Are you ready to go to Carping in France…
Steve Guy over on the Quest Baits Blog submitted and interesting piece about making the most of this time of the year to prepare for the coming season. Well what he says here makes a lot of sense. But his points about checking your equipment and replacing bits and pieces is not only relevant to the coming season in the UK, but equally true for those going abroad.
In fact I think the post is even more crucial if you are venturing out to France this Spring, because many of the pieces of gear you use in the UK are simply not available readily in France. The tackle shops here are getting better, but the influx of cheap ‘own brand’ copies of the proper tackle has taken France by storm. Shops like ‘Mondial Pêche’ or Pacific Pêche’ often only carry their own brand of a certain piece of tackle. They will do the job but I prefer the items made by Kord, Drennan etc.
So as well as the checks suggested by Steve:
- A check of the condition of your main line wouldn’t go amiss
- How about tying up some new rigs and checking your stock of terminal tackle at the same time
- What’s your stock of bait and pellet like
- How’s your PVA supplies looking after a damp few weeks in the shed
- Are your digital camera batteries charged
What else should you look at for France?
- Well if you are bivvying up, you’ll need to check that your bivvy is in good order. No mouse holes. That it has all its tent pegs and poles. A broken pole can ruin a week abroad if the weather is poor.
- Check your cooking gear, gas canisters or spare fuel. Knives, forks plates etc. You can get neat bags from some of the luggage manufacturers like Fox & Chub that store all your utensils in one carryall. A really good idea.
- Moving on from your fishing gear, which generally I guess is pretty up to scratch if you fish in the UK either days or overnighters, and have followed Steve’s advice… Check your car! Get a full service and replace any dodgy bits. I’ve lost count of the number of anglers who have called me either because they’ve broken down, or want help getting the vehicle repaired at a garage.
- When you are abroad, even if you have a recent or well maintained vehicle, it is always possible that the unexpected may happen. Flat tyres (always have a good condition spare), road accidents or what ever. So get a good breakdown and recovery insurance. I mentioned this in the previous article about ‘Choosing a Venue’ but it is important. A few quid spent on AA, RAC or Green Flag will save you hours of anguish and expense if something does happen.
- Make sure you have a good road map of France. I like the Michelin Atlas as they are pretty accurate. Get an up to date one and all the recent road changes should be included. Angling Lines does give out detailed instructions but if you get lost or simply want to go out for the day site seeing to shopping you may need a map. I can’t sing the praises too highly of the portable GPS systems. I’ve got a Tomtom One and it’s just brilliant. You can find virtually any destination easily. Tap in the address or longitude/latitude coordinates and it will take you right to the door. We give out the coordinates for each venue to make things easier. You can however find most places with Google Earth which I have found an invaluable tool for planning my route. Finally on the subject of GPS: don’t try and use the post code in France. It is often covers the whole town or several villages, unlike the UK which is very precise.
This is by no means a complete list of all you need to think about, but these subjects are the ones I’ve seen overlooked the most over the years I have been offering carp fishing holidays in France.