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Some great mixed bags this last few weeks in France, barbel and carp

Steve Arnold

Senior Member
The water temperatures seem to be rising with the better Spring weather. Still have not got a thermometer but the river does not chill my hand now!

Barbel have come on most sessions and have ranged between 4lb and 6lb....

Scenic swim barbel March 21.jpg


Probably had a dozen barbel from a few swims this last week. Just afternoon sessions, very pleasant fishing!

A few days ago the carp appeared and pushed the barbel out. Result was three carp of 25lb, 29lb and then a massive 42lb.

25lb carp March 21.jpg

30lb carp March 21.jpg

42 lb carp march 21.jpg


Cropped the photos, want to keep this swim to myself for a while.

Did not take the biggest to the mat, just weighed it at the water. Too heavy to risk the fish - and the water too cool for me to take a dip!

The 29lb fish was taken on a 1.5lb tc barbel rod and 10lb hooklength. The river was running hard, so it was a delicate job to lead it back up the river!

Today I was out again for a few hours, barbel were back and I had four, like peas out of the pod. All around 4lb.

Weather forecast is back to winter conditions next week - and a covid lock-down scenario again. But we are allowed 10k from home for exercise - and fishing allowed. I can still get to some barbel swims! The carp can wait!
 

Steve Arnold

Senior Member
I laugh at myself at times, mainly my obsession with fishing tackle. I left Scotland almost 4 years ago with almost 40 rods in the car. That included a Century Boron Stealth, Harrison and Sportex Morion carp rods - good rods I picked up 2nd hand.

I still have not used them, somehow stiff tipped rods are not to my taste!

Most of my carp have come on my telescopic pike rod. It's powerful but with a tip that will bend to a small barbel, then a lower section where the power really comes in. I can lift over 3.5lbs with that rod, no idea what it's true test curve is. It casts quite well and anything from 1 ozs to 4 ozs will go 100yds. Being telescopic it's always there for me! Very handy for those days when your intuition on seeing the river just screams "CARP"!

Now I know how good a rod it is playing big river carp, will I ever use those other rods?
 

Clive Kenyon

Senior Member
Great stuff Steve. 👍

We are hoping to be down that way next month Covid allowing.
 

Clive Kenyon

Senior Member
Funnily enough I recently bought a telescopic pike rod for €10 purely to use as a Spomb and Sonnar launcher. It is rated at 80g - 150g and 3.5m long. It never crossed my mind to use it for fish, but now you have me thinking 😀
 

Steve Arnold

Senior Member
Funnily enough I recently bought a telescopic pike rod for €10 purely to use as a Spomb and Sonnar launcher. It is rated at 80g - 150g and 3.5m long. It never crossed my mind to use it for fish, but now you have me thinking 😀

The telescopic rod I have been using is the Browning Carboxy Pike rod. RRP about 20 years ago was £200+, I bought it at a tackle shop in Ipswich, when it had been on the shelf for quite some time, for £100.

That was still a lot of money for me then, but I recognised quality! It's been to Florida with me and caught 'cuda, stingrays and sand sharks. Back in Scotland it has done well with pollack, cod, spurdog and thornback to double figures..... and pike, of course!

It will put 3 ozs over 100 yds and not far short with 4 & bait.

I have been offered one "as new" recently on another forum. But it's collect in England - no good for me! He had the lighter Zander version as well :(
 
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Clive Kenyon

Senior Member
Mine was €10 from a brocante. 😀 Mind you, that is double what I paid for a useable rod and reel last Saturday on a vide-grenier 😲

Yorkshire thrift ;)
 
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Steve Arnold

Senior Member
Amazing. And I bet it's warmer there than here.
During most Springs the temperatures here vary wildly day to day. It reached 30c one afternoon a week ago ago, then a couple of days later struggled to make 11c. Quite a lot of nights it has been below freezing yet a night later it would be 10c. Queer place for weather! The farmers are struggling with some reporting crop losses due to the frosts.

For the gardener the rule is "don't risk planting anything early!"

For the angler the Spring sun gets the carp feeding. Brilliant sunshine and 25c temperature yesterday afternoon, first cast brought a screaming take in the first few minutes. This one could not be stopped and ploughed from mid-river for another 50 yds and cut the trace a few inches from the hook! This was in a swim several miles downriver from the last catch and there was no sign of barbel in my regular swim here.

I was using a 2.5lb tc carp rod and it was bent double. That carp did not slow down despite heavy drag - awesome!

Just dug out my heavy Harrison 3.5lb tc. Replaced a guide on it this afternoon, so next session it's loaded for elephant!

The carp must be feeding again after their winter fast, I guess!
 

Clive Kenyon

Senior Member
Frustrating session yesterday. At this time of year, when the water temperature is rising I head for the shallow arms of two large lakes near where I live. Yesterday was forecast to warm up through the day despite a blustery east wind, and be sunny. I headed to a remote part of the lake that involves a long trek across fields and 4 fences to negotiate. There were carp showing when I arrived so I got set up with Frolics dog biscuits attached to a latex band, hair rigged. Loose bait was sweetcorn.

First bite was a liner, then I got mugged four times, all the same way. The takes were violent, sending the bobbin shooting up and setting the reel off screaming, then nothing. The Frolics and bait bands were gone! The first ripped the bait and band off the hair and the others stripped the bait and band off the hook. I think the culprits were catfish. Some roach were spawning in the shallow end of the bay about 80 metres from where I was and also in another smaller bay at the entrance to this one. Catfish follow spawning fish.

I should finish work around lunch time tomorrow so I'll have another shot at catching a carp or two. Hopefully the catfish will be gone.

20210422_121152_resize_21.jpg
 
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