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River Lot, France. Nice barbel catch


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I have lived in France for two years now, really enjoy the Lot valley east of Cahors.

The last two summers have seen heatwave conditions and far less than usual rainfall. Hence it's been a struggle to get fish in gin clear water and when I have hooked up the better fish have broken me running through the heavy weed

This last trip started that way, a fish on in the first 5 minutes. It instantly torpedoed 10 yds into a huge weed bed, even a tight drag was not going to stop it! Trace then parted under the weight of weed and the fish still motoring!

I was targeting barbel, but this fish might easily have been a decent carp.

Anyway, back to the fishing!

Fishing buddy Alistair had a string of small barbel on sweetcorn.





He also caught what I think is a bleak, if it is.....224733738_BleakLot.thumb.jpg.b78b6e216ec40528f1de01491eff645f.jpg

......what a specimen!

I persevered with a 20mm boilie and managed four fish between 3lb and 5.5lb.



Good afternoons sport, hopefully the slightly cooler weather (30c) will be appreciated by the fish!


Edited by Pelamid
Might have advertised...oops!
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17 hours ago, crusian said:

That certainly looks like a Bleak that Alistair has caught , any monster Gudgeon ( I've always had a soft spot for a Gudgeon from since a was a boy ) .

I've not used it myself , but I wonder if flurocarbon line would overcome your problem ? .

Thanks for the suggestion, I have been using fluorocarbon traces for some time. My rig is usually 30lb braid mainline, about 3' 15lb fluoro leader then a running rig to 10lb fluoro hook length. A cage type feeder and size 6 hook hair rigged with a 20mm boilie finishes the end rig.

I think the drag when a big fish runs at a steep angle through the weed, with the feeder collecting weed (and drag!), it is too much for 10 lb line. Next time will try 30lb mainline and 20lb braid hookl length - with no leader. Hopefully the "cheese-cutter" effect will slice through a fair amount of streamer weed. Even with the fluoro trace and leader a fair patch of weed was released after a very short fight!

This is a steep learning curve for me, even boilie baits were something i had not used until about eight months ago!

No monster gudgeon - so far. Plenty of tiny ones in the shallows, along with loach (I think?)

There are some nice bream in this section. I have had a few over 4lb, the best 6.5lb......




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Hello Pelamid

Hmm , braided mainline is quite an emotive subject in England , a lot of waters ban it , although I've never tried it myself .

I don't know what to suggest instead of braided mainline , maybe Gardner Hydro Tuff in 15lb , with your 20lb braid hooklink .

I'm hoping that someone on the forum with river experience will be able to provide you with some proper advice as I am a Stillwater fisherman .


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