Paul Cooper was recently contacted with a few questions posed by an angler heading out to Boux this year. Boux is a 12 acre water with a reputation for top class carp fishing since the 1980’s. However, it is best to go prepared to this lake and the Q&A below is definitely worth a read…
Apologies for the email I am sure you get inundated. If you can find the time would very much appreciate you guidance on what breaking, strain and brand of main line you would recommend using at Boux? (I was going to take 15lb Maxima Chameleon – has always served me well in lower B/S)
Boux does hold some massive carp and you should be in for some real big carp fishing so obviously you need to be prepared. I would be using a minimum of 15lb BS main line with a minimum diameter of around .35mm. I comment on the diameter as some lines claim to be finer and stronger, but in reality the finer the line the weaker the knot and breaking strain. Last year I was using P-Line Evolution in 18lb BS, which I found had excellent casting abilities and is really strong, supple and reliable.
I would recommend that the rods need to be around 3lb to 3.5lb test and no longer than 12 foot as there is some restricted casting on the wood bank at Boux.
Your angling videos and unselfish tuturials are brilliant, hope I can bag a couple when we go. This will be me and my mates first adventure in France, we are both 52 and have been into carp fishing for a couple of years. Our trip is booked for the end of May , Is this time of year ok or have we dropped a clanger?
First of all I will give you a run down on what to expect in May on a water such as Boux. I have fished Boux on 3 separate occasions and each time I have encountered different weather conditions and associated problems.
As you are aware the weather in France can be as changeable as our lovely British weather, but more extreme. Temperatures can reach mid-thirties or be as low as mid teens, so it is as we say, in the hand of the gods. So you are looking at lots of sunshine to heavy rain.
Carp spawn in France any time in April, May, and June, but you can get some exceptional results. It is bad luck if your holiday falls in a spawning week as the carp will be interested in one thing, and it is not eating. It generally takes about 3 days to get it out of the system so it wouldn’t spoil a whole weeks fishing.
Any extra advice you could help us with would be much appreciated, especially where baits are concerned, so many types and flavours, I just want to make sure we have a fighting chance and be confident in what we use.
Bait is a personal thing really. My last 2 visits I used 18mil HG42 from Quality Baits and found that the carp loved it. Over my last few sessions in France I have been using another bait that I have put together that I have called HG All Seasons. Again, it has caught me a lot of fish, and contains no fishmeal or oils for reasons I will describe. I would think of taking between 10 and 20 kilo for a week.
Will definitely be tying your recommended blow back rig and pop up rig (spent a fortune already amassing terminal tackle – great fun lol).
As for rigs, I would use the blow back rig for bottom baits, which should be meshed with Armour mesh, and the Ultimate pop up rig for pop ups which again may need meshing.
Problems that you may incur at Boux are as follows:-
The carp in Boux keep their weights and grow well into the fifties because of the natural resource of Crayfish. Now when the Crays are active they can be a real nuisance. They generally live in areas of the shallows, near to the reed beds of in the rocks of the dam. Unfortunately you may find what you think is a perfect area to place your baits out in the lake but it could be a feeding area for the Crays. There a lot of Crays in Boux but they certainly wouldn’t put me off this magnificent water. While I was at Boux last time I put a video together describing how to help combat the little critters, you can watch it below. As long as you are fully prepared, you will catch carp. If all else fails, use critically balanced plastic boilies.
Do not use any sort of trout or carp pellet as this certainly attracts Crayfish and they love fishmeal boilies. HG42 is a fish meal boilie but with meshing I did manage to overcome them.
Boux is a natural lake and as soon as the water warms up silk weed does show itself. Don’t be put off by the weed as there are always clear areas to put your baits. A boat is supplied so it is not hard to locate these clear areas with the boat.
Check the weather a few days before you set off, as it may determine where you fish. The dam end of the lake is the deepest part of the lake and holds some of the bigger residents. There is no shade but they are nice flat grassy banks, so if the forecast is for hot sunny weather avoid this area as you will fry. The wood bank does get very hot too, but at least there are a few hedgerow bushes that you can get behind to shade from the sun. The ground is hard clay on this bank and you will need a mallet to put your tent pegs into the ground. Depending on the rainfall prior to your visit, dictates the water level so the banks could be awkward to land fish if it is low, or fairly easy if high. Make sure that you have a well padded carp mat due to the hard ground.
Best of luck with your fishing adventure. I am sure that you will have a great time.
Thanks very much for your prompt reply and thanks very much for the good advice, sounds like we will be doing battle with the “Krays”, do you pre bait an area heavily and fish that spot or would you advise keeping baiting to a minimum and just cast around with PVA bags?
It would not hurt to pva bag with one or two rods but I would would definitely create a bed of bait slowly, by introducing maybe 1/2 kilo of boilies on the 1st day and see how that goes. Once the carp find your bait and you are satisfied with your baited area, increase the boilies. You can either use the spomb or bait up from the boat, both these methods seem to work.
If the PVA bag approach works, as it did with my last visit to Boux, then this is the method I would prefer, sticking or catapulting out my bait. It all depends where the fish are on the day.
A lot of anglers fishing Boux simply take out their hook baits by boat, to a clear spot, then drop the rig overboard and in goes a handful of boiles. A very good and accurate method but I do prefer to cast.
Lastly if you wouldn’t mind what in your opinion are the best months to tackle France as I am sure we will want to return.
What the time of year to fish in France depends on the weather. The trouble with France is that you can get 2 seasons in one week. Ideally you are looking for low pressure with warm humid conditions, but then you do get violent thunderstorms.
I do like to visit France in October as the fish are getting towards their top weights following the spawning period during the summer. in the autumn the poison chat and crayfish become inactive which makes fishing easier. Spring is also a good time to get out there, any time from the end of March and again the fish are at their top weights.
I hope that I have answered your questions. Best of luck on your holiday and let me know how you get on.