Great carp fishing on the River Lot

Why not promise yourself some great carp fishing in France this year? The River Lot is one of France’s largest rivers and will really test your skills as a carp fishermen. The river Lot is a fishing paradise and is well known in the angling world for its carp. Many of the fish have never been caught before and this will certainly test your skill. If you are successful, the delight in catching an unblemished specimen carp cannot be underestimated.

The River Lot rises in the Massif Central and flows westwards through attractive countryside, towards the Garonne, which it joins near the market town of Aiguillon. The best place to see the confluence of these two mighty rivers is from the vantage point on the hill top above the hamlet Nicole. 

What type of carp can be found in the Lot?

There is a plentiful number of carp in the river. 80% of the carp are Mirror Carp with an average weight of 10kg, whilst the other 20% are Common Carp, with a similar average weight. Having said that, 10-17 kg (25-40 lbs) is not an unusual catch nor is a Common Carp weighing up to 25kg (60lbs). The record for a Common Carp caught in the Lot, currently stands at 30kg – could you better that?

Fishing is particularly rewarding in May and September/October when the river is flowing slowly and the weather is not too warm as this does force the fish to stay down in the deeper water where it is cooler. November is also regarded by local anglers as a good month. Unlike in many areas in France, night fishing is permitted on the River Lot all year round.

Any tips for catching the ‘big boys’?

All anglers have their own preferred baits and tips, but you definitely need to think ‘strong’ when it comes to fishing tackle as carp really do put up a good fight. You will need 20lb nylon and 50lb braid lines and your rods need to be 3.5 lb TC.

It is good to prep the area well but boilies can be pricey for this. A popular mix is maize and bird seed (both bought from the Clairac branch of Gamm Vert). Soak the maize for three days and the bird seed for 24 hours. 

Boilies are great for baiting up and halibut marine pellets even better. Another successful bait is one quickly made by a British angler staying at Les Séchoirs in Autumn 2019. Mix together some fresh ‘Farce’ (sausage meat) bought in the Clairac Carrefour supermarket with small pellets, halibut marine pellets and sweetcorn – the Clairac carp certainly enjoy this and Paul landed four beauties in 90 minutes! 

Are there other fish in the River Lot?

Other fish that are found I the river include Chub, Ide, Barbel, Black Bass, Zander, Pike, Perch and Roach, not forgetting the bream!

Huge catfish too in the Lot?

Believe it or not, the River Lot is not only known for its sizeable carp but also its huge catfish! Last year, a Dutch angler staying at Les Séchoirs caught three in one evening and all were more than two metres in length! 

The Wels Catfish or Silure as it is called locally, was introduced into French rivers in the 1970s and has done particularly well. The catfish caught can be monstrous in size. The largest caught on record was 42kg- a whopping 100 lbs! 

If you fancy having a go at landing one of these huge fish, you will need some strong fishing gear! A carp road with a 1.5 kg test curve should be good, plus a fixed spool reel with a nylon line with 15kg breaking strain. Alternatively, a catfish rod with a test curve of 2- 2.5 kg will definitely do the trick! You will certainly need strong hooks too. An Eagle Wave in sizes 4 to 10/0 used with a 50kg Dyneemaor Kryston or Quicksilver braided hook link will stop the catfish simply escaping by biting through! Dough balls, worms and liver all work well as bait! 

More about the River Lot.

The Lot is one of France’s longest rivers – 481 kilometres. The Lot is a very broad river for much of its length – averaging 21 metres (70 feet) in width, with an average depth of 10 metres (32 feet). The river has several stages. 14 kilometres, up river from Clairac at Castelmoron is the ‘barrage’ (dam) which lets the water continue its journey through four sluices. As well as the main river, there are numerous streams, lakes and ponds. 

Will I need a fishing permit?

Fishing permits – Carte de Peche – are easy to obtain and can be bought in several shops in Clairac or online from the website of the Anglers’ Federation of the Lot which is a good source of fishing information too.

What does Les Séchoirs offer carp fishermen?

Les Séchoirs is situated on the banks of a broad stretch of the River Lot with an excellent 13 km (8 mile) stretch upstream to Castelmoron. Les Séchoirs is several hundred years old has two comfortable gites of a similar age that are beautifully furnished and open all year round. One of the gites is right on the waterfront whilst the second gite overlooks the river from the back of the building so is also just moments away!

As well as the gites, Les Séchoirs has a large garden with beautiful infinity swimming pool and shaded relaxation area that is perfect for non-fishing family members. The village with supermarket, boulangerie andpharmacie is located just 300 metres along the riverside footpath. Just a little further is the sandy riverside beach with defined swimming area and restaurant serving all day coffee, ice creams and light meals.

For anglers, Les Séchoirs offers:

* Two separate fishing platforms

* Space to place chairs and all fishing equipment, 

* Space for bivies to be erected for night time fishing

* Complimentary use of a rowing boat

* Secure inside storage for fishing kit.

* Detailed information and sonar images of the river bank.

* Fishing tackle available in the village (a modest selection of essentials) and from a specialist shop in Tonneins (15 minutes)

* Laundry facilities on site.

So why not join us at Les Séchoirs for some great fishing? You will not regret it!