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A mini fishing holiday in Cajarc, France on the river Lot

Steve Arnold

Senior Member
Sally and I have been desperate to use our little camper-car bought recently. Unfortunately I am between cataract operations, fit to drive but need to stay local.

Lovely Cajarc is only 20 minutes from our home. I have fished there, quite successfully at times, but never from the campsite swims. With a good weather forecast we decided to have two nights there.

When we drove into the campsite it was much bigger than expected - and almost empty. The pitch I thought best for fishing did not have an electrical supply so we decided to use the campervan battery and gas for the fridge. After parking up I put out a couple of rods with bite alarms, not something I do usually - but I have to do some chores and actually chat with my wife! Distractions from fishing, but it's a compromise I can live with!

Cajarc camping pitch.jpg


Cosy, eh!

I put out most of my groundbait and there was a carp crashing about 50 yards downstream. By 10 pm it was dark and a carp had swirled quite close to my baits - game on, I thought.

Then Sally calls me - all our 12 volt lights have gone out!!! :rolleyes:

Nothing for it but to chuck everything back in the van and move to a pitch with 220 V for us to plug into.

We managed it quite quickly but that was me finished with fishing for the night. Set up a new fishing pitch the following morning but with little groundbait left.

Cajarc camping swim.jpg


This swim did look better, for scenery anyway!

Baits went out just with stick mix bags I had prepared at home. What little was left of my groundbait I placed accurately with a bait dropper.

No bites until late afternoon, then a good run and hook-up resulted in a barbel about 6.5lb....

Barbel 6.5 lb.jpg


It's such a relief to get a fish after so long without a bite!

That was it for Monday, but it was a good fish for the lot. I was quite chuffed!

The next morning I was awake early and soon had two rods fishing. About 8 am I had a screaming run but missed it, I had been sat in the MH driving seat when the alarm sounded, by accident gave the horn a hard push as I lept out of my seat. Doubt the neighbours were pleased by my noise and commotion!

But it resulted with my hooking one of my best barbel out of the river Lot, at 8 lb 2 ozs I was a very happy camper!

Barbel 8.2 lb.jpg


What a wonderful place Cajarc is, lovely town with some good campsites and, at times, excellent fishing. There are massive carp, silure and all the usual predators as well. I will struggle to leave this to find other fishing spots! 😍
 

Gerry Giles

Senior Member & Supporter
Brilliant thank you for posting enjoyed the pictures and the read top notch well done
 

Clive Kenyon

Senior Member
Nice one (or two) Steve :)

As you say, for the holiday angler it takes some beating. The restaurants are good and the town has a lovely friendly atmosphere. I take it you were on the camp site at the other side of the river to the town? That one didn't used to open until July as an overspill to the main one near to the stade. I have a four day pass signed off for next week while the witches, sorry - sister in laws, come for a visit. I had planned to head out to the west coast area for some carassin, mullet and zander, but you are tempting me now....... 🤔

p.s. I have the (solar) power 😂
 

Steve Arnold

Senior Member
Nice one (or two) Steve :)

As you say, for the holiday angler it takes some beating. The restaurants are good and the town has a lovely friendly atmosphere. I take it you were on the camp site at the other side of the river to the town? That one didn't used to open until July as an overspill to the main one near to the stade. I have a four day pass signed off for next week while the witches, sorry - sister in laws, come for a visit. I had planned to head out to the west coast area for some carassin, mullet and zander, but you are tempting me now....... 🤔

p.s. I have the (solar) power 😂
Yes Clive, the campsite across the narrow suspension bridge. Try phoning the campsite and you will find he opens much earlier than the internet says!

The barbel in this stretch are usually a little thin on the ground, but of a decent average size. A couple of times at the swims on the town side I have had a proper shoal in front of me and taken several in a short session. Last year was very poor here though!

I got in the habit of pre-baiting the day before and that usually helped, but the shoals move around a lot.

The summer months of June and July are a waste of time. Too many other touristy water sports going on and I think the fish move to the weed beds and islands closer to the barrage and power station inlet. You probably know all this by now, but it's handy to know for others planning a holiday. I like September/October best but there are so many other attractive spots to fish withing a 20 minute drive!

Like you I have a solar panel on the camper. The leisure battery was showing fully charged when we arrived but not much later it showed red low. Within a couple of hours back on the mains the leisure battery showed a full charge again! Great fun this motor home carry-on - my head hurts having to work out the glitches!

Herbie.jpg


France is well set up for holiday places with these machines. It just HAS to be done! ;)
 

Clive Kenyon

Senior Member
Sounds like the leisure battery needs changing Steve. It should have charged up when you were travelling there. Order online as its cheaper. You need the dimensions and which way the terminals are arranged. I would charge it up, disconnect a terminal, leave overnight then check the voltage and then re-check every day for about five days. If it drops significantly it needs changing. The other thing is that if you park under trees the solar panel doesn't receive as much sun. We never use the tv and can be self sufficient power wise 9 or 10 months of the year.

Thanks for the info regards the fishing. I had planned a trip to the Charente-Maritime, parking off grid at the side of a couple of canals. They hold carp to 50lb and zander to mid 20's as well as lots of carassins and mullet. However, the forecast is for 30C all week and there is little shade out there. Cajarc seems a better option. Shade, proper showers, restaurants......................

Decisions, decisions 🤓
 

Steve Arnold

Senior Member
Sounds like the leisure battery needs changing Steve. It should have charged up when you were travelling there. Order online as its cheaper. You need the dimensions and which way the terminals are arranged. I would charge it up, disconnect a terminal, leave overnight then check the voltage and then re-check every day for about five days. If it drops significantly it needs changing. The other thing is that if you park under trees the solar panel doesn't receive as much sun. We never use the tv and can be self sufficient power wise 9 or 10 months of the year.

Thanks for the info regards the fishing. I had planned a trip to the Charente-Maritime, parking off grid at the side of a couple of canals. They hold carp to 50lb and zander to mid 20's as well as lots of carassins and mullet. However, the forecast is for 30C all week and there is little shade out there. Cajarc seems a better option. Shade, proper showers, restaurants......................

Decisions, decisions 🤓
The previous owner put a new AGM battery in just weeks before we bought it. He was not happy the previous one had been left without charging over the winter - consequently ruined!

Just hope there is not a charging problem that led to this. Solar panel has the right LEDs showing it is charging and when the battery is fully charged, I wonder if there is some other problem. As I say, need my thinking head on!

I will see if it is discharging when not in use. If that is the case I have to wonder if something in the set-up is ruining the batteries.
 

Clive Kenyon

Senior Member
Yes, isolate the battery and do voltage checks on it to indicate whether that is faulty or the system. Hope it is a simple fix.
 

Clive Kenyon

Senior Member
What river is that Mark? If it is the Vienne it must be well upstream of St. Leonard du Noblet in the trout zone going by its width.
 

Mark Anderson

Super Moderator
Staff member
Hi men ,

It's the river Gartempe , I followed it down from Bessines , looking at my phone untill I see a little track that would go over it , it's really lovely little River at that point. Locals could not help about what it holds , but my french is crap 😄.

Got to say , had the best kebab ever in Bessiens , 3 years on the trot each time awesome .

Hatter
 

Clive Kenyon

Senior Member
It is a trout river up there Mark, only open for fishing from the second Saturday in March to the last Saturday in Sept. There are some barbel a lot lower down in the Montmorillon to St Savin stretch, but not of any great size. I have seen salmon parr in the river near to Bellac and Le Dorat.
 

Clive Kenyon

Senior Member
Hi men ,

It's the river Gartempe , I followed it down from Bessines , looking at my phone untill I see a little track that would go over it , it's really lovely little River at that point. Locals could not help about what it holds , but my french is crap 😄.

Got to say , had the best kebab ever in Bessiens , 3 years on the trot each time awesome .

Hatter
This might be of use Mark. Page 44. Ignore the photo, that is the Charente. The editor mixed the photos up.

 
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