’S Special BW:First Impressions

I was though too impatient to wait for the rivers to abate as so I first tried them out on a small gravel pit near where I live, which was a pity, as I’d have liked to have had a barbel as my first fish on them. Instead though, it had to be a small carp.

They initially seemed quite stiff compared to the Fox Warrior S rods I had used the previous season, but this made them nice and crisp for casting and when I got the feel for them I was able to drop my method feeder on the same spot each cast. Read the rest of this entry ?


May Diary

May 28, 2013

Now I had been hoping to spend the month of May enjoying the springtime sunshine and fishing the local rivers for the barbel, as there is no closed season in France.
But the weather decided otherwise and instead we have had more rain than I can remember, meaning that so far the trips to the river have been very infrequent. This has meant more fishing in the lakes including my own.

May 8th


A rare glimpse of blue sky

I was due to fish the Semoy again with Yanou, but a last minute client at the lakes meant I had to skip this trip. Still wanting to fish I thought I might as well put the rods out on the Croix Blanche while I waited for the young Dutch lad to arrive.
I set up on peg 1 just as it started to rain around 12h00. I fished one rod with a maggot feeder, to see how productive it would be. I’d already tried one in the edge of a lake and the spread of the maggots was excellent and left a fantastic dinner plate for the fish. On this feeder I fished the red rubber maggots by Drennan that look pretty real. Other than the odd beep, all was quiet till the clients showed at 13h00. It took me about an hour to do the tour of the venue, and explain all the rules and bits and bobs. As soon as he was fixed with a swim, I returned to my peg and cast back out. It was now around 14h00.


A chunky 5lb 2oz Crucian Carp

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Self Take Photography

May 20, 2013

Self-take Photography

20 may barbel

As anglers we always want a shot of our best fish. However if like me you have to fish alone most of the time, then the taking of a decent “Trophy shot” can be quite awkward.
Whichever camera you use, a compact or a DSLR, you’ll need a tripod. It needs to be light, and small as you really aren’t going to be demanding much of it except to hold your camera about two feet from the ground while you pose with your prize. Read the rest of this entry ?


March Diary … continued

March 25, 2013


16th March : Quick few hours on the river Aisne. It was relatively mild and sunny, but the river was high and pushing though very fast, so it was impossible to fish the line I wanted, coupled with the fact that debris moved my feeders about even when I loaded 6oz on each rod.
One fish lost in a snag was the only action.

18th March : Not to be discouraged, and with the brief mild spell holding I headed out this time to the Marne where I had a few fish earlier in the month. Same swim same conditions but with the flow significantly less. 100-125g held bottom fine on the crease line that is so productive. Read the rest of this entry ?


Memories of the River Seine.

December 10, 2012

This year I’ve found myself back fishing the rivers in northern France for the first time in over a decade. My time this season was spent on the Aisne & the Marne, but in the past I’ve flirted with the Seine, which always produced some decent fish. Here is an article I wrote in 1999 following my first session at Bray sur Seine.

fish21“Despite having fished for carp for nearly twenty years I have rarely done so in rivers. Apart from the odd frustrating outing to the Seine near where I live, north of Paris. But the Seine remains one of the most ignored big fish waters in France.

The River Seine rises near Dijon in eastern France, and flowing northwest into the English Channel, at Le Havre it is about 776 kms (about 482 miles) long, crossing the major agglomerations of Paris and Rouen. The Seine is connected by canals with the Schelde, Meuse, Rhine, Saône, and Loire rivers. Also, for some inexplicable reason the fish north of the Parisian agglomeration are smaller than their brethren in the south. All this has generally dissuaded me from giving the river a proper go, yet the Seine river system undoubtedly has an incredible head of carp and arguably the largest specimens in France. Its tributary the Yonne produced an 81 pounder at its junction with the Seine in 1980.

News then, of a fifty pounder coming out of a stretch of the Seine some sixty miles south of the capital got me thinking that maybe I should give it another try. The Seine in this area of the country is a lovely looking piece of water too, and renowned for its big fish. So armed with a large scale map and a telephone I set about finding the best area to start my assault.
After several calls and with a great deal of good fortune I managed to track down the captor of the fifty, and spent a good while on the phone trying to glean any information he was willing to part with, without being too pushy. Finally, and much to my surprise, he suggested I come down and fish with him, as he was about to start a week long session in the previously successful spot. What a damn fine chap I thought, and set about preparing my tackle for an early start the next day. Read the rest of this entry ?


Croix Blanche Brochure 2013

November 27, 2012

I posted this on my Croix Blanche Blog too. I’ll no doubt be targetting the carp again  this Winter, and several oterh species next summer. I’ve still to break the 9lb Tench barrier.
Here with a relooked brochure for 2013.

It is available as a PDF file : Download Croix Blanche Brochure 2013

Or as an Interactive Flipbook brochure

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Pellets: If I could choose only one bait!

November 24, 2012

I guess I’ve always known that fish pellets of all descriptions are awesome fish catchers. I suppose it’s logical as these products were developed for fish farmers and therefore formulated to offer optimal growth and nutrition for fish. It’s hardly a surprise then that fish of all species love them. I myself have been using them in PVA bags and in method feeder mixes for over ten years, but it is more recently that I’ve come to regard pellets in the same way as boilies… just awesome fish catchers

The first time I realized just how effective pellets could be, when used as ground bait and hook baits, was a few years back on my first trip to Spain on the River Ebro. I travelled down with my son William to meet my, sadly departed, mate Big Ron Woodard for a week on the river after the giant catfish.

Instead of the live baits that I’d always associated with predator fishing the guys in Spain were ladling kilos of large halibut pellets into the river. Hook baits were drilled out 25mm pellets fished hair rig style. The effectiveness of this set up was nothing short of stunning and on the two trips I made to the Ebro I saw a large number of 100lb fish banked using this technique.

Move forward in time to this year, and I’ve been using pellets more and more for targeting several species of fish, from tench and bream to barbel and carp.  In fact I’ve caught all four species to specimen size on these baits this year. Read the rest of this entry ?