River Lot, France in Febuary

pelamid

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
117
Reaction score
190
Location
Cahors, France
After three (fishless) weeks holiday in Spain (the Med!) on our return I wasted no time getting back to fishing my home river Lot. After two short sessions I still could not find a fish! I thought the exceptionally warm temperatures (21c a couple of days ago!) would have woken the fish up, but no!

The daytime temperatures dropped to 9c today but it was still sunny, so an afternoon 4 hour session looked attractive.

Down at lovely Larnagol today and finally a fish! Plucky little barbel that had a turn of speed when returned to the river.

IMG_20200205_152938916_2.jpg

IMG_20200205_152308656_2.jpg

IMG_20200205_152314151_BURST000_COVER_TOP_2.jpg

The river Lot is proving a challenge, fish have not been trained to eat boilies, but I am working on them - they will learn!
 

pelamid

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
117
Reaction score
190
Location
Cahors, France
Back down at the same swim this afternoon with a friend. First cast (like last time!) a bite within a few minutes resulted in a fit 5 pound barbel.

Just like the last session no further fish!

IMG_20200208_143307447.jpg

The water is very clear and I only used the feeder to place groundbait, but it seems the barbel are very spooky here.

Most barbel I have managed in a session here is four. I have also had a bag of 2 barbel, one 6lb+ bream and a small carp in a four hour session.

I am sure there is a shoal in this stretch and multiple fish come if I put groundbait in the evening before a fishing session. Not sure if there is anything I can do to get a better result out of this swim.

The depth is around 6', moderate current (2ozs usually settles well) Fallen tree 30 yds downtream of my pitch and boulders in the middle of the river. I put my bait between the tree and the boulders, varying the exact position over a few square yards.

Barbel ideal.jpg

Swim is downstream of the far bank slipway (just out of the left of this photo), where a tree branch is in the river.

How would you approach this swim?
 
Last edited:

tigger

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
8,991
Reaction score
1,321
What a lovely looking place to fish!

I'd float fish it.
 

pelamid

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
117
Reaction score
190
Location
Cahors, France
What a lovely looking place to fish!

I'd float fish it.
So many scenic stretches along my local 10 mile stretch of the Lot. I landed lucky when I found a place to live here!

With the river as it is just now you are probably right. I have not float fished for barbel yet but I recently bought a 12' 1.5 TC rod that should do that job well.

Will try it next time :thumbs:
 

tigger

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2009
Messages
8,991
Reaction score
1,321
So many scenic stretches along my local 10 mile stretch of the Lot. I landed lucky when I found a place to live here!

With the river as it is just now you are probably right. I have not float fished for barbel yet but I recently bought a 12' 1.5 TC rod that should do that job well.

Will try it next time :thumbs:

Good luck with your float fishing but if I were you i'd use a match float rod, anything from 13ft to 15ft and a line rating of about 6lb.
I'm not slating your rod, but I reckon your 1.5lb test rod won't be a joy to trot with.
 
Last edited:

sylvanillo

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
273
Reaction score
11
Location
Oxford, UK
Arf lovely native France!

Thanks for the pics.

Not sure if it may be relevant to you, but almost all barbel I've had on the natural meuse were using either a string of Dynamite Swim Stim Match Mini's or a string of corns.
 

pelamid

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
117
Reaction score
190
Location
Cahors, France
Arf lovely native France!

Thanks for the pics.

Not sure if it may be relevant to you, but almost all barbel I've had on the natural meuse were using either a string of Dynamite Swim Stim Match Mini's or a string of corns.
Thanks for the bait tips. Next time I make a tackle order I will get some of the match Mini's.

When I first used boilies it was on the Lot. Decathlon own brand .......nothing ate them! Went back to using worms and prawns which most fish seem to like here,

I have a friend in Scotland that now runs a small bait making company. Glad I trusted his judgement as the boilies he supplied me had instant success with chub to over 5lbs and then many barbel.

Now I have been experimenting with various paste baits. That last barbel came on a "fibre paste" with some of my friends ground up boilie added. Not sure if I am allowed to use the brand names on this forum.

Pastes generally get more confident takes, but with so many small species in the river you cannot be sure how long they stay on the hook. The fibre paste resists the attentions of minnows and gudgeon quite well.

Great fun experimenting with baits!
 

sylvanillo

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
273
Reaction score
11
Location
Oxford, UK
Interesting that fibre paste option!
I don't think there's any issue with posting brand names.

Re. the boilies I've noticed something similar but with pop ups. I haven't been able to test on barbel since my move back to oxford, but on chub I can definitely say that some work some not at all. I've put them on a hair, with a shot a few cms from the hook.
Whether on canal or river, the chub has (without prebaiting) liked the Ron Hutchinson 14 mm - Tiger nut (yellow), the Chapel Baits Tutti Frutti 12 mm (orange), Ron Hutchinson 14 mm - Strawberry (red), but I've never had even a single bite on High Visual milky toffee (white), High Visual Tutti frutti (orange)!
 

pelamid

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
117
Reaction score
190
Location
Cahors, France
If brand names are OK then it was Sonubaits Fibre Paste in Krill flavor. I ground up my friends Slayer Triple S boilies to add to that mix. Triple S is krill and green lipped mussel, I believe.

At another swim further down the river last year I found a large shoal on the feed. This paste mix brought about 15 mainly small barbel to the net. There were a couple of decent ones though, topping at about 7lb.

These fish seem to move around a lot, there are so many stretches you cannot get at!
 

Philip

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2008
Messages
4,445
Reaction score
475
I have had them on corn on the Lot. I have used corn on a number of rivers were i am pretty sure the fish will never have seen it before and its been instant. Also a very underated bait for Barbel that see little fishing pressure is bread (or even for pressured fish for that matter) Try a chunk of that. Small fish can be a problem however.

Halibut pellets may also be worth a go if you need something more bullet proof.

Good luck !
 
Last edited:

pelamid

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
117
Reaction score
190
Location
Cahors, France
I have had them on corn on the Lot. I have used corn on a number of rivers were i am pretty sure the fish will never have seen it before and its been instant. Also a very underated bait for Barbel that see little fishing pressure is bread (or even for pressured fish for that matter) Try a chunk of that. Small fish can be a problem however.

Halibut pellets may also be worth a go if you need something more bullet proof.

Good luck !
Yes, all good ideas!

I have been experimenting with various paste mixes. I recently dried a whole loaf of sliced white bread and blitzed it to make a bread dust. A little of that has made a very sticky paste which slows the small fish down a bit. Unfortunately we have had a week of rain and the river has gone from summer levels to a torrent!

The only place I could fish was a very boily swim and worm bait got me a small silure!

Sweetcorn does work here my fishing buddy uses it a lot, probably as it's cheap and convenient. He tends to catch the very small barbel which sometimes are in nuisance numbers!

Just got a bag of 21mm halibut pellets delivered from UK. When the river settles down a bit I will give them a go, they are relatively cheap compared to good boilies.

The glug I got from Slayer baits seems to be effective. As I am getting low on that I have been experimenting with my own concoctions. Created some "interesting" pongs, ranging from ultra sweet to pretty damned rancid. Seeing as one of my most effective baits for barbel and silure has been rancid, slimy, stale crevettes it would seem powerful smells are the way for baits to go!

Have to say I enjoy this part of river fishing, making baits! I am not a bad cook and with any left-over bits from the kitchen I can create something to suit the fishes tastes!

Fishing buddy Alistair with a sweetcorn caught roach.
 

Attachments

dicky123

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2015
Messages
633
Reaction score
4
In the ten years I live and fished in France, I found all the rivers I fished short of fish numbers. The French have a habit of taking fish home.

One instance I watched a guy build a netful of small perch, maybe 30/40 fish. He took the lot home for the pot. That swim and area never fished well for perch again.

Another time I saw a guy take 3 carp home, all around 8/12 pound.

And one time a young couple fishing for silvers left all the little fish in the boat, maybe 100 fish to rot and die. Why I really don't know, France is not like England or Ireland for a fishing holiday. I've caught roach, chub and barbel but never in numbers.
 

pelamid

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
117
Reaction score
190
Location
Cahors, France
There seems to be a strong "No Kill" ethic with the younger anglers in my area of France. So far the only fish I have seen killed were a couple of silure around 2kg. They are considered an invasive species - and some say they are good to eat!

Some of the older hunting guys in my village talk of killing pike but so far I have not seen them fishing - let alone catching and killing!

Predator competitions have been run at Cajarc and are run on a catch, measure, witness and release.

The local club were most upset when the head and guts of a carp were found - no way would a local have done that. But this has probably happened in the UK as well, I will not mention suspects as it usually ends up with accusations of racism!

Fishing pressure in my area is very, very light. Most days through the year I have about 10 miles of river to myself. Last September I found another angler fishing the swim I had planned to fish - complete shock to me! First time in two years!

Summer brings tourists and holiday anglers. Sometimes their grasp of angling ethics is poor and I guess the odd fish might come a cropper then. Fortunately it is a very short holiday season and hot weather with low water means most of the fish are hiding through the day.
 

john step

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
5,848
Reaction score
689
Location
There
I fished The Rhone a few times south of Avignon. I tried all sorts of bait. The only barbel I could tempt were on corn. They apparently didn't know what luncheon meat was.
Do you have a fish which I think may be called Gimbal carp in the Lot?
They appear to look identical to crucians except are silver coloured. They are a lot bolder than crucians and I caught loads trotting a float. The ones I caught were usually about 2 pounds.
 

Philip

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2008
Messages
4,445
Reaction score
475
I think you may mean Gibel or Prussian carp John. They are pretty widespread and like Crucians on Steroids. They have adapted well to the river systems. I have not seen them in the Lot but i would not be surprised if they are there....Pelamid may know. They are certainly all over northern france too. I recall seeing them in the Arno over in Italy as welll..even right in the center of Florence i saw a guy bagging up on them under the ponte vecchio bridge. i am.surprised they have not made it to the UK yet..or perhaps they have.
One point about Gibel Carp is that i dont think the DNA tests can detect any cross over with native UK Crucians. (Someone may correct me however) The point being its not Brown goldfish people should be worrying about when it comes to Crucian hybrids..its these guys.
 
Last edited:

pelamid

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
117
Reaction score
190
Location
Cahors, France
First I have heard of gibel carp! The only carp I have caught or seen have been common types - yet to get a decent size one of those even!

Carp 1st from Lot.jpg
 

bleak

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
143
Reaction score
12
Location
aquitaine, france
Gimbal carp? Your description sounds like a Prussian carp; considered invasive in many places. some call them crucians which is wrong. the lake around my area -lot et garronne-have many. Very popular in match fishing. The locals call them plates...
 
Top