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New Breathalyser Law in France

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 We've had several people contact us regarding the New breathalyser law in France. Here is a small article we found in the Telegraph which sums it up:

Drivers planning on heading to France this summer are being reminded that they will be required by law to carry a breathalyser in their car, writes Chris Knapman. The new measure comes into effect from July 1, and applies to anybody travelling through France. It means that at minimum, they will have to carry a single-use breathalyser with them. From November, those failing to do so will be fined €11 (£9.30).

The idea is that drivers can test themselves to check whether they are over the limit before setting off, although they should note that the legal limit in France is lower than the UK - 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood compared with 80mg.

Motoring organisation the Institute of Advanced Motorists is advising drivers to take at least two breathalysers so that if one needs to be used there is still a spare in the car if you are stopped.

We have found the cheapest ones on Amazon for £2.82, so it's wise to pre-order. The link to the Amazon one is: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Neewer-Electronics-Accessories-DIGITAL-ALCOHOL/dp/B004BIE2T2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330426409&sr=8-1
 

Posted by David Gordon on 28/02/2012 10:52 Categories : Update


Vallee Lake 1 - Weed Clearance

Our weed clearing contractor has now been confirmed for week 26 on both Vallee Lake 1 and Lake 2.

We are hoping the weed will be minimal this year, however this precaution has been taken, and booked for this week in the event of any excessive weed present.

This would be cut and cleared from the lake within the shortest and most efficient way possible. We understand how frustrating weed can be and we think this is the best way to help you, the angler.

for any more information please contact carp-france.

All the best and tight lines, Mark & Nathalie.

 

Posted by Mark Collin on 27/02/2012 16:34 Categories : Vallee Lake 1, Weather


Birch Pool Retreat - The thaw has started

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After -22 degree temperatures last week the lake has now started to thaw, we have a good supply of fresh water going in through the stream so fingers crossed it won't take too long for a complete thaw.

On a plus side it looks stunning, if a little cold lol.

 

Posted by Nikki Morgan on 21/02/2012 15:42 Categories : Birch Pool Retreat, WeatherUpdateThe Latest


Prepared for Driving in France?

We're often asked what you need to have with you when you're driving in France. As you may know, this seems to change like the wind, but here's a list of the latest required by French Law:

Driving Licence
Vehicle Registration Document
Certificate of Motor Insurance
Letter of Permission to use the vehicle (if not registered to you)
Headlamp Adapters
Breathalyser conforming to NF standards
Warning Triangle
GB Sticker (Unless your vehicle reg has GB already on it)
Reflective Jacket or Waistcoat (for each occupant of the car)
Spare Bulbs Kit

Hope it helps, we've had a few guys get caught out in the past and the French don't seem to be too leenient, to say the least!

Posted by David Gordon on 14/02/2012 22:21 Categories :


Croix Blanche Lake - I Guess Winter Finally Arrived!!

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It’s amazing that in one week the weather can change so radically. Just one week ago I was packing up after landing my second biggest common ever. The outside temperatures were in the 5°C and it was fairly overcast. The water temp was 6°C during that weekend.
What a contrast to today, with the lakes frozen solid and covered with a dusting of snow. The day time high here is -6°C with it plummeting to a bone chilling -14°C at night. I was only wondering less than a month ago, when we were going to finally get a winter.
After the New Year we were still experiencing temperatures in the 10-12°C, and no overnight frosts. It was hardly surprising then, in those conditions that the carp continued to feed, and get caught.
But now winter is with us and the picture post card landscapes are all around.

I decided to walk the dog and take my camera around the frozen venue and shoot a few photos to record the chilly but picturesque scenics.

Here is a small selection of lake views that I took, in the same vein as those I shot in 2010, when we had a heavy snow fall. With bright blue skies and bare trees they feel cold just looking at them.
Roll on the warmer weather!!!

Posted by Gareth Watkins on 11/02/2012 10:55 Categories : Croix Blanche Lake


Croix Blanche Lake - Last Session for January and my Second 40lb+ Common

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With the weather forecast announcing the arrival of a prolonged cold snap next week, I felt that I had to get back out and do a couple more nights before the cold eventually put an end to the carp’s willingness to feed in winter.

The first few days of the week had been very wet so I was waiting for a 48 hours window of fairly dry weather in which I could wet a line. I really don’t like fishing in the rain. The odd shower is okay, but constant rain I just find depressing.
So Friday dawned bright and dry with a reasonable weekend in sight, and I loaded the car to drive down to the Tortue lake.
I elected to fish the same peg (14) where I’d caught all my fish so far this year. Why change, as the fish were obviously visiting this area? I know from experience they often don’t go far in winter. The water in the lakes was a fairly uniform 6°C.


I’d made up a half a dozen PVA bags the night before, filled with 5mm carp pellets and broken Proline Red Devil boilies, so getting the lines out was a very quick affair this time. I had been using Quest Baits Pineapple, as I wanted a smaller & instant bait for winter, but having run out, I only had the lake specials to use. My hook baits were hi viz tutti fruitti pops fished snowman style. I was hoping that a fluoro bait would give me a chance in the day time, as all the fish so far, had come at night.
With the baits in place and the hammock set up I made myself some dinner. I climbed into the sack at around 8pm. I lay there reading before eventually dozing off.
At about 5am, a couple of bleeps and a steady run, on my left hand rod, signaled that I’d had a take. The fish did nothing special before rolling into the net. At 25lb it was a nice start. I did a couple of pictures and slipped her back.


I hooked on a new PVA bag and cast it back out. I had just got back into bed when the right hand rod tore off. After a spirited fight a very chunky mirror was landed. At just 21lb I didn’t bother with a photo and put her straight back.
The day was quiet, spent making up a few more PVA bags and reading my book. The HiViz baits dind’t seem to be making a difference.
Not long after finishing my dinner, I had a fast run on the left hand rod. As soon as I made contact the fish took more line. A sign that is was a better fish. And after a plodding fight, typical of a big kipper in these deep margins, I managed to bank a lump of a common. I struggled up the bank to the unhooking mat. As I hoisted her onto the scales the needle went round to 41lb 8oz. I was over the moon my second forty pound plus common this month.


This time the skies were clear, so I was able to take a couple of shots of the fish before I let her go. The rod was cast back out and I was back in the sack, as the night was getting cold early. The skies had cleared after an overcast day with occasional drizzle. I could tell we were in for a frost. Again I’d not long been back in bed when the right hand rod was away again and a 24lb mirror graced the banks.
I then managed to get a few hours sleep, warmly tucked up in my sleeping bag. Around 5am a very large bream woke me up. Despite it being a real specimen, I could feel the cold coming down, so I unhooked it in the edge and got back to bed.

As the sun came up I could see that the morning was indeed clear and crisp, with white frost over the swim and surrounding margins. As I put the kettle on I had to tip the ice out of my cup, and could hear the frozen water rattle around inside my water bottle. Winter seemed to be with us.
Its funny, running the fishery commercially means I don’t really get much chance to fish in the warmer months, and the last three winters have been very cold, with snow and ice for prolonged periods. This year has been a very different scenario, as I’ve already pointed out in other posts. It just goes to show that if you get out there the carp remain catchable. My tally for the month ws now at 9 carp to 46lb a large Crucian and a bream.
One thing that has puzzled me though is why, bearing in mind the large number og 30lb plus carp there are int he lake, my catches were only modest sized fish or big ones. The same was true for the few clients who have fished here this winter. I guess its just the lottery that is carp fishing!

Posted by Gareth Watkins on 11/02/2012 10:54 Categories : Croix Blanche Lake


Croix Blanche Lake - Another Nice January Brace and a Monster Crucian

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I managed to get out again this week for an overnighter and once again got amongst the fish. Since my last trip a week ago, in unusually mild conditions we’ve had something of a cold snap the last few days with several heavy frosts, and cat ice in the edge of the lakes. I’d guess the night time temperatures got down to -6°C.
So Wednesday morning, with the frost still on the ground and ice still in the edge, I set up on the Peg 14, where I’d managed the fish last week. I reasoned that if they were active they may still come on the plateau in the Tortue to feed.
Again tactics were the same, a PVA bag of pellets and chopped boilies & some 14mm Quest Pineapple, with a Pineapple/Crab snowman combination.
As we settled in, things didn’t look anything like as promising as the previous visit. There I’d seen activity right away, but here with a cold wind and spitting rain, nothing was visible.

With my mate Laurent we settled back in the shelter of my tarp to enjoy a couple of beers and some dinner. As the night and the cold came in we decided to call it a night and Lolo went off to his bivvy, while I climbed into my comfy hammock and was soon out like a light., wrapped in a toasty down sleeping bag.

I was awoken around 2:30 am by a couple of beeps in my central rod. Before I could get out of my bag and put my boots on the fish was motoring. Once I made contact it plodded a bit but came fairly easily to the net.
It turned out to be a nice clean looking mirror of 29lb. I was well chuffed, as I really thought with the frosts I’d missed out on the feeding fish. After recasting as I lay back in my bed listening to the rain patter on the tarp a large carp turned over in the margins with a big splash. Less than an hour after the first fish, I was off again. This one really did motor. It had taken probably 30 or more yards of line before I leaned into it and continued to pull hard once I had made contact. It gave a spirited fight before going into the net. A smaller fish this one at 25lb 8oz.
Anyway another bag was lobed back out into the blackness and I was off to the land of nod, waking at after 9am when Laurent popped his head into my swim and looked chuffed when I suggested coffee.

A couple of cups each later and we were talking of packing up… Two Dutch chaps came round for a chat, and my centre rod dropped back before tightening up again. I struck but with 3.5lb rods only felt a slight resistance. I suspected one of the large bream was the suspect…. But no it one mighty big Crucian carp of 7lb 8oz. The biggest one I have ever caught.

I was well pleased to get a couple more nice carp. I’ve only rarely fished the winter’s here, but have always done quite well. This year looks to be no exception.

Posted by Gareth Watkins on 10/02/2012 17:26 Categories : Croix Blanche Lake


Croix Blanche Tortue Lake - First Forty of the Year

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As I said in my previous blog post, with the mild weather, until now anyway, and relatively high water temperatures the carp have been very active. I spoke about the pair of young Dutch anglers who fished from the 2nd of January. I now have a couple of photos to add. Here is a brief resumé of their session.
Jimmy Heijink and his mate set up on pegs 5 on the Croix Blanche and 13 on the Tortue. The used a bait boat to drop PVA bags of pellets and strawberry boilies to the shallower areas where fish were showing. The water levels were quite high so that would be around 12 feet deep.
Within 24 hours they had managed several fish to upper 20’s, which is pretty good for a month of January. Despite being mild the weather was quite extreme with gales force winds and heavy rain showers.
The lads stuck it out however, with Jimmy moving up to peg 15, due to the activity he had observed in front of that peg.
The last night saw one more fish out of the Croix lake and the icing on the cake for this early season session a superb 20.5kg (45lb) mirror.
The lads did very well and it goes to show that good results can be had year round in the right conditions. While we saw poor results in the autumn, I sure this was down to the unusual weather. January temperatures were more like November and the carp seemed top respond in the manner of an autumn session.

Posted by Gareth Watkins on 10/02/2012 17:24 Categories : Croix Blanche Tortue Lake


Croix Blanche Lake - First Forty of the Year

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As I said in my previous blog post, with the mild weather, until now anyway, and relatively high water temperatures the carp have been very active. I spoke about the pair of young Dutch anglers who fished from the 2nd of January. I now have a couple of photos to add. Here is a brief resumé of their session.
Jimmy Heijink and his mate set up on pegs 5 on the Croix Blanche and 13 on the Tortue. The used a bait boat to drop PVA bags of pellets and strawberry boilies to the shallower areas where fish were showing. The water levels were quite high so that would be around 12 feet deep.
Within 24 hours they had managed several fish to upper 20’s, which is pretty good for a month of January. Despite being mild the weather was quite extreme with gales force winds and heavy rain showers.
The lads stuck it out however, with Jimmy moving up to peg 15, due to the activity he had observed in front of that peg.
The last night saw one more fish out of the Croix lake and the icing on the cake for this early season session a superb 20.5kg (45lb) mirror.
The lads did very well and it goes to show that good results can be had year round in the right conditions. While we saw poor results in the autumn, I sure this was down to the unusual weather. January temperatures were more like November and the carp seemed top respond in the manner of an autumn session.

Posted by Gareth Watkins on 10/02/2012 17:23 Categories : Croix Blanche Lake, Catch Report


Woody's Hooked in France - Fish Health

As part of our ongoing fish health programme, every fish caught in march and april will be injected with a powerfull antibiotic called baytril, this is just a preventative measure to help protect the fish from any infections/viruses which sometimes they get from being dormant during the colder weeks and it gives them a boost,i will issue our anglers with walki-talkies and every time they bank a fish i will come down and inject them,some people say that this is a bit over the top but our fish are a vey valuable asset and need to be looked after, after all without them we wouldn't be here

Posted by Alan Hawkins on 09/02/2012 18:16 Categories : Woody's Hooked in France, Update