An enjoyable read from Salv Licata, who spent a week at Notaires and tried both traditional and modern methods to catch carp with much success!
This would be my fourth trip to France and thinking back I’ve never caught a lot of fish, in fact, my first trip was an eel fest and a single five pounder! On the second trip twenty seven pounders oddly seemed to be the order of the week, although, monsters did tease! Trip three, well , one carp, one pike and one cat in half an hour, all PB`s!?
So I was ready for anything. After a meeting with my two fishing buddies we decided we were due some bad luck, because we had always previously missed the carp spawning, so Notaires was at a massive advantage as their fish are of the non spawning variety. Add to that Paul and Brian had been to Notaires before with their families and had nothing but praise for the fishing, facilities, location and hosts.
After much planning, dreaming and packing we were ready, driving south on our congested motorways, under the channel, then onto the mostly empty french toll roads, a few wiggly country lanes and through the gate to the lakes and a welcome from Steph, Chris and a few of the friendly animals that Paul and Brian had met before.
Once we had unpacked we were tired but had to fish. I set up on the dam and was extremely happy to have caught two thirty pounders in my three hour session!!!!! One fish lost to a hook pull so a tweak to rigs for tomorrow……………
On the second day I had a few hours after the roach and rudd then had to move from the dam on account of the fierce sun melting my head and making life tricky. I settled under the shade of a small tree by the big old oak. It was here I set up for the first time behind buzzers and carbon rods, something alien to me really as I am a traditionalist at heart, the warm weather had made the choice for me – my much loved stalking and grubbing about would have to wait for the weather to change.
And so the next three days became a revelation, it took a while to get used to buzzers firing off, the action was sometimes chaotic but always fun and mostly beyond belief.
May the 19th my birthday was my most memorable one ever and will take some beating as I landed six thirty pound carp!!!!! Add to this a forty pounder the day before, the silly grin on my face becomes understandable.
Then came the storms, and the mood of the lake became different and the buzzer fishing (for me) was over. Stalking fish with a cane rod and a centrepin is for me the pinnacle of fishing and Notaires lends itself perfectly to this method.
Observing some of the lakes big carp it soon became obvious the fish ware spooked by splashing leads (large or small) and once they located a bait they circled it, seemingly checking for line, so free lined boilies, slugs and worms (if the roach and rudd would allow it) were the way forward.
Alternating between the boat swim and the inlet, I could practice my favorite method of simplistic fishing.
At the end of the week we were staggered to discover that between us we had caught 2,400 lb of fish, 92 carp! We only fished days, Brian spent most of his time after roach and rudd and Paul really struggled to get three rods in on account of instant and double takes.
I really enjoyed my week here, thanks to Chris and Steph, all the lovely critters (wild and domesticated), Paul and Brian Steele my fishing buddies and the carp for joining in with my holiday!
Salv Licata, May 2014
For more information on Notaires follow the link – Carp Fishing in France