When The Going Gets Tough…

Rob Inns talks about those difficult winter carp fishing sessions and how he spotted an opportunity to improve his catch rate at Villefond this winter…

Hi guys it’s been a while since I’ve written anything for the blog so do forgive me if I’m a bit rusty. I wanted to write a small piece on those tough sessions we all encounter (one in particular for me) and give some insight into why I feel it is important never to just give up. I hope you enjoy.

One thing I notice in the fishing world is that all too often when the going gets tough people just seem to give up and start looking for excuses as to why they are not catching. Some of the favourites we have all heard at some point or another are ‘it’s too cold!’, ‘it’s too hot!’, ‘there can’t be many in here!’, ‘they are too preoccupied on naturals’…. Etc. etc.

Now don’t get me wrong all of these are valid reasons for the fishing being tough but all that means is we have to work a little harder for our prizes which to me makes them all the more gratifying.

French carp fishing at Villefond mirror

Proof you should never give up

I had one such trip recently at Lac Du Villefond where things got real tough. For 3 days I went without a bite it would have been easy for me to start making excuses and right the trip off but instead I set about trying to crack the code. I started by changing spots, rigs, I tried bottom baits pop ups you name it but I couldn’t get a bite. I needed to observe what was going on! As I watched buzzards soaring over a neighbouring field looking for their prey from above I decided I needed to do the same.

From up a tree with my Polaroid’s on I could see groups of 3-4 fish cruising along and dropping down on what were clearly natural larders and really getting their heads down stirring up the bottom. Yet the fish were ignoring the baited areas like the plague. After watching for a while I had a plan.

French carp fishing at Villefond mirror

A stunning 35lb mirror

I got a friend to climb the tree and give me instructions as to where the fish were feeding. I then cast a fluro pop up with a little stick right into the middle of them and waited. Around 10 minutes later the rod indicated 2 beeps and the tip began to nod and I was in to my first fish of the trip. The fish kited deep, hugging the bottom in typical Villefond style then gave me a right beating under the rod tip. The result was a stunning mirror with a huge set of rubbery lips. Cracking.

This tactic really turned the trip around and I ended up catching some great Villefond monsters. Most of the fish came within minutes of casting the baits out. The high light of the fish caught with this method was an absolutely immaculate 35lb mirror caught from a spot near the island. A stunning fish and a great reward for all the effort.

villefond French mirror carp

First fish of the session

Although it was very cold for most of the session and the fish were clearly zoned in on the naturals, it wasn’t the case at all that the fish were uncatchable due to these conditions it was simply a case of making sure my baits were in the right place for the bites.

In my mind this is pretty much always the case although conditions can make things harder for us; the fish will always give us some opportunities to catch them. It is down to us as anglers to make sure we are ready to capitalise on these opportunities when they do reveal themselves and to never give up when the going gets tough.

Good luck on the bank guys.


Read more articles from Rob here and find out more about French carp lake Villefond here – Carp fishing in France


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