I have been fishing for about 25 years from the age of 5, starting by sea fishing off the pier in Donaghadee when I lived in Northern Ireland, I then moved onto course fishing at the age of 14 when I lived back in England, then onto pole fishing at the age of 22 and finally on to Carp fishing at the age of 26. I’ve fished numerous different lakes up and down the country and also my favourite lake in France, Mas Bas near Agen.
Favourite UK Water;
Acorn Fishery, near Bristol.
Most Memorable Capture;
My French personal best, 46lb 7oz from Mas Bas at 00:38 on 24th September 2011. Just as we were setting down for the night my left hand rod ripped off from the far bank and headed towards my friend’s lines and the island. At first it didn’t feel that big, I thought it was another grass carp. After being led around a tree and then under and over my friend’s rods the carp drew near and then decided it didn’t want to be landed and roared off again; that’s when I knew it wasn’t a grass carp. It wasn’t until it got in the net that I knew it was a new personal best. After weighing, photos and filming it all on the camcorder it was slipped back in the lake, what’s the best celebration to have after that? Some chicken and noodle soup round a camp stove!
Favourite Tactics / Methods;
PVA bags with a mix of pellets, stick mix and Goo or oil. The D-Rig and the Combi Rig.
Making your own baits doesn’t just allow you to try different flavours and combinations that other anglers may not have but its also very satisfying catching fish on bait you’ve made!
If you change your bait or rig and don’t catch on it the first time you use it don’t dismiss it straight away, it may just be that the fish aren’t interested today, tomorrow may be a different case. I also believe that certain baits or flavours work best on different lakes, just because a bait/flavour doesn’t work on one lake, it doesn’t mean it won’t work somewhere else.
If there was one piece of advice you could offer to a first time French carp angler what would it be?
My best piece of advice for someone heading to France for the first time would be to spend some time with the bailiff/owner. Inviting them to come round to chat and share a bottle of local wine by the lake side will not only bring a smile to their face but it will also help you find out where the fish go to feed, what they have been caught on and what can improve your chances of catching a fish of a lifetime.