The one that didn’t get away!

The River Lot is certainly popular with fishermen and it is known for its sizeable carp, catfish and zander. Each year we welcome fishermen from the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium to Les Séchoirs for a fishing holiday. Some have arrived with trailers laden with feed, bivvies, bite alarms etc, whilst others have come with a modest amount of kit and a laid back approach to their fishing….it is very rare for anyone to leave disappointed!

The River Lot has an excellent natural stock of fish and for many fishermen the joy of catching a sizeable fish – one that has never been caught before – is very special. In July 2019 an exceptionally large mirror carp was caught along the middle stretch of the river and as news spread, it caused a wave of excitement amongst those fishing on the Lot and even the number of local people fishing from the village’s municipal quayside doubled overnight!.

The huge carp in question, was caught by Tim Knight, editor of the popular Anglers’ Mail who enjoys fishing on the Lot as’ there are fine fish in most parts of the river’. As it was July and the weather was hot, Tim decided to start fishing at dawn, it was about 06.30 Tim felt the tug on his rod –

‘ with two glogged spicy 20mm boilies with a home tied bog-standard 18lb mono hair rig’.

After a short battle and with his wife’s help, Tim was able to land the fish which proved too big for his own scales!

The mirror carp was distinctive because it was only sparsely scaled and after making some research, Tim discovered that the same huge fish had been caught by a Dutchman from his boat in the previous autumn and also by a French angler four years ago.

Tim was delighted with his catch which followed the 37lb mirror carp he had caught two days earlier.

It was only since I got home that I have discovered that this fish is reckoned to be the heaviest mirror carp from the River Lot – that has blown my mind’’. 

The largest ever carp caught in the area has been a common carp weighing 76 lbs.

If you fancy catching an impressive carp this summer on the River Lot, here are five good tips…

1. Arm yourself with good boilies!

If you are wondering which particular type, Dynamite Bait’s Monster Tigernut Red Amo are popular with carp fishermen. The fish have plenty to eat naturally in the River Lot so you don’t need to pre- bait for days in advance. The 20 mm are good carp bait, doubled up works well and you can try glugging them to make them irresistible! 

2. Stock up on the strong stuff!

The river suffered from really bad flooding in early January (2020) and because the river was flowing so swiftly, the river banks were damaged and the river beds. The muddy layer on the river bed was swept away leaving some really sharp pieces of gravel and snags that can easily cut through normal leaders and hook links like butter. To ensure that this doesn’t happen you need to built in extra strength and the best way is to use 50lb and 60 lb XT Snag Leaders plus 50 lb Arma-Kord hook links. If you suspect that there are zebra mussels you will not be able to use a 12-15lb main line, but will need to resort to heavy mono instead of leadcore.

3. Invest in a good main line.

Carp are strong fish, particularly if they find themselves hooked so it is essential that you have a really strong main line. You will need to buy some good quality 18lb breaking strain as these will comfortably take the strain of several pounds more. 

4. Ensure your hooks are man enough!

You definitely need to have some really good hooks if you are fishing in the river where there is the risk of snagging and you are planning to land an angry carp putting up a good battle! Korda Kontinental or similar brands work well and you will need to get size 4 for 20mm baits.

5. The all important scales

Definitely essential kit for recording your proud moment! There are some really good scales on the market including several for carp. The best are those with a large weighing sling – don’t forget to wet the sling well before lifting the fish carefully onto the fabric.

Happy carp fishing at Les Séchoirs – Clairac