Short Winter Break
Last year in autumn we decided to make a trip at the beginning of October, but after returning, the bad weather turned out to be very disadvantageous and we soon came to the conclusion that we would not do this anymore. This time, we left mid-November for a winter trip to the south of France. What did us decide to go south a month later? Well, the climate in the Provence-Côte d’Azur region is actually quite mild in the winters. The night temperatures hardly fall below zero and with the sun during the day, temperatures of 15 degrees are no exception.
Since we only had about 3 days, we decided to drive all night and arrived early in the morning at the lake. It was still dark, so we first slept outside for a few hours on our bed-chairs. At the first light we started looking for a good swim to fish. The advantage of this time of year is that it is much quieter on this type of waters and that there are not many other anglers in sight. What was clearly visible was the bad weather that had been in this region for the past three days. The reports about the torrential rainfall and floods had even made the news, also in the Netherlands. The water also appeared to have risen by more than a meter compared to the weeks before and the water temperature had also fallen considerably afterwards. Through an angling friend who had recently been there, confirmation came that it even concerned 10 degrees. All this, of course, does not work in our advantage and will certainly have a negative impact on the activity of the fish.
We decided to bait-up around every rod with around 3kg of Mainline Fruity Tuna & Spicy Crab boilies in two different diameters. We had already provided 30 boilies with Super Wrap at home and we also had a selection of plastic hook bait. All this because you can be hit by the crayfish on this specific water. Good preparation is everything!
We fished with fairly simple rigs, such as Standard rigs and German rigs, not too much fuss and easy to put on a double boilie or plastic hook bait. We had also made the choice to regularly provide our rigs with “fresh” hook baits.
The first two days passed without any action. We did enjoy the nice weather in this beautiful region. During the day, we had temperatures of 20 degrees, and we enjoyed the sun in our t-shirt, what about that in November.
In the meantime, it was clear to us that the storm and floods of the days before were not in our advantage. Eventually early in the morning on the last day we finally got two takes each. It was not the size of carp for which we had made this trip of over 1250km, but they were more than welcome. Both fish caught on the German rig and with a 20mm boilie.
Well, it wasn’t quite the session we had hoped for, but the capture of these two pristine hard fighting mirrors on the last morning made the journey home a little more enjoyable. It shows again that many causes can influence the success of such a trip. In the end we enjoyed and learned again at this session and we will certainly return to this lake in the short term given the mild climate in this area.
So that’s what we did, and we returned beginning of March. The only thing was that the problems regarding the coronavirus was already started a bit in France, but nevertheless we took the gamble to go down south again. After a long drive we arrived at the same lake, but this time the water was more than 3 meters higher. As a matter of fact, the lake and its surroundings were flooded. All the swims where unreachable and nobody was allowed to go near the lake. So, we quickly decide to drive further to another public lake. With some info of an angling friend we found a new destination, and this was the lake where we started fishing.
We decided to spread out each a set of four rods and fished in different depths. Again, we used pretty much standard rigs and bait as boilies and some tiger nuts. This resulted in several good fish, the first one was even above the 20kg mark and we were happy as little kids on their first fishing trip. We enjoyed the mild climate in this region, and we had a great 3-day session. Sometimes its worth driving some extra hours to reach an area with better weather for that time of the year and as we experienced also the results are a bit better than for example the winter fishing in The Netherlands.
Stay safe and tight lines!