Top Quality French Carp Fishing
NEW Lake Record caught on 26th. April 2017 at 76lb 15oz
and 6 different 60lb plus carp And 2 known 70lb plus carp.
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This is not an account of a fishing trip to France, nor is it just the story of a successful capture of a big fish.
This is my attempt to diarise the dramas involved in a series of major changes to my, and my families’, lives which lead to a whole new set of challenges.
My wife and I were both born in south east Kent in November 1948, and had spent our entire lives, since getting married in 1967, bringing up our three wonderful daughters. Now they all had their own families and we felt that we could take some time to follow our own path before we became too old to even consider it.
As at the 1st October 2001, I had just finished talking on the phone toIan (Chilly) Chilcott and the conversation revolved around my dream to sell up in England and buy a house in France with its own lake.
Chilly’s comment was simply “Live your dreams mate” to which he then added that his philosophy on life was to only have regrets for what he had done but to try never to regret not being brave enough to actually do something.
To paint a complete picture let me take you back to the winter of 2000.
I had had a fairly successful decade during the nineties, catching several thirties and culminating in November 1996, in catching “Popeye” from the Oxford Manor at 40lb 2oz which was the first ever recorded Oxfordshire “Forty”. This led to the complex becoming very busy and me needing to find quieter venues.
Anyway in late 2000 I had just completed my most successful season’s fishing in England, catching 33 “Twenties”, 14 “Thirties” up to 39lb 6oz and my second “Forty” at a PB of 40lb 8oz. The two largest (39 & 40) were both caught in the same afternoon so easily made my best brace.
I would add that I did not submit the Forty to any of the “big fish lists” as I had at long last realised that I now fished purely for myself and not to prove anything to anyone else.
Anyway, I ended the year with wonderful memories but as a landscaper, winter is not necessarily the best time of year for quantity nor quality of work, nor does the weather make for perfect working conditions. The fact that you are proud to have designed and are now constructing a major garden feature, possibly a pond, is difficult to focus on while the rain runs down your back and your hands are completely numb.
Funny to think that those kinds of conditions don’t seem to matter when you’re fishing. However, after many, many years of dreaming of owning my own lake in England and gradually getting more and more fed up with the mud and cold as well as beginning to realise that I would need around a million pounds sitting in a bank somewhere, I decided that France might offer an option.
I waited for a suitable opportunity during a conversation with my wonderful wife Jan to slip in the simple suggestion that “you can get a lot of house in France for your money.”
Her immediate reaction of “yes it would be nice wouldn’t it but can we afford a second property?” left me completely gob smacked.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that she would even consider the idea but, by thinking quickly on my feet, I suggested that we should go to a “French property exhibition” which, coincidentally, was about to be held at Olympia.
By the time that we had attended the exhibition I had prepared a complete business plan to show the possibilities of running a carp fishery and to give us some idea of the budget we would need to work to, how much we would need to pay a bailiff and the approximate mortgage that we would be likely to need.
My plans were completely turned on their heads when this wonderful woman suggested that we should run the place ourselves and reduce our costs by selling up in England and moving to France lock stock and barrel.