This blog is brought to you by Dave Mutton of the Pike Anglers Club and www.specimenfishing-uk.com. Here he shares the highs and lows of carp fishing in France. If you like this blog share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the icons above!

CARP fishing in France is easy right? Mug fish in a little puddle, Yes? Well actually… NO.

Most French lakes can be very pressured, seeing anglers every week from March to October. Some of these waters can be a fair size as well giving the carp plenty of room to hide away from anglers if they want.

So how do you maximise the chance of drawing fish into your swim and catching them? To me the solution is simple; a good quality bait that offers them everything they need to thrive and grow, in short a good quality boilie.

Dietry requirements of the fish

All fish instinctively know what is good for them and will actively search out food items that satisfy all of their dietary requirements. Once they find such an item they will eat their fill and then move off.

At some point the fish will then excrete what it has eaten. This waste will contain all kinds of food signals such as amino acids, ribonucleotides and the like.

Other fish will pick up on these food signals and will also start searching for this food source and often follow the original fish back to its feeding spot.

A good quality bait will also lead the fish to feeding more confidently and therefore more chance of them slipping up and picking up your baited rig.

Abbey 52.8 floating

It’s had a munch, and it’s in Dave’s hands!

When carp are smaller they can pretty much be caught on anything but as they grow they become more wary naturally and the range of foods that they will readily feed on narrows so that they only tend to feed on what is good for them. If you are not using a good bait then, you are less likely to catch the bigger fish.

Don’t scrimp on bait for your holiday

It always amazes me when people save up all year for their week in France and then scrimp on bait by reducing the amount of boilies they take and topping up with particles or buying cheap baits, often made in a garden shed by somebody using cheap ingredient.

Yes occasionally a flavoured ball of semolina will catch a fish, but not consistently, which is why the quality baits on the market have stood the test of time. It is no coincidence that quality baits do not ‘blow’ and continue to catch fish year in and year out.

A recent discussion I had with bait maker John Llewellyn lead me to ordering his Big Carp boilies in Krill F for a trip to Abbey Lakes. Rather than a flavoured bait, this is a bait that actually contains fresh Antarctic krill, hydrolysed krill extract and many other ingredients to produce a bait that gives the carp everything they need.

My mate who accompanied me on the trip also used a krill bait but made by somebody else, a bait that was a bit cheaper than mine and therefore probably did not have all the best ingredients.

Abbey Lakes 52.8

Oh yes… now that’s holiday photograph to remember!

My baits picked up the bigger fish in the shape of a 46.8 and a new pb of 52.8. My mate caught fish but all smaller. My 52.8lb fish was a known fish, the M5, which hadn’t been caught since March and yet I had it on the bank with 24hours of fishing.

I do not think this is coincidence but down to the use of a high quality bait aimed at catching large fish. If baits are cheap then it is for a reason, they contain cheap ingredients. Whilst they may well catch a few fish you will catch far more on a good bait made from quality ingredients.

So to get the best from your trip to France, and your carp fishing in general, feed them right and reap the rewards.