French Success

Back in January myself and a few friends had discussed the possibility of organising a trip to France to fish for carp. With all 4 of us being river anglers our PB’s were all quite modest being in the low to mid ‘20’ range giving us plenty of room for improvement.  With my 30th birthday not far away the trip was kindly provided by my girlfriend, all we had to do was locate a venue. After poring over the Angling Lines brochure the venue called Roseau was chosen. A runs water 2 hours from Calais with a high stock of carp in the 25-30lb bracket and a good chance of a ‘30’ it was ideal. The complex housed 2 lakes, a 12 acre one catering for 10 anglers and a 2.5 acre one for 4 anglers. We selected and booked the smaller lake as an exclusive use venue for our party only. The 2nd week of May was soon upon us and we met at the ferry terminal in Dover for the short 1.5 hour crossing.  It wasn’t long before we were at the venue and being shown around by the resident bailiffs. After speaking to 2 anglers on our chosen lake they informed us it was fishing slow. We had a good walk around and chose our swims for the week. We had decided in advance that we were going to use the same bait as a group to maximise our chances, Nashbaits Scopex Squid in 15mm was the choice.  I selected a swim in the far corner of the lake giving me a nice marginal area with overhanging trees and bushes to fish to aswell as an area of open water. I had a quick lead around and opted to fish 1 rod along the marginal snags and 1 into open water (with a 3rd ‘sleeper’ rod fished for the handful of large cats that the venue holds, which unfortunately remained quiet all week). The bottom was made up almost completely of clay with very few gravel bars or weed with a pretty uniform depth of 4 feet. I opted to fish the NashTT Helicopter Safe Rig Tube in conjunction with Nash 20lb Missing Link hooklink with 3 inches stripped back fished KD style. I had decided to fish with boilies only so fished a 15mm Scopex Squid pop up tipped with a piece of buoyant corn, scattering 40-50 baits over the top of each rig. Not having ever targeted carp I was relying on my experience of river fishing and any information I had gleaned from books and friends beforehand so it was a nice confidence booster when the margin rod was away and a nice mirror of 24.8 was in the net with the rig a good 2 inches inside it’s mouth. 1st fish on the bank and a new PB by 1lb 2oz was a good start. I soon retired for the night but didn’t get much sleep as I had decided to forego back leads to see what was in the swim and my alarms were constantly busy all night albeit with no fish on the bank. Daybreak soon dawned and as I sat on my bedchair with an early morning  cuppa  the bobbin on my left hand rod rose slowly to the blank and stayed there! Lifting into the fish, it decided it didn’t want to go anywhere, with a bit of pressure I soon got it on the move and had it plodding around infront of my swim taking the occasional run but not giving me much cause for concern.  After a 15 minute battle I had her in the net and knew instantly it was a new PB by quite some distance. I lifted her onto the mat and again the rig was nailed 2 inches back in the mouth. Unhooking her and then sacking her up I woke the guys to come and do the honours, putting her in the sling the onto the weighing crook the Reubens span round to a very healthy 36.4 (it later turned out it’s the 2nd biggest resident in the lake). As you can imagine I was over the moon and had some pics fired off before slipping her back. Over the course of the remainder of the week the fishing was sporadic but with the average size of the fish high ‘20’s it was good sport. I finished the week with a personal catch tally of 10 carp in total, 2 x 15lbs, 20.4, 24.8, 22.6, 36.4, 29.11, 28.10, 26.8 and a 31.9 common. As a group we landed a total of 63 carp made up of 8 x 30’s, 42 x 20’s and 13 in the 13-19lb bracket. Certainly whetted my appetite and will definately be returning for another go at the French carp next year. If your looking for a good quality, friendly water with good conditioned hard fighting carp there can’t be many better than Roseau on the Angling Lines books. One of the main benefits of this complex is the all inclusive option available through Clearview Carptours.  You will be met at a car park in Dover, all your gear loaded into a van and then taken door to door to the venue. The package includes car travel, ferry crossing and 2 meals a day on site (breakfast and dinner) which are superbly prepared and executed by the on site chef. At a little extra cost you can pre order prepared particles, hemp, tiger nuts and pellets which can be delivered to your swim.  All in all a fantastic venue well worth a look if your planning a trip to France in the near future.


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