Top Quality French Carp Fishing

NEW Lake Record caught on 26th. April 2017 at 76lb 15oz

120 -150 different carp of 40lb. or bigger inc. 50+ different 50lb. plus carp

and 14 different 60lb plus carp And 2 known 70lb plus carp.

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Read Iain MacMillans review of his last trip to Moorlands

Chapter Two - Walking the Walk

During our final weeks in England the news of our plans obviously got round to our friends and the comments coming back to us ranged from “Why do you want to go and live in France?” to “I don’t blame you, wish we were going”.

We were to find that, contrary to popular belief, the French people that we came into contact with were very friendly and welcoming. We were immediately invited to evening meals and dinners with our new neighbours and all of this helped to make us feel comfortable in our adopted home.

On 16th January 2002 we completed the purchase of our Burgundian property and officially became both French residents and British ex-pats. We had spent every spare moment of the few weeks leading up to this point visiting hardware stores and builders merchants to arrange a complete new kitchen for our house together with shower, toilets, lodge cooker, dishwasher and all number of other essentials to provide the basis for our planned angling holidays.

On 17th January 2002 we moved into our new home with a huge sigh of relief. The winter of 2001/2002 was reported as being the coldest for forty years and our lake had remained frozen over since 5th December and had just begun to thaw as we moved in. When we first moved out to France, we stayed in the village of Esbarres which is at least three miles from the river Saone but when the heavens opened in Germany the river rose so high that it broke its banks and flooded the fields for miles around and reached to Within a few yards of the bottom of our garden. The flood water then immediately froze to about two inches thick before the water slowly began to recede.

As you drove around the area it was possible to see huge sheets of ice sticking out from trees and hedges, in some places, two metres above the roads showing how deep the water had been.

On the first day following these floods our initial thought was what effect this surge of water would have had on our new property. Would the lake now be flowing through our kitchen? A hasty drive through the Burgundy countryside from Esbarres to Chalon-sur-Saone proved our fears to be groundless. The house forms part of the dam wall with spillway sluices to both sides and even high flood conditions simply results in the water escaping over these sluices more rapidly and leaves the house standing on its own island and remaining totally dry.

During this visit to our house we met one of the gendarmes who is involved in the control of the herd of deer that we acquired with the property. Altogether we bought 19 red deer which included one large mature stag and one young stag as well as seventeen hinds.

The gendarme, Herve, and I sat on the dam wall and discussed the “famille de carpe” and even our lack of each others languages didn’t stop the discussions delving into how carp feed, where and when they feed and even onto the natural food in the lake. Apparently the natural food and the diversity of it was far greater than I expected.

Apparently there are three different types of worm that live in the lake bed, three different types of mussels, shrimps, snails and, in early spring, thousands of tadpoles. It was also interesting to hear that some of the “known” English anglers were also fast becoming household names in the French carp world and even more important was that the system of “carp fishers no kill” was growing rapidly.

We were now at a point where the “Moorland Fisheries” business was up and running. We opened on 1st May 2002 and I found that I needed to rethink my tactics to tackle this soft bottomed lake. I had spent my last few years fishing English gravel pits and the rigs and methods of fishing needed tweaking. My first lesson was that the fish had to be played much more gently. They had soft mouths from feeding over the blue clay bed and it was virtually impossible to force them to go in any direction other than the one that they wanted to go in. I experienced the horrors of losing every one of the first nine fish that I hooked and learned that a clutch set very lightly was absolutely essential.

Add to this that every one of them fought like demons and you understand that each capture could take some time to complete. Another challenge that appeared immediately was that these carp knew exactly where each and every bloodworm bed or other source of natural food was. They had so much on offer that they had no immediate need of man made hard round balls.

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