Combating Poisson Chat

Simon Boi wrote:

I’m visiting Old Oaks lake in June this year and was reading about the poisson chat and how to counteract them.  There are some good videos about netting boilies or using a plastic wrap to stop the being slowly eaten away.

I was wondering if the current wave of plastic baits might prove a fruitful way of fishing for the carp without attracting the nuisance species? I have noticed the pineapple crush boilies seem to be a good bait for some reason but what about things like fake corn or would it be too small?

Also I quite like the idea of zig rigs for Old Oaks and was wondering if the crayfish and poisson chat were only bottom dwellers or if a bait half way up in the water would still be fair game?

Hi Simon,

Thanks for your question. Many people are fazed by these nasty little fish, but if you use techniques, some of which you already mention you’ll be fine. As far as I know there are no crayfish in Old Oaks, so you can scratch them off your list.

Unfortunately the poisson chats swim, feed and cause havoc at all depths, so a zig won’t stop them completely. However, a zig or pop up does cause them problems as it moves in the water, meaning they do take longer to eat it. This gives the carp more time and so can improve your chances. I have in the past used a bait straight off the lead and caught in poisson chat infested lakes.

On the subject of plastic boilies, I would say absolutely! They are brilliant fish catchers and a secret weapon used by Shaun Harrison and myself (since Shaun told me about it). Our preferred presentation is with a bottom bait snow man style. I would suggest you glug up the plastic baits as they take on and hold a flavour very well. Presented as I suggest if your boilie is eaten during the night say, you still have a plastic bait with some flavour to get a run. Over the last few season I don’t thing I have cast a line with out a plastic boilie in place, and I know Shaun has used them to great effect all over France and the UK.

You mention plastic corn, yes this is an alternative, personally I find the plastic boilies more effective, but there is no reason why you won’t catch on the corn. I have had lots of fish over beds of maize and sweetcorn.

Finally on the subject of the Pineapple Crush. They certainly do deter the poisson chats. Not 100%, but the baits don’t seem to get nibbled by the very small ones, so you baits stay intact for the carp to find. However the bigger poissons, half a pound or so have very big mouths for thier size and can easily swallow two 20mm baits. When I fished Old Oaks last these larger poissons were the only problem we had. That said the two of us fishing 6 rods probably only had one or two a day, so it wasn’t exactly mad.

Once the carp move in you’ll get no more problems from the chats so they certainly don’t stop you catching. Avoid fishy baits, pellets and oils and you’ll have less problems. Bait with seed mixes, hemp and boilies and in moderate quantities and you’ll be fine. One last thing, I’d suggest using a stiff rig or combi-braid as the poissons can tangle you end rig if it is too supple.



One thought on “Combating Poisson Chat

  1. Roy Wretham says:

    Fished old oaks year before last and we all used 2omm pineapple crush boilies with 10mm or 6mm pineaple flavoured plastic bollies as snowman.
    P Chats not a real problem but worse if you crush or chop the freebies. Party blend worked well, keep off the pelletts.
    Cant remember exactly but we probably only had half a dozen of the larger P Chats during our week.
    Nice venue and I hear the swims have been improved a couple were flooded when we were there.
    Fish seem very swim orienatated if they are in your swim you will have 3 or 4 a day so work hard while you have them because they may move on .
    Fish only caught from 2 swims during our week. Nice fish to 35 pounds.
    Good luck give my regards to Medhi

    Roy Wretham

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