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  1. Are you getting maize mixed up with sweetcorn? If you get maize grains from animal feed stores and boil it until soft inside the skin is still tough enough to withstand any casting distance. Also, you can use artificial maize grains that will stay on indefinitely.
  2. I never said that boilies are a rubbish bait. And I have never told anyone that boilies are not as good. Try reading the posts again. Maize contains about 90% of what a carp needs. They can easily find the other part in their natural diet. With maize, that is hard skinned agricultural maize, not sweetcorn I don't get bothered with bream and chub anywhere near what I do with boilies or pellets.
  3. Of course boilies will work on low stocked waters. So will maize, bread and other baits, and unless there were reasons why boilies were better I'd stick to maize.
  4. That's the whole point. They are being used by some anglers as a first resort whether there is a problem to overcome or not. same can be said of the bolt rig. Great in the right circumstances but not right for every occasion.
  5. I have issues with the word 'consistent'. Consistency is the holy grail of bait users. A universally consistent bait doesn't exist for a variety of reasons. I agree that many anglers fishing heavily stocked waters where the fish population depends on angler's bait the boilie will work. After all, if enough people throw any edible item into the water often enough fish could become preoccupied on it. But you could equally say that in many places of the world, probably the majority of locations, things like maize, millet paste and natural baits such as crayfish work well for thousands upon thousands of anglers. And the fish have never seen a boilie. Boilies were designed to overcome a particular problem. They are not the answer to every angler's problems.
  6. Knuckles not in danger. Disc drag sees to that
  7. Man up Lads. Centrepins are the way to go for cats................
  8. If you take the direct route to Slovenia from Calais then you would probably be following the Rhone Valley. The Lot is at the other side of the country, About 800 km away. The other thing is that the weather in France in spring can be unpredictable and the rivers can flood for days or weeks on end. Especially on the eastern side of the country.
  9. For the licence you can pick up a Carte de Peche at any Tourist Information Office, most Tabacs, large supermarkets and of course fishing shops. The CdP are issued by Department so you need to buy one in the Lot Department if that is where you are fishing. There is a reciprocal arrangement whereby you can fish in other departments with your CdP but you would need to clarify which departments qualify when you buy the CdP. If you are only fishing for a few days then you can get a fortnight's CdP which is cheaper than the annual one but I would advise that you also ask for the CH stamp as some public waters can only be fished with the CH stamp. It doesn't cost much more. The whole of the River Lot is classed as a Carpe de Nuit venue meaning that you can fish for carp at night along the whole length of river.... http://www.pechelot.com/web/en/regulations/ The river is absolutely gin clear and night fishing is really your best chance of getting some decent carp. The Three Foot Twits have made a video of their experiences on the Lot. If you can stand the bullpoo you might be interested in their methods and experiences. I nearly wet myself when they mentioned the gruelling drive from the ferry port. Gruelling driving in SW France? I'm not sure of where you are travelling from, but if you are coming from the UK and heading for Slovenia you will be making a massive detour to get down to the Lot Valley
  10. I think that boilies are often mis-used and have strayed away from their original purpose. For example, the boilie was designed to be large enough and tough enough to withstand the attentions of smaller fish. So small and micro boilies defy the original intentions. Sometimes people follow fashions and adapt methods for purposes that are totally inconsistent with the original idea. Same with HNV. People seem to think that because scientists have come to the conclusion that the optimum protein content for carp food is X% then every boilie or pellet should have that content. The scientists are studying farmed carp being reared in the most economical manner to make the farmers profit. The farmed fish only get two choices; eat whatever the farmer gives them or starve. Nothing like the scenario with wild carp who would be lucky to ingest a third of the optimum level of protein in their daily diet and browse for different elements to give them a balanced diet. That is assuming they are truly wild carp and not dependent on angler's baits. I rarely use boilies or pellets as hook bait and work on the basis that if I have my bait in the right location and have some form of attractant in the way of loose feed, that carp will probably take my hook bait. For me on the French rivers maize is King as regards hook bait. Either one natural and one artificial floater to balance it, or two or three naturals are my usual hook baits. I don't get pestered with nuisance fish anywhere near as often as if I used boilies or pellets. Chub in particular don't seem interested in hard maize grains whereas if I used sweetcorn or a boilie they would be a PITA. Same with bream. In winter I'll use less loose feed and mould a small amount of cheese paste around the upper maize grain, but in summer a bird seed mix with added chicken pellets and a few micro halibut pellets Spombed or Bait dropped in and maize on the hook is my favourite method.
  11. You can buy the farmed edible snails in supermarkets. They usually come in a tray of a dozen and have added garlic flavouring. Out here I often come across the large white snails ( Iberus gualterianus ). I don't think that a fish would differentiate between land snails and water snails. They would probably just regard them as protein.
  12. I hope that you are right. It would be nice to think that there are some decent double figure barbel about. For the first five years over here I have concentrated on finding the bigger barbel. I can guarantee fish up to 6lb then it gets harder. I travel quite a lot in my job and have spent hours walking the banks of the Vienne and Charente rivers, baiting swims up, and whilst I've seen plenty of large carp I have never seen a barbel over around 8 lb. The Charente downstream of Angouleme is probably the most verdant river you could wish for. Superb water quality and plenty of limestone that promotes weed growth and in turn insect life. The chub, perch, pike and carp thrive, but the barbel seem to hit an 8lb ceiling. The water quality of the Vienne isn't as good, but there are carp to over 40lb in some stretches, and again I have only caught barbel to just over 8lb, and never seen anything bigger in the baited swims. I have basically decided to stop fighting against the current and go with the flow this year. Hence me coming on here. River carp are the new barbel for me. I am going down to the Dordogne river area next week for a few days. We go down there a couple of times a year in the camper van so I'll make some enquiries locally. I would have thought that if there were 20lb barbel in French rivers somebody would have posted a photo or a video online by now.
  13. Its a bit of a mystery. The guy who writes for the Charente Living magazine claimed that barbel of 10Kg (22lb) have been caught in the River Vienne but the French record is way below that and the next two biggest wouldn't raise an eyebrow on the Dearne where I used to fish. They were caught by lure anglers incidentally. I reckoned that if there were any barbel of 10Kg or so they would have fallen to carp anglers on the bigger rivers such as the Seine, Rhone, Dordogne and Lot where the British and Dutch anglers regularly fish and as such been claimed as records. The large barbel in Spain are I think a different strain and can grown to over 30lb in some of the dams (stillwater barbel anyone? LOL ) . There are barbel over 200lb to be caught if you fancy risking a session in the Turkey / Iraq border area.
  14. Owdoo, I'm originally from South Yorkshire and now live in Charente, France. Carp hadn't been invented when I was a lad in Barnsley and my head was naturally turned to the barbel of the Wharfe and latterly the Dearne, Don and Derwent. After five years of trying to find a double figure barbel over here I've finally seen sense and decided to make the best of the great carp fishing in public waters available over here. Bonne Soiree, (that's French for Sithee) Clive
  15. I also live close to the River Vienne and fish for carp. I think that the OP is fishing too far upstream. St. Leonard de Noblet is noted for trout and grayling. The carp of any size don't really feature until the Palais de Vienne and Aixe-sur-Vienne. None of the rivers so far up in the hills will yield large carp. There are some carp fishing stretches below Aixe-sur-Vienne in the St. Victurnien to St. Junien areas. Interesting the report of 20lb barbel in the Dordogne. I've not heard of any confirmed reports of fish of this size and the French rod caught record is just over 16lb and has stood for over thirty years. I've had them to just over 8lb in the Vienne at Exideuil and further downstream, and also in the Charente. If there were confirmed 20lb barbel in the River Dordogne I'd be down there like a shot. In fact we are heading that way next week for a few days so I'll make some enquiries. Back to the carp; Frolicks dog biscuits are a very popular bit for carp in this area. I snip a slot in the ringed biscuit and slip a bait band through the slot and around the biscuit. But to be fair I've had more carp and barbel on maize than everything else put together. As has been said; carp favour the slower water so fishing above weirs and in slow water behind obstructions is a good bet. They aren't rig shy so any reasonable presentation will get you fish. Even quiver tipping with a swim feeder will get you some nice carp IF you are in the right location. Best of luck!
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