Ok! so you have decided to go to France carp fishing , what should you look for and where should you go?
Do your homework before you go:
Make sure you book a reputable venue with a good track record. It might sound attractive to fish a pioneering venue, but it’s your holiday you are risking. So get as much information as you can. Check out other people’s experiences on the feedback sections for each lake. Ask the questions to gain as much info as possible before you leave.
Don’t be over ambitious:
When selecting a venue look at the various options and choose a venue that is in keeping with your experience. Big waters are great fun but if you’ve never fished one, you could be ill equipped and ill prepared. Build your way up to the large waters (if that’s your cup of tea). Angling Lines has stacks of venues for all levels, from runs waters like Lillybelle, La Fonte and Alder to big fish waters like Laroussi and Villefond.
Decide what size fish you want to catch:
Pick a venue that holds the size, numbers and type of fish you want to go for. If you are used to catching lots of doubles and a few twenties, then it is wise to set you goal for a water that will give you a good number of 20lb fish with the chance of bigger, such as Blue Lake. In general this type of venue will have enough fish to let you have loads of fun, yet offer you the chance of a personal best.
Don’t be too greedy:
For a first trip you don’t have to pick a large fish venue or a massive inland sea to pit your wits against… you could well be disappointed. In carp fishing you have all your life to get there, so savour each stage up the ladder.
Be realistic in your expectations:
Ok you want to catch loads of big fish. But be realistic. Not every trip is a bag up trip. Enjoy the holiday and enjoy the fish as they come. If you have the big hit or the big fish, then great.. it’s a bonus. Yes the fish are bigger in France and yes people do have some fabulous sport.. But don’t expect it every time or think that it will always be easier than the UK. French waters are often more pressured than those at home.
Prepare before you go:
There are tackle shops in France, but there might not be a good one near you. So make sure you have checked all your tackle and bait before you leave. Renew your lines, buy in extra hooks, leads, leaders and rig bits.. Make sure you have a enough bait. You can get boilies from many outlets but make sure they will stay fresh for the duration. If you can’t get access to a freezer it is worth looking at shelf-life baits. Make sure you have fresh batteries, lamps and gas etc. Running out in the middle of nowhere isn’t fun.
Finally make sure you have a good map and/or GPS and don’t forget breakdown and recovery insurance insurance. It doesn’t always happen to others. These are only a few things you need to think about, make a list and check things off.
Enjoy yourself… It’s a holiday so don’t be too serious… a few rays, a few beers and a few carp is what it’s all about…
See our full range of French carp fishing lakes here – Carp Fishing in France
4 thoughts on “6 tips for choosing a carp lake if it’s your first trip to France”
Excellent points Gareth. Being realistic about what you expect to catch. No point going to one of the more difficult 50lb+ waters and blanking if you’ve not got many fish under your belt in the uK. You learn more from catching than you do from blanking early in your carp fishing career so don’t be seduced by the Big, big fish waters. anyway, if you knock a 50 out in your first trip you’ve nothing to aim for after!
Yes I’ve seen a number of lads turn up at the Croix Blanche with PB’s of under 20lb and knock out a forty plus.
Where do you go from there? You miss all the fun of building up to a big carp.
I’m pleased I made my way up through doubles, twenties and thirties… It too me 20 years to catch my first 30lb plus carp…
I feel the same way intirely, my PB at the moment is only 15LB 3oz, and i’m going fishing in france in 5 weeks time, and to be honest i’d rather work my way up the ranks as such, than to jump in at the deep end. Just looking forward to catching plenty of 20lb’s and maybe the odd 30lb for a bonus!!!!!
Brilliant advice from Gareth, read it and believe it !
I especially agree with not trying to catch a monster carp too early on in your carp fishing career – I have enjoyed working my way up over the years, I have been carp fishing for 25 years and i have only caught one 40+ fish, but I still get great satisfaction from catching big 20’s and 30’s and i still have something to aim for in a big 40 or maybe a 50 one day ! If it gets to the point where you don’t value a 30lb carp, its time to take up golf !