Rediscovering Fishing

August 7, 2012

I’ve been carp fishing now for over 34 years and have grown and learned with the pursuit, which started a good while before the hair-rig era, and when carping still had a mystique and mystery…

Since I’ve lived in France I have not really fished for any other species, other than a few trips to Spain for the big Catfish. I’m really lucky in that the Croix Blanche venue not only holds big carp and cats, but also a superb head of big coarse fish including tench, crucians, bream, perch, pike and rudd.

So it has been rather refreshing this year to try my hand at catching specimen fish of other species.

It all came about when I met a group of French, former carp anglers, who had reconverted to general coarse fishing and match style methods.  When I met these guys I was on a bit of a roll having had 3 fish over 40lb in a couple of months, the best being a 46lb common, from several venues.
Their approach though, I found fun and refreshing. I must admit the bivvy up style had been boring me a bit for a while, and I found short day sessions fishing traditional boilie methods less than productive.  Also I didn’t really have the time to fish several days a t a stretch, couple with the fact I had a hard job getting a swim on my own lakes. Read the rest of this entry »

Les Carpes de la Croix Blanche : TV programme from 2003

August 7, 2012

A trip down memory lane this film. Originally made for the French fishing and hunting TV channel “Chasse et Pêche” in 2003, it has since been edited to DVD. (Naturally the commentary is in French).
The film shows some nice fish caught during the early days of the Croix Blanche Lakes. A lot has changed since, but the essence of the carp fishing venue I wanted to create is still there today. The site has seen numerous improvements to the facilities, the swims and the fish stocks.

Les Carpes de la Croix Blanche from Gareth Watkins on Vimeo.

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A nice video clip by Dawid Jurewicz during a recent trip to Croix Blanche Lakes

July 13, 2012

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A couple of Dutch videos

May 8, 2012

Here are a couple of clips shot by Dutch anglers Jan de Jager and Germ Bruinsma in April 2012:

Part 1:

Part 2:

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Croix Blanche Seasons

December 15, 2011

Over the last three or four years I have filmed the lakes and some of the fish during all of the seasons of the year. I thouhgt is would be nice to put a clip together showing these changing seasons and some of the varied fish that populate the waters of these lakes.

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French Moggies

December 4, 2011

Boilies aren’t just about carp fishing. Boilies also make excellent baits for cat fish. The following is an extract from a diary by Alan Batham of a recent fishing trip to Croix Blanche Lakes in northern France. Alan highly recommends the lakes as a fishing venue. You can check out Phil’s Mogger-don recipe on the recipes page.

After a long ball-ache of a drive (3am start from Luton) we finally arrive at Croix Blanche at about 1pm. I’ve been buzzing about this trip ever since it was booked about 6 weeks previous and have talked about very little else to those that would listen…. and those that wouldn’t. Yes I’m a sad old fishing bore – I love it! Read the rest of this entry »

Croix Blanche Lakes : Summer 2011 Video

October 5, 2011

A short clip shot with Andy Lear and his friends on the Croix Blanche complex during the summer 2011.

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Andy’s Carping Adventures: Tortue Lake, May 2011

September 18, 2011

Uk Carper Andy Lear shares his “Carping Adventure at Croix Blanche Lakes, Tortue Lake in May 2011. They banked some cracking fish to over 40lb..

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Jeez what a storm!!!!…

June 30, 2011

I was happily eating my dinner after a spot of tench fishing, when the wind got up and it started spitting with rain… No worries, I just moved myself and gear under the tarp and finished my dinner. As I lay in the hammock, the wind got stronger and the rain heavier…and heavier and heavier.. It was a sheet of water and a violent swirling wind. When the paracord guy rope to my DD tarp broke off and it flapped uncontrollably in the wind I decided to knock it on the head and head for home.
Myself and my gear were by now totally soaked. With the carabineer ridge line and tree straps I was able to take down the tarp and hammock in a couple of clicks and bundle it into the motor. I gathered my billies and stove and was off from the lake presto…lightening was dropping all around, and we are in a thick wooded valley.
The roads on my route home were flooded and we had no electricity when I did arrive (A falling tree had taken out the power lines). So while I’ve been happily camping out so far all spring and summer in the DD hammock & tarp set up, it isn’t too clever in 80mph winds and monsoon rain. Read the rest of this entry »

“51” Runs at Croix Blanche

June 20, 2011

Belgian Carper Rudy Coussens sent me this video of his week spent fishing on peg 6 of the Croix Blanche lake. He totalled 51 runs with carp to over 37lb.

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