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Angler's Mail has a carp blog coming here regularly from the crew at Fox International.

Angler’s Mail has a carp blog coming here regularly from the crew at Fox International.


French Whackers and Maker Magic


THE last four weeks has flown past as a bit of a blur again, with editing projects hitting full steam ahead, there has been little time to stop and think.

However, my social feeds and inbox have been dominated by two things in that space of time. Firstly a number of exceptional French fish caught by some of our sponsored anglers and Tom Maker’s continued domination of the Linear complex and tutorial success stories.

Kevin Garrett, Dave Moult, Tim Oatley and Luke Edwards all sent me reports of fantastic sessions they enjoyed in France, with some awesome fish banked along the way. You could easily be forgiven for thinking that a trip to France is your ticket to guaranteed whackers and 50, 60 and even 70lb fish are but a pub chuck away. However, French fishing is not as easy as it may look, many of these lakes only contain a handful of these truly special fish and, just like in the UK, these fish will only get caught a certain number of times a year.

Timing your trip well, just like in the UK, often can be the difference between catching giants and picking up the scraps. Understandably a trip abroad needs to be booked well in advance but if you are looking to go to France to target really big carp then you won’t go far wrong with a trip in late October to November. It’s a classic ‘big fish’ time and it will put you in with a great shout.

Dave Moult’s session at the back end of October was made by bagging a superb looking 51lb common. He has been visiting France for the past 15 years but he fancied a change of venues so booked a ‘drive and survive’ type trip to Moulin De Bley which is a nine acre lake in the Dijon region of France.

The trip couldn’t have gone better and started with a double take on the Saturday evening with a 24lb and 39lb, followed up by a 40lb mirror a few hours later, with a stunning 47lb mirror tripping up at first light the next morning. The fish kept coming and eventually as part of his 24 fish haul Dave managed to trip up one of the bigguns, a new PB Common of 51lb 80z! All the fish were caught on Mainlines Cell and Hybrid boilies in 10 and 15mm, topped with a white popup. The rigs were tied using 20lb Camotex Soft in Light Camo to size 6 Arma Point SSC hooks, the snowman hookbaits were attached via bait floss to a Micro Hook Ring Swivel that was sliding on the hook in between two Edges Hook Beads.

Dave bagged eight fish over 40lbs with this 51lb common topping the catch off!

Dave bagged eight fish over 40lbs with this 51lb common topping the catch off!

Fishery Manager for The Isle of Wight’s Rookley Country Park, Tim Oatley is a bit of a master when it comes to French ‘Holiday Carping’ and usually enjoys up to three trips each year, each one timed to coincide with a period that has good previous form. His latest trip to Les Telliats was again a late October affair. Tim told us “Lady Luck was with me this time and I drew the number one ball. I had been studying the weather for the week and knew the wind was due to swing south westerly for the week the next day. So I chose a swim that would benefit from this”

25lb Camotex Stiff hooklinks tied to a Ama Point SR(b) hooks in size 4 was the successful combination for Tim as he landed a superb 16 fish with no less than three mirrors over 60lb. Unbelievable angling!

The biggest of three 60lbers Tim caught at Les Telliats, this one weighed 66lb 4oz!

The biggest of three 60lbers Tim caught at Les Telliats, this one weighed 66lb 4oz!

The mighty Rainbow lake probably can’t be bettered for sheer amount of epic sized carp in France and this was the destination for Kevin Garret, a lake where the snags are brutal and the angling is equally so. The fishing here really is no holds barred, no messing about and size two SSBP hooks were employed to ensure that the Rainbow residents did not get the better of him. Kevin, like Tim also landed three 60lb+ fish during his trip, with a 68lb mirror being the pick of the bunch. A superb carp from an awesome lake!

Last but most certainly not least on my French roundup is Luke Edwards. Luke is ever so consistent at catching big carp both in the UK and France and during his latest trip to Domaine le Ribiere he continued in that vein. Using a bait boat to fish the far margin, Luke bagged 35 fish throughout the week.

Luke baited with maggots, hemp, casters and crushed Cell boilies. Over the top he fished with Fruitella dumbbells with six plastic maggots on top, this was presented on a 10lb Illusion Soft hooklink and a size 10 Kuro S4 hook with a Line Aligna Adapter over the eye. A stark contrast to the type of rig that Kevin was fishing on Rainbow, but with no snags to contend with Luke could get away with scaling down his tackle so long as he played the fish sensibly! Not only did Luke manage to bag seven 40s but he also slipped the net under one of the lakes real big girls, a colossal mirror of 71lb was his prize!


A 10lb hooklink and a size 10 hook and a 71lb beast of a mirror!

A 10lb hooklink and a size 10 hook and a 71lb beast of a mirror!

 Young Toby with his PB Common, which Tom instantly Facebooked!

Young Toby with his PB Common, which Tom instantly Facebooked!

Back in the UK Tom ‘The Machine’ Maker has had a fantastic month. Recently he has turned his attentions to Brasenose Two on the Linear Complex and has had big hit after big hit of fish. He has even managed to bag the lakes biggest resident Split Tail at just under 33lb. Tom’s simplistic approach is proof that the fundament aspects to catching carp are location and bait application. Tom fishes very simple ‘no nonsense’ rigs, a couple of pieces of plastic corn mounted on a size 4 Arma Point SSBP hook that is simply knotless knotted to 30lb Coretex Matt is all he needs to bag fish after fish after fish.

As he proved whilst filming for Tight Lines on Sky Sports, where in true Tom Maker style he had a double take live for the cameras! Last week he took  young Toby Ferguson on one of his immensely popular tutorials. In freezing cold conditions Tom helped Toby to land 17 fish, breaking both his mirror and common PB’s in the process. The mirror weighed 24lb 6oz and the common of 20lb 8oz, another superb result on a Maker tutorial. I think I might book him up!


When can we say it is officially winter then? I tend to call the 1st of December the start of winter, so enjoy this last week of the autumn, and be sure to send in your winter catch reports! Get out there and do it people, I know some of my most memorable captures have come in the coldest months and the adversity you face when angling in the winter is what makes those sessions all the more special!


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