In 2013, sitting round with a few beers, Nigel and Dean both commented that they would quite like a carp fishing trip to France and this is where it all began. Dean had done a bit of carping in the UK but Nigel was a complete novice when it came to carp, having fished since he was a child on lakes and rivers for the standard UK fish but not owning a single ‘carpy’ green item.
Fast forward ten years and here we are again. We will fill you in on each year’s adventures over the winter but Julianne (Jo’s sister) and Dean have returned for the annual fishing trip with a difference this time with Nigel and Jo as the lake owners. This meant that there was not only fishing to be done but also a few jobs whilst there were extra hands on site. It also meant that Maisie’s brother, Floyd could come with them too
The fishing did not start until the Monday night as we had other visitors here and the ‘Triumphs..’ guests did not leave until the Sunday evening. Dean set himself up on the first swim down from the chalet and Nigel the third swim down towards the shallows. A good selection of house boilies, parti-blend and sweetcorn was put in around the specially selected areas.
By Tuesday morning when the girls woke up Dean had landed the first catch – a small cat of around 15lbs and so the competition started….or so they hoped. Dean has always liked a bit of stalking with worms and took himself up to the shady shallow end in the afternoon and got lucky with this mirror which weighed about 15lbs.
The girls had got stuck into painting the kitchen at the house so did not offer too much support and encouragement and made the men come back up to the house if they wanted anything (having waited on them hand and foot on previous years!).
Nigel had a run on Wednesday night but missed it as he had stopped to put his shoes on before getting out of the bivvy and the same night Dean managed to lose one in the bushes and had to go out in the boat to free it.
The girls’ decided that it would be nice to go out for lunch on Thursday and having been to Brantôme exactly 7 years ago thought that it would be nice to take the boys there. Not such a nice place when it is pouring down but we still had a bit of a wander and a lovely pizza for lunch washed down with a few beers.
Nigel always says that it is good to have a break away from the lake every day as it gives him the opportunity to spend some quality time with Jo, although he also admits that it gives him time to think of some new tactics……a more likely scenario! And sometimes that just pays off as Thursday evening around a quarter to midnight he landed a 36lbs common
It rained on Thursday night and most of Friday. Jo and Julianne spent Friday in Bordeaux to have a look around the shops as well as a look at the city itself which was well worth a visit. Little did we know that the King was visiting that day and despite our best efforts he refused an invitation to have lunch with us.
Saturdays are, as you can imagine, very busy for us here with changing over of guests and mowing the grass etc so there was not very much fishing done until the late evening again – I think the beers took over. Floyd, however, got a bit bored being ignored and decided to check out one of the new cushions we had bought in Ikea in Bordeaux. As you can see, he was very sorry about it.
Despite the beer, Nigel got lucky on Saturday night with a very lovely mirror weighing in at 45lbs 4oz.
After the wet weather at the end of the week the temperature started to raise again and Nigel and Dean decided that they would get some ‘blue’ jobs done during the days, spend the early evening with the girls and just fish over night. This was a good decision as two trees ended up falling down over the next few days and the chainsaw took priority over the fishing rods.
On Sunday night Nigel lost another one in the trees and had to get in the lake to untangle it – luckily the weather was still quite warm over night! Then on Monday evening he caught again, just after the boys had decided to turn in for the night. A nice looking common weighing 35lbs 4oz.
Dean was getting frustrated with the lack of action in his swim so, having had some success whilst stalking in the shallows, he decided to move his gear up to the furthest swim and baited up a decent spread in the hope that it would bring him a bite. Nigel also gave him Bunny, who had bought some luck to the pair of them on previous Divvys tours. Nigel moved to the second swim along and they set up a social area in between the two pegs with the cool box full of beer and the BBQ to cook their breakfast.
It was sitting here one evening watching the stars and satellites moving across the sky when they both saw, apparently, a plane emerging from a UFO….. either the sun had got too much or the beer had been flowing exceptionally well that evening but they were both very adamant….!
Jo and Julianne took Maisie and Floyd to join the boys on Tuesday evening for a bit of a BBQ and a few beers down by the lake. As usual the boys said that they would cook but really they wanted a bit of extra time to get their rods set up for the night, so it was like the good old days with the girls getting everything ready and then ending up cooking it. Just as they were about to leave Dean’s alarms went off and the line ran like crazy out of the reel. We were all there to watch the action, although the dogs were more interested in getting a drink and playing ball. Unfortunately after only a few minutes the line broke and that was it.
Both Dean and Nigel had several beeps on their rods on Tuesday night but as the temperatures were reaching nearly 30 degrees during the day again the fish did not seem to be interested in feeding. Then out of the blue first thing on Wednesday morning Nigel landed another common, this time even bigger at 42lbs 4oz.
The boys decided that they were going to pack up on Thursday morning as Julianne and Dean were heading home to North Wales on Friday so they gave it their all on Wednesday night. But even though Dean did catch another cat (weighing 29lbs), Nigel trumped him again with a 32lbs common
Final catch report 0 babies, 1 at 10lbs+, 0 at 20lbs+, 3 at 30lbs+ and 2 at 40lbs+ along with 2 catfish. All of Nigel’s fish were caught on Pallatrax Gripz and Stonze and house boilies where Dean had a dabble with his worms as well as using some of the maple syrup paste around his boilies.
Not really the report that Nigel and especially Dean were hoping for but considering the amount of jobs that have also got done this week all is not lost. Jo and Julianne have had a good time and started the home improvements that are needed. Maisie and Floyd have had fun, chasing the ball, paddling in the lake and generally chilling. As always a fair amount of beer and wine has been drunk, bread and cheese has been eaten and we all feel that we have had a break from usual routines.
So that was it, the Divvies in the Bivvys Tour 2023 has come to an end. Over the winter months we will enlighten you all about the successes and failures of our previous years, including 3 sessions here at Carp France Fisheries.