Why France for Carp?

February 27, 2010

by Gareth Watkins

Carp fishing as we all know is  immensely popular now, with more and more people coming into the sport every year. This puts a huge pressure on the ticket lakes, club lakes and syndicates across the UK. Most anglers outside the ‘A’ list are faced with long waiting lists and the slim chances of getting on a water with big fish. Ticket lakes are often crowded and fish sizes modest.
For a number of years carpers have been looking towards France.

But is it the Carpfishers ‘Eldorado?’   What does France have to offer?

1) Access to bigger fish: Well firstly in the majority of cases there are no syndicates or waiting lists to fish the top waters. You can simply book up with a lake  or go it alone to a ticket or public lake.
Whatever you choose you’ll have access to bigger fish than the majority of lakes in the UK.
The continental climate in France gives us just that few degrees extra average temperatures, which is enough to get the carp feeding longer throughout the year. You gain on average one degree for every 100 km you travel south. Also the strains of carp stocked into France have generally been fast growing mirrors and they can reach 30lb in just 5-7 years. Read the rest of this entry »

Ten New Year’s Resolutions

January 19, 2010


by Gareth Watkins

1)      Get out and fish a bit more: It’s funny but the more you get involved in fishing the less time you get to get out on the banks and participate in this sport that we all enjoy so much. I read so many times on the forums young anglers wanting to get a job in angling. Most imagine that they will simply get paid to go fishing. How wrong can you be! Since first getting involved in the carp angling scene I have fished less and less over the years. My friend Shaun Harrison used to say he only got to fish two nights a week when he worked at Walkers, but now he tells me since he has set up his own business he doesn’t even get that.

I know just how he feels. Even owning my own waters, it is hard to get enough time to fish. Also when I have a full house of customers it is not possible anyway. So for 2010 I need to find a way to make a concerted effort to get out on the bank more often. Read the rest of this entry »

5 Winter Carp Fishing and Bait Myths Busted!

December 10, 2009

Some old catch reducing myths about winter carp fishing and baits still persist. Some of these myths might be things you have unwittingly accepted as fact – so beware! You would be surprised to know what some of them are so read on for the truth and reap the rewards of seeing things from a fresh carp fishing perspective!

1) Carp hibernate for the winter.

Carp do slow down their feeding in winter as their bodies are very much in tune with the temperature of the water surrounding them which means that the enzymes that control their metabolism, digestion, amounts of swimming and movements done is generally much more restricted in order to save energy. Actually finding winter carp is one of the major problems in winter and early spring and this is why regular feeding with baits is so important to keep fish visiting spots which makes catching them much easier. To do this in order to be much more in command of fish feeding behaviours in a lake takes a quantity of bait and is one of the reasons I continue to make my own homemade baits despite all the commercial baits around. (Extremely effective winter baits do not require loads of expensive high protein ingredients!) Read the rest of this entry »

Carp Fishing Tackle Check List

September 8, 2009

by Gareth Watkinsquest-image02

I don’t know if you are like me but I can be very forgetful, and there is nothing worse than leaving some important piece of kit at home. As a photojournalist it was a stackable offence to forget an item of equipment. I well remember a colleague of mine, who shall remain nameless, who set off for the first Gulf War without his camera bag. So what is the solution for all you scatterbrains out there? Simple, write out check lists!!.

I’ve divided these into categories but as everybody’s gear is different I suggest you go through each bag, list all the tackle items and tick everything off before leaving .
So here are my various Check Lists. They are not extensive as I try to minimise my gear when I go fishing, even on a week long trip. I’m not going to include cooking equipment and photography gear here, just what I need to catch fish. Read the rest of this entry »