Winter Carp Fishing in France

The Long Two Tone at 47.12

24hrs at Lac Du Villefond, 7/11/12 
by fisheries manager, Mark Lambert

Wednesday the 7th of November 2012 was the start of my 24 hour session on my lake Villefond . I had my tent set up from a previous session the week before so after a quick setup of my rods I was fishing by about 10’oclock. My approach was simple – remain quiet & use the on site boat to drop off two rods on a gravel spot in the middle of the deeper water.

One rod had a whittled down 15mm pop-up on, the other a 15mm bottom bait. My third rod was going to be used to chuck at showing fish or experiment on different spots. As I was fishing swim 6 (the woodchip swim) I decided to drop a bottom bait just in the margin by the sluice gate to my right.

With all rods back leaded and now on my spots I settled down preparing for a long wait. With the weather sunny but still quite cold especially in the shade of all the trees round swim 6 I sat close to my rods scanning the water for signs of fish.

At 10.30, only half an hour after being put out, my middle rod with the pop up on beeps at me. I watch my rod tip & standing over the rod I see the line start to tighten and with one more single beep I strike.

Immediately I know this is a good fish. It’s moving very slowly, swimming straight towards me & it doesn’t really start to fight until it comes close to the bank. As the fish gets tired I lower the net into the water and turn the fish. As its head turns I see the width across its back and know its going 40lb+.

She topped the scales at 47.12lb and is a fish we know as the Long Two Tone. That was an amazing start for me and I quickly boated my bait straight back out and dropped it with more bait right back on the spot.

Still chuffed with my catch I continued to study the lake looking for signs of fish anywhere but there was none. This didn’t bother me because if I didn’t catch anymore I was happy with one fish, especially such a nice fish on just a 24hr session.

At 12.14 my middle rod beeped at me again… the beginning of a take. Again before it turned into a run I struck and was in.

Again the fish moved slowly but powerfully through the water indicating to me it could be a big fish again. Once again as I pulled the fish over the net I saw a massive head. At first because of the width of the head I thought I had caught one of our 50’s, a monster called Bennett’s.  But I knew when I lifted it from the water it wasn’t Bennett’s but I thought it was a very nice stocky fish.

40lb carp from France

40.04 – The DIY Ghostie

The scales stopped at 40lb 4oz, a fish we know as DIY Ghostie and a fish that has been on my top ten fish to catch for a very long time, so I was over the moon again!

After this fish I checked my hook and found it had become slightly blunt in the process of catching these two fish so I quickly tied a new rig, put a new pop up on and I was ready to get the bait back in the water.

By 13.00 I had put the back lead on and set my swinger on my middle rod when I notice the line has looped around my last eye on my rod. As I unhooked it with a landing net handle I get a single beep on the rod and the line tightens and a fish starts to take line. I can’t believe my luck as I strike into the fish and again it swims straight towards me, once again fighting hard close in.

It was 43lb 4oz and yet one more lump on the bank… and now I’m starting to feel really lucky.  How many people get to fish a lake like Villefond where the average weight is so massive. I spend most days helping people catch these monster fish and have watched them grow and documented their captures from stocking in 2008. So you learn a bit about each fish and it becomes a pleasure to seem them on the bank. After checking our records this particular fish is a rare capture with only two other people in four years catching it.

With all three fish coming off the same pop-up rig off the same spot I decided to change my bottom bait on the same spot to a pop-up. After boating out both rods all goes quiet and I don’t see a fish until the next morning.

However, at 8:30am on the 8th I was again standing over my rods when I saw the beginning of a take on my middle rod.  Once again I struck and fought and landed a hard fighting carp. It weighed 42lb 8oz and once again I was a very happy angler.


42.08 – my last capture of the 24hr session

That was my last capture and I packed up for home later that day to post my pictures and identify the carp I caught.

Four good forties in 24 hours – I was very happy and hopefully during the coming winter I will get more opportunities to bank some of these fantastic large carp.

Thanks for reading!

Mark Lambert.

Winter Carp fishing in France at Villefond


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