Part one of my double trip was Etang de la Source, last year we were subjected to some horrible weather but this year we arrived to calm warm conditions. The lake looked lovely with just a gentle breeze creating a slight ripple onto the margin I fancied fishing. It took most of the day to get organised then it was out in the boat to bait the swim. With the rods out it was time to relax and get into the week, but the first night was not to go as planned. A combination of a French party in a nearby farmhouse, a chorus of hundreds of noisy little frogs in a small ornamental pond behind my bivvy, and two one toners on my alarms made sure that sleep was not part of the equation, but two fish on the first night was a great start, so I couldn’t complain too much.
The great start continued and I settled into a nice routine of chilling out during the days, baiting up early evening and fishing overnight. I had fish each night and on two of the nights had five takes each night, ending the week with 32 fish, best 42lbs-12oz.
The week passed all too quickly and it was time to move to venue two.
Etang Hirondelle is the new home of Glen and Linda Miller. Glen and Linda are very experienced at creating and running holiday fishing venues in France so I was confident we would like the venue, but I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was. Truly stunning is how I would describe it. A beautiful tree lined lake, with a high stock level of carp to over forty pounds. Once again it was time to unload the car and get organised. Although Glen and Linda had a reasonable idea of the overall stock in their lake, there was a certain unknown element as there were fish in the lake when they bought it. Since it had opened it had become apparent that there were more fish than they had expected, lots of smaller carp mostly very hard fighting commons from mid singles to mid doubles, so action was hectic to say the least and you didn’t know if you would be connecting with one of the smaller originals or one of the more recently stocked fish, it added a certain uncertainty which was great fun, I ended the week, with over fifty carp to just over 25lbs, holiday fishing just doesn’t get any better.
In week one I’d been fishing at range, with my Infinity Carp rods and Basia QDX reels, but week two was an opportunity to fish the margins and my lighter gear was the order of the day. I had carp to well over twenty on a 1.75 tc Infinity Barbel rod teamed with a Tournament Whisker 2600 reel. Given the choice I prefer to fish with as lighter set-up as I can efficiently/safely use and it never fails to amaze me just how much control you still have with the lighter gear. On one occasion I was on the lighter gear and had to put the brakes on a mid-twenty that was heading for some snags. With my hand clamped over the spool and the rod literally bent double, the 8lb line held and the fish was turned back into open water, nerve racking stuff, but great fun
The two weeks could not have been more different, week one at Etang de la Source was about patience, mostly night action, setting traps and waiting for fish to make a mistake. Week two at Etang Hirondelle, mostly hectic shorter day sessions, fishing lighter gear and just enjoying the pleasure of catching lovely fish in a lovely environment. Opposite ends of the tactical carp fishing spectrum, both in their own way perfect holiday carping venues, it just depends what your preference is, as far as I’m concerned it was double delight!
You can find out more about the venues I fished at;
Etang de la Source - www.millersfrenchcarpandcats.com
Etang Hirondelle - www.millersfrenchholidays.com