I have fished my whole life including more lakes in England than I could recall and Countless rivers, canals etc. I have fished loads of lakes in France day ticket and for week holidays. I have also fished private lakes and different rivers in France. For the past nearly 6 years I have been the fishery’s manager at Lac Du Villefond which has been a unique opportunity to study really big carp day in and day out.
Favourite UK water;
It’s hard to pick a favourite lake as now there are so many and particularly so many with big fish in. If I had to pick a water it would have to be in fact a river stretch, the Thames, just because you never know what you could hook into.
Most memorable capture;
That’s an easy question; it would be the late great “Arthur”. A stunning 55lb 4oz common from Lac Du Villefond that will stay with me as a favourite memory for ever. It was the timing, conditions, the fish, everything just seemed to come together. It was one of those rare moments in fishing when it feels like all your efforts have been rewarded and despite any fish I might have in the future that one will stick with me.
My favourite tactic and method would be any that works. I don’t have any one method I stick to rigidly. I am always adapting and always trying new things. I have created the Villefond Rig designed for wary big carp and that’s my favourite rig.
Never stop learning. It applies to anything in life and especially carp fishing, the minute you believe you know it all or are too good to learn from others that’s when you stop improving and get left behind. Even your novice angler can teach you things as sometimes they approach a situation from a fresh perspective without following the ‘normal’ thought process of someone that has fished for years. So always keep looking to improve and try to learn as much as possible.
If there was one piece of advice you could offer to a first time French carp angler what would it be?
Listen to the lake’s bailiff, manager, or owner. Listen to the person that walks the banks every day, they will have the inside knowledge. Do your homework on the lake before you arrive so you know you are arriving with the right gear and the right bait.