It’s amazing that in one week the weather can change so radically. Just one week ago I was packing up after landing my second biggest common ever. The outside temperatures were in the 5°C and it was fairly overcast. The water temp was 6°C during that weekend. Read the rest of this entry »
With the weather forecast announcing the arrival of a prolonged cold snap next week, I felt that I had to get back out and do a couple more nights before the cold eventually put an end to the carp’s willingness to feed in winter.
The first few days of the week had been very wet so I was waiting for a 48 hours window of fairly dry weather in which I could wet a line. I really don’t like fishing in the rain. The odd shower is okay, but constant rain I just find depressing.
So Friday dawned bright and dry with a reasonable weekend in sight, and I loaded the car to drive down to the Tortue lake.
I elected to fish the same peg (14) where I’d caught all my fish so far this year. Why change, as the fish were obviously visiting this area? I know from experience they often don’t go far in winter. The water in the lakes was a fairly uniform 6°C.
I’d made up a half a dozen PVA bags the night before, filled with 5mm carp pellets and broken Proline Red Devil boilies, so getting the lines out was a very quick affair this time. I had been using Quest Baits Pineapple, as I wanted a smaller & instant bait for winter, but having run out, I only had the lake specials to use. My hook baits were hi viz tutti fruitti pops fished snowman style. I was hoping that a fluoro bait would give me a chance in the day time, as all the fish so far, had come at night.
With the baits in place and the hammock set up I made myself some dinner. I climbed into the sack at around 8pm. I lay there reading before eventually dozing off.
At about 5am, a couple of bleeps and a steady run, on my left hand rod, signaled that I’d had a take. The fish did nothing special before rolling into the net. At 25lb it was a nice start. I did a couple of pictures and slipped her back. Read the rest of this entry »
Its funny how the years pass and are so different. One year we have a heatwave in the summer and the next it’s cold and wet.
Take the Winter; this time last year we were in the north pole, we had several feet of snow. In fact it was the heaviest in living memory for most of the people in my village. The temperatures plummeted well below freezing and the lakes were solid for well over a month.
So how different it is this year. 2012 comes in with the warmest start in over 100 years. In fact 2011 was the warmest year on average since records began. We are still yet to have a significant frost…
Its strange that we don’t seem to have regular and proper seasons any more. If proof were needed 2011 is a good case study. We had a spring that was not only exceptionally dry, but the hottest on record. Temperatures were up as high as the mid thirties by mid May.
The summer then quite simply didn’t happen. After a rainy, cold July, August was barely better. The Autumn however did give us some fine and sunny weather. Read the rest of this entry »
Most of us that are into carp fishing are also into most other things ’outdoors’, hunting, camping, hiking etc. With all these activities its important to be well equipped, and in carping there is no shortage of gadgets.
Recently I’ve been looking at some of the ‘Bushcraft’ videos on Youtube by a guy called Dave Canterbury and his Pathfinder School site .He’s also doing a survival show on Discovery Channel called ‘Dual Survival’. His Youtube site is full of good info that also has a utility for carping and camping out in general. One of the items I particularly liked was his ‘EDC’ or “Every day Carry” kit. (I guess this is a US military acronym.) It basically consists of a mountaineering ‘Carabiner’ with a selection of useful gadgets hanging from it that can be clipped onto ones belt or tackle bag. All the items are quickly and readily available at a seconds notice.
Anyway I figured this would be a really good idea for us carpers to have such a selection of kit. As I already had a large carabiner, I decided to add a few items to it to make my own EDC. This is just my own preference but naturally one can add any tools one finds useful… Read the rest of this entry »
Not really a fishing topic this, but one about something that I find useful when travelling to a new venue.
I’ve already written on a couple of occasions about GPS units and how much I like them as navigational aids in France. In fact I’ve used the Tomtom One now for a number of years and would be lost without it. Most of the units on the market are of the street navigator type, which are perfect for getting from A to B and finding ones way around a city, but they give very little or no information about the type of terrain one is on and many don’t have any info at all on lakes, tracks to lakes etc. For this an Ordinance Survey topographical map is the best tool.
Now topographical GPS devices do exit also, aimed at hikers and offroaders they are like an electronic geo-referenced Ordinance Survey map. They give you your exact position and allow you to install very detailed maps of your chosen area. But, and this is a big BUT, they are extremely dear for the best ones. The Garmin Dakota 20 or Twonav Aventura are in the 400-600€ bracket and that is without the 25:000 scale maps that cost over 100€ each. This for me was a real deal breaker…I just can’t afford that amount on a gadget.
However recently I have found a great plugin on a French GPS site that allows you to turn your Tomtom into a great off road/fishing tool. The plugin is called “ttmaps”. Read the rest of this entry »
Well perhaps not quite. I came across this accessory in a French tackle shop “Realtree” seat covers for my 4×4. Now as I was in the market for a set of front seat covers to help protect the upholstery from wet dog, dirty fishing clothes and all the junk I end up carrying in the car, these Browning camo covers seemed just the ticket.
The sales blurb reads:
BROWNING: UNIVERSAL SEAT COVER
» Universal bucket seat cover fits most standard bucket, seats including GM seats with built in seatbelts
» High quality, heavy polyester fabric is treated for water repellency and dirt resistance
» Foam backed fabric keeps seat coller and helps it breathe in hot weather
» Browning logo on a quality woven patch is prominently displayed
» Patent Pending custom fit
Anyway I couldn’t resist them so now have a set what has to be the coolest Realtree accessory ever for my car.
by Gareth Watkins
Over the years I’ve had a whole range of different vehicles that I’ve used to get myself fishing. In the early days it was my parent’s cars, so whatever they had at the time, and varied from an Audio 80 to a Triumph Dolomite. Not always very practical… Since then I’ve had several different types of car and they all have advantages and disadvantages. Here then, is my choice of Carp fishing vehicles. My latest car is a Nissan Terrano, that replaced my beloved camper… the camper was great but not a practical car for working around the lakes.
The first type I had when starting my own fishery was a small compact Renault Express van. Now in the UK the Escort Van was virtually de rigueur in carp fishing circles.. I saw so many of these. These type of vans are small, compact and carry a vast amount of gear. Only real draw back is they are two-seaters. If you have more people to carry you need to look to a larger vehicle. Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
Below is an extract from the AA website with tips for those wanting to drive in France. I recently had a lad of 17, who although he had a UK licence was inquiring about driving abroad. Below are the rules for most of Western Europe and were update last in July 2009.
This information should be read in conjunction with our general advice for motoring in Europe.
1.Drinking and driving: If the level of alcohol in the bloodstream is 0.05 per cent or more (0.02% for bus/coach drivers), severe penalties include fine, imprisonment and / or confiscation of the driving licence.
Saliva drug tests will be used to detect drivers under the influence of drugs – severe penalties as above.
2. Driving licence: Minimum age at which a UK licence holder may drive a temporarily imported car 18, motorcycle (up to 80cc) 16, motorcycle (over 80cc) 18.
3. Fines: On-the-spot fines or ‘deposits’ are severe. An official receipt should be issued. Vehicles parking contrary to regulations may be towed away and impounded.
4. Fuel: Unleaded petrol (95 & 98 octane), diesel (Gazole) and LPG available. No leaded petrol (lead replacement petrol “Super carburant” available or lead substitute additive). Petrol in a can is permitted but forbidden by ferry and Eurotunnel operators. Read the rest of this entry »