The Cambridge Carper: Lac Lepinet France

The Cambridge Carper: Lac Lepinet France

Firstly my apologies it's been a long time since I've updated this blog. I could blame Covid, family or work commitments but the truth is I have just been doing other things and keeping busy. Sometimes a little time away from fishing is good for the soul.

Anyway, I wanted to write up my experiences from a recent trip to Lac Lepinet in France. It was my first foray into carp fishing abroad and I needed to see what all the fuss was about.

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The journey there...

Myself and Lloyd have had this trip booked for some time, but due to Covid and multiple lockdowns we've had to cancel - this time however, we made it across the channel!

The experience driving there left a lot to be desired, passport checks at Dover due to Brexit delayed us by at least two hours and we sat there in a long queue for a couple of hours.

This however did not dampen our spirits and we shot out of Calais like a greyhound out of the traps as soon as we docked. The drive was shared and we managed to stay on a hotel the night before completing the final leg of the journey to the lake on Saturday.

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On Arrival

Once we arrived we met a lovely chap who goes by the name Cyril - he was the lake owner and greeted us in the usual fashion of explaining the popular swims and where others have recently caught carp. We had also done our own research on the lake which seemed to correlate with what was being said.

I had seen a few blogs and videos made about the lake and seen anglers clean up by fishing to the buoys. Alas, for us the tale would be different. Armed with our bait boats we sent them out loaded with oodles of carp fishing bait goodness. These included Spice and Ocean Amino boilies together with the new Pimping Powders and Liquids to boot.

Then, we sat and waited... and waited..a and waited. Its only a matter of time we thought - THEN CAME THE BREAM! 

It was about day three when to our dread we realised the fish were hugging either end of the lake (along the tree-lines) and almost non-existent in the middle of the lake. One or two sporadic captures came from other pegs in the centre of the lake, but not for us. Before long Lloyd and I found ourselves in a Bream dream race (or nightmare)!

Was a blank on the cards?

Now blanking for me isn't a problem, in fact I'm usually quite chilled out about it - but that's when I'm fishing a couple of miles away from home. This time was different and by Thursday I was panicking!

The thought of driving all the way to the carp fishing mecca of France and blanking sent a chill down my spine. Something had to change...

I spied the lads in the next swim fishing closer to the edge of the lake and the chap fishing closest to the far margin was cleaning up! Lucky for us, they had decided to leave a day early and very kindly showed us the spots that they were fishing. So the plan was as soon as they left on the Friday we would move swims in a last ditch attempt to rescue this carp fishing adventure!

Of course the weather was against us. Most of the week had been sunshine to the point where Lloyd had no choice but to douse his lily whites in factor 50 (Can't be easy being ginger) and I even applied some 15 to my arms!

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Fair weather fishermen?

But on the Friday morning - the morning we were due to move, a huge storm rolled in overhead and boy did we know it.

Sideways rain and 40mph winds lashed our faces as we tried to get our rods out into next doors swim. It was very challenging conditions some of the worst I've experienced but it was worth it.

Within an hour my rod ripped off and I was into my first French carp! Despite the torrential wind and rain soaking us through we landed it. Lloyd did the honours of netting for me receiving a soaking of his own. What a wingman! 

Once the heart rate settled we took a look at our bounty. It was a nice football of a fish of around 35lb. A very welcome carp to say the least, we took the obligatory photos and put her back. 

About an hour later Lloyds alarms buzzed off too and he hauled in a nice 45lb mirror - a beast it was.

Once the excitement was over we sheltered under a makeshift bivvy and hunkered down waiting out the storm which unfortunately put an end to the action.

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The following morning

The next morning, not long after I had risen from my pit one of the rods screamed off. This time I went down by 10 pounds and netted a 25lber. Still, a welcome fish for an otherwise unfruitful week.

I was very grateful to get that second fish putting the fear of a blank well and truly put to bed. This second fish marked the end of our captures and also our time in France at Lac Lepinet.

Looking back, despite the tough weather conditions and the initial blank we did manage to catch a few carp between us and it was a carp fishing trip we both really enjoyed. Catching carp is never a given but the lessons learnt on tough sessions like this are and we take those onto our next adventures hopefully putting to good use some more carping experience!

See more of Phils content on the links below:

The Cambridge Carper Blog
The Cambridge Carper YouTube Channel
The Cambridge Carper Instagram
The Cambridge Carper Facebook