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4h 31m Caen

Articles about Vincons

Vincons, would you Cher it with anyone?
Jun 2009 by Ron Key

I’ve always thought that fishing in France should be something different, not only fishing but a journey, a holiday or perhaps an adventure. It was with this in mind my mate Dan and I planned our trip, and finally found the time to arrange it with the luxury of two weeks to do it in. We planned to fish two lakes. The first one near Bourges in the Cher region of France where we hoped for a bit of comfort and a lot of runs, and then the second stage down to another Angling Lines lake called Iktus located in the Pyrenees close to the Spanish border with the chance of a real lump!

I’m always amazed when it all goes in
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That all important secure parking

I loaded my car and drove down to Dans’ where we jammed everything into the car you could possibly need for two weeks fishing. We’ve done this many times over the last twenty years and I’m always astonished when it all goes in. We drove down to Dover and managed to catch an early ferry, leaving us more time to drive before looking for a hotel and that all important restaurant. In our pioneering days we would have left work loaded up and hit Cassien or Salagou in one long 12 or 14 hour drive, and often arrive shattered at ridiculous times of the night, but not this trip. We took a steady drive as far as Beauvais, clicked on hotels on the sat nav and were soon booking into a cheap and cheerful Premiere Classe hotel with that all important secure parking. That night saw us demolishing a seafood salad, entrecote, crème brulee and of course a couple of bottles of red at a local restaurant, after all it is a holiday. We had plenty of time the next day to complete our trip to Vincons. We stopped at the supermarket on the way and arrived just after three in the afternoon, unfortunately in the pouring rain. It didn’t damp down our welcome and we were soon being guided through the farmyard to a 12 acre lake in the beautiful Cher countryside. Literally four or five metres from the bank was the fishing lodge which housed two double beds, dining table and a full kitchen with cooker microwave and fridge. No bivvies this week!

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The fishing lodge
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Our bivvy
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The kichen

The rain continued to lash down as we unloaded and prepared our fishing gear. Dan decided not to fish that night but as usual I couldn’t wait. I set up a pod and three rods. The conditions would not allow the luxury of fish or feature finding, so I made up three rigs with double 15mm Quest Baits Rahja Spice boilies and pva bags of crumbed boilie and a Maximum Action Pellet. As the rain bounced off the water I cast one rod to the edge of a large overhanging willow tree, one along the margin to my left and one at range to the middle of the lake. At 2am the rod under the willow roared away, kiting straight under my middle rod and then back over the top of it. The deluge continued as I shuffled the rods around unplaiting the lines and eventually totally drenched I landed a fabulous scaly mirror at 28lb 12oz. Recasting was not an option so I dried off and went to bed, but not for long. At three the rod in the margin rod flew off and I had another mirror of 24lb, and by four the third rod gave up a common of twenty pounds. By this time of course there were no rods out but I was waterlogged and happy with my first nights results and squelched off to bed.

french carp fishingFirst night scaly mirror

Thankfully next morning the rain had slowed. By 9-30 I’d had three more commons to just over twenty pounds and Dan had joined in with another 20+ common and a nice tench. At one point we had three fish on at the same time, and we quickly assembled the third landing net. Look’s like it could be busy! The action continued throughout the day and by the time we stopped for dinner that evening we had banked 17 carp to 28lb 12oz with 10 fish over twenty pounds. Our hosts at the farm had delivered a couple of bottles of the local wine for us to sample, so it seemed the obvious time to toast our success.

We had decided not to bivvy up but to stay mobile. On that first day I put up my day shelter on the dam wall and Dan and I put two pods in front of it and fanned the rods out to take maximum advantage of the available water. After a little work with the marker I found a change in level in the middle of the lake and what felt like a bumpy clay bottom, and Dan found some hard gravelly areas close in. He baited lightly with a catapult and I put out the Rahja Spice with a bait rocket. The feed went in regularly as we caught, and was well spread out to keep the fish searching for it. The lake is vey well stocked and we knew we had no chance of holding them with large beds of bait, so the strategy was to keep them occupied as they certainly wanted our bait

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Fanning the rods out to take maximum advantage of the available water
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A common with attitude
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Another pristine mirror for Dan

Monday continued the same. We decided to fish from the area in front of the lodge, but we were both still able to get on the hotspots we had located the previous day. Dan started to get what looked like crayfish activity on his rod on the gravel with his boilies returning partly eaten away, but the carp were too active for it to be a problem. We continued the regular baiting pattern and the fish kept coming. That day I had 13 fish to 27lb, and Dan had 8 with the first thirty slipping into his net at 31lb 14oz. As the thirty somersalted over the landing net cord two more rods rods roared off. “Lucky we’ve got the third net,” I thought and then I had another run, the fourth. Chaos reigned for a short while but we eventually sorted out the mess, and Dan ended up with a thirty and a beautiful fully scaled mirror and I had a couple of 20+ mirrors. The average size was increasing and that day we had 12 fish over twenty pounds. The variety of carp was incredible , there were commons, leathers, scaly mirrors, fully scaled mirrors all in mint condition, beautiful vibrant colours and more than ready for a scrap My favourite fish of the day was a pale scaly mirror with bright orange fins which weighed in at 22lb 6oz but fought at twice that weight. Our thoughts of mobility disappeared as the liking for the finer things in life took over, and the chairs and pods stayed firmly outside the lodge’s door. Definitely no bivvies this week!

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My favourite fish of the day
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The first thirty slipped into his net at 31lb 14oz
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22lb 4oz
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23lb 6oz

By Tuesday the weather had improved and the sun was shining and the carp put on a display there were fish leaping everywhere. Locating fish around the lake was made easier, but our hotspots also continued to produce. Today the fish were a bit more sociable and they waited until 7.30am for the first run of the day. They were as fit as ever fighting incredibly hard, kiting all over the lake, and one angry specimen tore off and pulled my rod pod over spilling my rods into the lake. My friend Gareth Watkins turned up today to do some filming and I immediately took to my bed. Struck down by some super bug I felt terrible, swine flu they said, you’re gonna die! Thanks guys. The instincts did kick in though and when the buzzer went I still managed to crawl to my rods and land a fish or two. One thing that I did notice was that if the action slowed, the introduction of a pva bag of Quest Maximum Action pellets soon stirred things up, and the fish activity in the baited areas was signalled by liners very quickly. 13 more fish on the bank including 8 more twenties and second thirty for Dan. This is amazing fishing.

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Beautiful vibrant colours
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22lb Mirror
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23lb 6oz mirror

Although most of the next day was taken up with filming we still managed 9 fish to over 27 lbs, and Gareth managed to get some action shots for the camera. We did finally take some time to smell the roses or should I say the wine, as we relaxed by the lodge and kindly allowed Gareth to do the cooking and washing up.

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27lb 11oz common
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Another from under the willow
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Just an amazing fish

Thursday was to be our final day at Vincons, and the fishing did slow slightly. I think this was only to be expected we had put a lot of pressure on the lake and caught a lot of fish. We did however catch 6 more fish over 24lbs and a handful of doubles. It was hard to keep up at times but as far as I know we had 68 carp in just over four days fishing including 42 twenties and two thirties. We wound in and slowly packed that evening for an early start in the morning for the second part of our jorney. When we left that morning the lake was shrouded in an eerie but beautiful mist, what a marvellous place. The location and facilities are great, the setting is tranquil, the views amazing, how can you fault fishing like this.

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The lake was shrouded in an eery mist
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Cheers Vincons
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Onward to Iktus

Ron Key

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Angling Lines, PO Box 761, CHESTERFIELD, S40 9NS Registered at Companies House, Cardiff. Company Number 4122063

All contents © Copyright 2017 Angling Lines. All rights reserved.
Angling Lines, PO Box 761, CHESTERFIELD, S40 9NS
Registered at Companies House, Cardiff. Company Number 4122063

All contents © Copyright Angling Lines. All rights reserved.