Question: Elliott, I think I’m right in saying you don’t fish over in France much, but a couple of mates and me are off to fish a popular (read: very pressured) complex in France this June. Firstly, how would you approach it and secondly, what five must-haves would you take?
Although I don’t fish outside of the UK much, I be pretty confident that fishing a pressured lake in France is just the same as fishing a busy water over here. So the first thing to think about would be stealth. If it’s a pressured venue then they’re going to be more than aware of when anglers are present, and for this reason you should do everything you can to keep a low profile – this will always help you.
Without knowing the venue, it’s a hard one to answer to exactly because things like being stuck to one swim for the whole week are possible. If this is the case and you draw your swim out of the hat and then fish it for a week then I would think carefully before going too mad with the bait or the casting. You’ve got a week to go at it so why not spend a day watching the water before you go about your casting? If you commit to finding a spot or baiting up straight away, then you could easily spook any fish present without even realising. If you sit on your hands, you have the opportunity to let the fish tell you which areas you need to investigate.
One thing that I always seem to hear when people talking about fishing abroad is large quantities of bait, and if you’re allowed bait boats or rowing boats, then I’m sure much more bait will be used on average. My advice would simply be to try and be a little different to the norm. If boats are allowed then I’d guess that most people probably put a fair bit of food out there, and more often than not, it’s going to be grouped fairly tight. In this situation I would do one of two things: either fish with wide spreads of bait, or fish small amounts of bait in tight spots. If everyone uses pellets or particles, then give them boilies or nuts, I’m sure you get my drift – try to be different.
If you have the freedom to roam the lake then definitely have a good look around, plenty of people will go for a week in France and stay put in a swim once they’ve set-up. If you have the opportunity to move, then do so. I can’t imagine fishing in France will be much different to the fishing over here, the same key rules will apply.
Sunnnies: Other than the usual bits and pieces, my five essentials would be: polarising glasses, which enable you to see clearly underwater.
Plenty of food: Lots of bait, but just in case they wanted it, you don’t have to use it all.
Using a boat: A life jacket, in case there’s a boat on-site.
Bite-free: Mosquito repellent, as whenever I am abroad I get absolutely battered by the mozzies. I grab various repellents, but the best I’ve found is Jungle Formula.
Keep charged: And finally a power pack to keep things charged up throughout the week. There’s nothing worse than running out of battery on your various devices.