Anything u can tell me, I'd love to catch a river carp. Heard some big uns have come out from a wier pool about 30kms downstream. Looks to be some good looking spots round confolens. How much are maggots in France?
There are some big carp and catfish in the Vienne and the best area for specimen barbel is a few km downstream of Confolens. There are also two huge lakes within 20km that hold some monsters of various species as well as dozens and dozens of small lakes. There are a few commercials in the area, but I haven't a clue about them.
You'll need a rod licence, or Carte de Peche, which is about 90 euro for the year and 30 euro for a week. Once you have that you can fish any river and any public lake. Forget maggots. They are a fortune. I use maize for most things and the local tackle shop owner recommends cheese paste for barbel. You can also get pellets, groundbait and boilies either from the tackle shop at Chabanais (the one on Confolens has closed down) or Decathalon at Angouleme or Limoges. Supermarkets, some DIY and garden centers also stock a basic range of pellets and boilies.
If you let me know when you are coming over I'll pick you up and show you the area. I can also prepare you some maize and ground bait if you need some.
Cheers nicepix, coming first week august. Thanks for the info. The place I'm staying as its own carp lake, so bringing lots of bait down, but thanks for the offer.but I'll bring some pellets and corn now. So can you fiish anywhere on the rivers? Confolens and saint radegonde look pretty good on google
Funnily enough we've just had a jaunt down the Vienne valley to the places you mention and beyond to L'Isle Jourdain. I wanted to check out the big dam on the river in that area.
If you buy a Carte de Peche you can fish any river and can access across fields to get to the river. You've got to watch out the the cattle though. They aren't very friendly and they are in many of the fields near to the river. There are plenty of access places if you drive round the riverside areas. Many of them show up on Google Earth.
August will be very hot and the best chances for catching a river carp will be at dusk or if you can locate the Carpe de Nuit area, at night. You can only fish certain areas of the river at night and it is subject to various regulations.
Biggest problem on the river other than the sun and clear sky in August is that the fish aren't used to bait in many areas. Fishing the Carpe de Nuit places will solve that, but it will be busy in August especially at the weekend. If you find a good spot early on in the holiday I'd pop a bit of bait in for a couple of days first. I usually do better after a few sessions on the virgin water.
In France carp fishing is in its infancy, but unlike the UK where it gradually evolved driven by experimentation and a few dedicated anglers putting the hours in, here they all use the same methods taken straight out of the French equivalent of Carp Monthly. That involves pods of four rods set at waist height with line you would use for shark fishing and the use of an inflatable boat to drop their groundbait and marker buoys
Much of this is done over 'le weekend' and involve night fishing. All over France on lakes and some rivers you will now see signs for 'Carpe de Nuit' meaning that you can night fish specifically for carp(e) in that area. You can't stray away from the designated areas and you have to restrict your choice of bait to whatever is on the local licence. Night anglers are regularly checked by government apointed Angling Police who happen to pack side arms and apparently aren't known for their tolerance to foreigners fishing without licences.
I've come across them when walking the dog around the lakes and once, on a Friday afternoon, I was fishing a swim where I don't usually venture when three car loads and one trailer load of fishing tackle descended into the area I was fishing. Three guys got out and started to scout the area and it became apparent that I was in the swim they wanted to fish. I had chosen it simply because the trees were high enough to allow me to use the 15 foot float rod. But it was also big enough for a four rod pod as were the swims either side. When they asked if I was fishing all night I said "No, but I'm not going home until dusk" their little faces dropped. Even though it was four hours from dusk they began to set up the rod pods and tackle behind me so they could get into my swim as soon as I left. One began blowing up the dinghy. I got chatting to them and it turned out that they were from out of the department and were intending fishing the whole weekend. The trailer was full of Friskies, the dog food they use to bait up with. I decided that being retired I could fish any day whereas they were looking forward to their weekend carp fishing so I packed my tackle away and let them take over the swim while I watched and chatted to them.
Their end tackle was crude to say the least. I'm no carp expert, but I'm light years ahead of these guys. Their catch rate wasn't much to write home about either.
The funny thing is, at the other end of the bay they were fishing, about 1 kilometre away, but not where they could park at the waterside or night fish, was a pod of several huge carp that were never fished for except by me.
One thing to mention about the Vienne is that it is very rocky in places. You might want to make sure you have some suitable line. you find carp all over the place in the river. Steadier flows seem to be the best spots, but there are weirs every kilometer or so and upstream of these are good holding spots.
If you are looking for chub then try the River Charente near to Ambernac area. It's a lot smaller river than the Vienne and has more overhanging trees.
I don't know if you are aware but the Vienne is the same length as the Severn and is 80 to 100 metres wide at Confolens. It has a decent flow too as it is quite shallow, only 1.5 metres across most of the river. The shallow depth and clear skies of August aren't going to help your cause.
For bream I fish Lac du Mas Chaban near to Massignac. If you drive into the picnic area on the road to Massignac from Chabanais you can find a peg in the shade of trees. The lake at that point is about 80 metres wide, just over 1 metre deep over a mud bottom and is a good spot to bag up on snotties. They aren't big, but the fight like good 'uns.
At the nearby Lac Lavaud there is a nautical centre near to a British run pub / cafe called the Couchant Solleil. Where the boats launch is a good spot to fish floating biscuits for carp just before dark.
Just caused consternation in the local tackle shop.
When you get your fishing licence they give you a booklet with all the rules and regulations for your department, in my case The Charente. Inside the booklet is a fold out map showing the rivers either in red corresponding to the Category 1 waters, i.e. trout, and blue for the Category 2 waters, i.e. coarse fish. I noticed that this year's map had been printed showing the Cat 1 waters in blue and the Cat 2 waters in red, but with the same legend; red for Cat 1 and blue for Cat 2 thus confusing the issue by classing the rivers incorrectly.
Seems that I'm the only one on the Charente who has read the map. mg:
If you are intending to visit Limoges or Angouleme you can buy all sorts of bulk groundbait at reasonable prices from Decathalon. If you are not traveling that far then I'd suggest bringing a few kilos of plain breadcrumb groundbait.
If you go down the breadcrumb route then you need to pop into Intermarche at Confolens or one of the briconauts and pick up some chicken pellets and maize. The pellets are about 16% protein and about 3mm diameter. They are readily accepted by local fish either as a groundbait additive or banded on the hook. Maize is cheap and widely available in tins or as dry grains whole or chopped. For chicken pellets and dried maize expect to pay about 50 to 60 cents a kilo.
For hookbaits I would also recommend maize, halibut pellets or fish flavoured boilies. The locals use tuti-fruity boiles in the lakes, but I do better on fish based pellets / boilies and maize. This might be because I fish quiet areas where fish have less exposure to regular baits. The fishing shop in Chabanais is a bit hit and miss for pellets and boilies, but Decathalon has a good stock.
Also, just be aware that in Confolens town centre where the two rivers join you will see loads of fish, but that area is out of bounds.
Fished the Vienne in confolens, had a few barbel out, not very big . made big mistake of taking my heavy feeder rod, but leaving my tips back in England ;(. So lucky enough I used my carp rod and the bites were big enough to see went to fish at isle de jardin one day, was totally packed. On the damn end full of French with boats after catfish, further back near the large islands full of carp anglers with 4 rods like you said. All rowing the baits out to the islands or to the large weed beds on the bend. Was about 120 to 150 yd wide, but so shallow. Managed a bream when I swapped from boilie to corn.
You should have let me know. I could have loaned you a rod or some quiver tips.
Its not always as busy as you describe. Outside August you'd hardly see an angler mid-week. Up at the Lakes of the Haute Vienne you can find plenty of space even in the holiday season.
Barbel seem to be few and far between on the Vienne. I've never seen one on the 1.5km stretch that runs alongside the farm, but just downstream at Ansac they seem to get a few. One of the problems is that the river is so shallow and clear in places and there is no night fishing other than for carp. Carp seem to be omni present. Anywhere you look there are carp. They ain't educated to UK type carp baits though and a tin of sweetcorn fares better than boilies or pellets.
Spinning for catfish for a couple of hours before dusk is good sport. They average out just short of 20lb and can give a good scrap on light tackle. Any old spinner or plug seems to do the job.
Thanks for the offer, should have got in touch caught the barbel just right of the road bridge in confolens. Grounbait and large oily pellets. Just fished mornings for a couple of hours.
I used to go over the bridge into ansac for coissants most mornings.was going to fish one night just below the small weir, looked perfect for barbel.but didn't bother when I realised I'd left the tips at home.
I guess I couldn't have picked as worse time as it was the French holidays.
The Vienne lakes were nice, saw a large fishing match on the long lake, we went to the beach on the larger one. Amazed, looked small on the map, bigger than anything I've been to in England.
Saw quite a few night fishing the Vienne on the way into St Julian (I think) on a small bend.
Found a great lake 12kms from me, but had to have a annual fishing licence, was gutted.Saw lots of carp
Those two large lakes, Lavaud and Mas Chaban are 220 hectares each.
They are actually separated into smaller lake even though they appear to be one huge lake. Where the road crosses them there are dams and the smaller arms where the rivers run in can be kept full all summer even if the main basin is being used for abstraction. I tend to fish off the beaten track and there are a few areas on these lakes where you won't see another angler yet are full of carp, bream and other species such as zander and catfish. Each of these lakes can be fished on a weekly, daily or annual rod licence.
St. Juninen is one of the better fishing spots for barbel and big catfish. Again all you need is a rod licence to fish.
If you come over again drop me a line and I can loan you some appropriate tackle, sort some bait and show you some of the better and quieter spots. We'll be moving to Saulgond next month which is only a few km from Confolens.