When were the poisson chat netted from Margot? Was it 2006 or 2007?
Will there be a problem this year [any reports yet?]. I am going in June and know poisson-chats get more active as it gets warmer. Any info or tips would be gratefully received as I would rather be prepared. I would also like the carp to eat my bait not the chat, is there a bait they don’t like ?
This is a good question and one that many anglers worry about when going to France. Firstly do a quick search on this blog and you will find some information on these little pests as well as a video on our website.
Margot is netted regularly to remove the chats and the small carp that the owner Mr Bigot uses to grow on in his stock ponds. He nets it at least once a year. So it was netted in the back end of 2007, and many of the poisson-chats were removed.
It is impossible unfortunately to get rid of them entirely and as they have no real predators in the lakes they do breed very very quickly. So far this year they have not proved to be a problem, but as you correctly say they do become more active in the water months.
It would be prudent though to take some baits and bits and bobs to avoid them if they prove to have bred in any numbers.
I would personally avoid any fishy bait or pellets. Bait up instead with hemp, maize and tigers. On the hook you can either use tiger nut (I like it popped up) or a netted boilie. (Check out this video clip to see how to do this: Netting Baits & Poisson-Chats ).
Alternatively Quest Baits produces a Pineapple boilie that is very good at deterring the chats. I used it on Old Oaks, another of our venues near Le Mans and found it to work very well. The smaller chats left it alone and it hardly got nibbled at all, where as a Special Crab or Rhaja Spice bait only lasted minutes. The larger chats did manage to swallow the bait whole, but I only had about 8 or 9 all week so it was hardly a nuisance. I would then suggest you take some of the Pineapple baits with you too.
Lastly I would suggest using a stiff, nylon of combi-rig hooklink as the chats can tangle your bait up badly…
I hope this helps and you have a good trip. The big common has been out twice so far at over 60lb.
Best Regards, Gareth