Paul Cooper explains why his favourite times of the year to get out on the bank is Spring, which in 2017 starts on the 1st March. With budding shrubs and trees, flowers and even weeds, the landscape colours up with new life.
Here are 5 great reasons to be out in France in spring…
1. Nuisance species
One of the most frustrating things about French carp fishing is being unable to present a natural boilie on the lake bed for my target carp. Poisson chat, crayfish and silver fish are all active in the warmer summer months, so fishing in spring is a pleasure. I am not saying that the chat and cray’s don’t feed in spring, what I am saying is they is are less active. I have fished French waters in Spring and experienced no problems at all but come the warmer months on the same lake, I have had to mesh up heavily to keep the little critters at bay.
I would include mosquitoes, gnats and any other biting insects in nuisance species. I am a magnet for every biting insect around a lake. I have to cover myself in insect repellent and I try hard to avoid handling bait after applying the stuff. Generally these little critters are still dormant and leave me alone during the spring months, not always though. Damp warm weather and out they come to play and feast on my blood. I do love fishing?
Generally most types of pond weed dies off during the winter months and starts to rejuvenate in April. Young shoots of weed certainly do not cause too much of a problem, in fact this encourages natural life to flourish around the weed beds, bringing the carp on the feed. Again, later in the warmer Summer months any weed will be flourishing and does cause problems for most anglers. It certainly makes it more difficult to present a bait on a clear spot. In Spring it is easy to find these clear spots, although prior knowledge of the lake bed certainly helps when locating a feeding area.
3. Reduced angling pressure
Most commercially run French lakes open around the 3rd week in March, having been rested over the winter period. The carp have had time to settle into a normal feeding pattern and are not as cautious as later on in the season following captures and heavy angling pressures. These lakes see more angling pressure than your everyday carp lake in England, so as the season progresses the fish become more wary resulting in less captures.
4. Carp are at their best fighting weights
Carp have wintered in their natural habitats and have still carried on feeding lightly over the Winter in order to retain their Autumn weight. With the longer daylight hours they become more active and need to feed to retain this weight and get ready for the most important time of the year, spawning. This can happen anytime from the beginning of Spring until the end of July but generally in the latter months with a lot depending on the temperatures in the months of March, April and May. Generally the fish are hungry and eager to feed on our bait so some brilliant catches are possible. The fish are in prime condition and a lot of bigger specimens grace the bank.
5. It is simply the best season
Spring is one of the four temperate seasons, the transition period between winter and summer. Spring and “springtime” refer to the season, and broadly to ideas of rebirth, renewal and re-growth. Bird’s are all competing for the right to mate and the early morning chorus is at it’s best in Spring. On the first day of spring, days are close to 12 hours long which increase daily as the season progresses. What a lovely time to be out on the bank.
I have had some fantastic results at this time of the year when the weather can be brilliant. This is not to say that it is great all the time, it is France and as I say, “when it rains in France it pours”. This is the reason for France having so many fantastic waters to choose from. I have fished in March sitting in my shorts and T-shirt one year, and the following year living in thermals for a week. As it progresses into April it generally warms up, but it can be wet. The fish feed and that is all that matters, I would prefer sunshine, but at the end of the day we are left in the hands of mother nature. By May it should be sunbathing weather, but yet again it can be wet and cold. I am afraid it is pot luck. I personally would prefer a mixed week of weather, as too much sunshine and high pressure certainly reduces the chances of a big hit.
Well you can draw your own conclusion from seasonal carp fishing, but Spring will always be my number ONE.
Find out the availability on our carp lakes throughout Spring here – Carp Fishing in France