I think most carpers will agree cooking on the bank is a pain in the proverbial… It’s bad enough, if you can’t get your car to the peg, just walking your gear round, without dealing with bags of tins, pasta & water, stoves, pans, plates, etc..
For those who have been carping a while and have read the great Rod H’s works you’ll know that the pub and the local Indian were all part and parcel of the fun and enjoyment of a good carp session. They just couldn’t miss the pub!! Or the meal afterwards no matter what water they were on.
To catch fish, you just have to be fishing in the right place at the right time, but this doesn’t necessarily mean sitting it out without a break.
So my advice for those on a carp session to France is to forget the chore of cooking and find yourself a nice little local restaurant or café. Most rural French towns and villages will have one and often a good meal will cost as little as 10 Euros. So you can quite literally eat out every day for less than a food package on a lot of lakes.
I was first introduced to this idea by Shaun Harrison when we shot the Remy video a couple of years ago. Come 11:30 am in came the rods and a group of scruffy carp anglers made themselves as presentable as possible before heading off to a local restaurant, in this case near the close by Lac d’Orient called the “L’Orée d’Orient”, which as it happens and by pure coincidence, was another haunt of Mr. Hutchinson when he was fishing at Orient. There are even photos of him on the wall. Here we were able to enjoy a reasonabley priced meal and a beer or wine in a very civilised manner.
Not only does this habit of eating out mean you get well fed on proper French cuisine, but it has a number of other benefits:
1. It rests your swim, which if you bait up before leaving should see fish already on your freebies when you return. The lack of lines in the water often means the carp raise their guard a bit.
2. Secondly it means you are fresh well fed and can concentrate on the job in hand rather than dirty pans, and smelly stoves.
3. It means you can cut down drastically on the gear you take a long, slimming it down to tea and coffee making kit and a few basic utensils…
4. You get to see a bit of France and take in the French atmosphere… I’ve lost count of the number of angler I see turn up to a French lake, with a group of English mates, be greeted by and English bailiff, eat English food and not set foot off the venue for seven days. What a great Continental experience.
What we then usually did for the evening was get some yummy French baguettes, some paté and cheese, a bottle of wine (Note: Wine here is the same as beer in England ie: A Bottle of wine = Several bottles of wine) Another Hutchy reference for the initiated!!
So there you have it: Reel them in!! When you come back all you have to do is cast them out and wait for the bobbins to fly. Yes Shaun H can do that too!