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Thirty degrees in France

Thirty degrees plus temperatures are usually not the conditions you think of getting your rods out. But when you’ve planned a trip to France way out in advance, it can’t be the reason to cancel it in my opinion.

So I packed my car with some shorts, t-shirts, suntan lotion and lots of water along with my fishing gear and headed to France. I had intended to mainly fish at night, reeling my rods in during the day and staying in the shade as long as possible. Choosing the right moments to fish would be a good thing to do, I guessed.


Fishing on these Clearwater gravel-pits in the north of France normally isn’t that difficult. Locating the fish is essence number one. With these high temperatures, around 35 degrees during the day, it’s quite easy. The fish are cruising in the upper layer of the water and hitting the surface now and then. Eating is the last thing on their minds right now, logically. Against all knowledge I flicked out a floater with some dog biscuits and bread bombs and gave it a try on the surface. The fish didn’t care less about all the food floating nearby. Zero chance!


At the moment the sun hits the horizon I started to feed up some interesting spots, just with a handful of Spotted Fin Catalyst boilies and some tigernuts with hemp. Hopefully this can create a small potential dish for the carp. Nevertheless I was hoping they might think about eating during the nocturnal hours. At 5 o’clock in the morning my furthest positioned rod went off. I jumped into the boat and headed towards the fish. This particular water contains a lot of thick ground weed, where you can loose fish easily. By getting above the fish with a boat I can control the fight and keep the fish away from these weed beds. After a hard, but fair fight, I landed an old 20kg+ mirror carp.


When the temperature went above 30 degrees Celsius, usually around 11 o’clock in the morning, I reeled in my rods again and tried to keep myself cool during the hottest hours of the day. I’ve managed to catch several fish, all between midnight and early mornings. Including a furious male common, which took me 50 minutes to finally let it slide into my landing net. Man… I never had a fight like this. I guess he was still furious about some missed chances during the spawn a couple of weeks ago; I couldn’t make anything else of it. But landing a fish after a fight like this gives a lot of satisfaction.



Mister “Weatherman” predicted even higher temperatures for the last couple of days of my trip and the last 2 nights I blanked my ass off with the normal bottom bait fishing. The other day I’d put in a handful of 15 mm Catalyst boiles and some tigernuts just in the margins in about 60 cm of water. Within an hour all this was gone. I repeated this the next morning and the same happened. This was the moment I realized that this could be my chance of catching maybe the last fish of the trip. I threw in another handful of tigernuts and just sat down in the shade beside the water for 15 minutes. While I was sitting there a reasonable size golden mirror carp came cruising in from underneath the weeds. I kept my breath. Is this the fish that eats my boilies and tigers…? It was! The carp was alone, besides her some bream and tench. Only she was eating the small amounts of food I presented. One thing’s for sure, I had to catch this beauty…


I placed in a rod with a choddy and a Fruit Zing pop-up. She ate some tigers and disappeared again, this went on several times and she came back every 10 minutes. In the next hour she picked up my hook-bait four times but never good enough to get her hooked. In the meantime my heart rate increased. What an exciting way to fish and see this all happen just 2 meters in front of me. I had forgotten about the hot conditions totally. For half an hour I couldn’t trace her anymore. Damn… have I lost my chance? Then all of a sudden I saw her in the distance. She must have remembered the exact location of my hookbait because she went straight for it, without hesitation.

YES! GOT HER! What a feeling…


If everything you try, is letting you down and even the conditions to catch some fish are the worse you can imagine there are always other opportunities. Try to locate the fish in the margins, under trees, obstacles or weed beds. If you can encourage them to eat small parts of food then you might be the lucky one to catch a beauty like this and make your day, even in these tough circumstances.

One thing to keep in mind, never give up!

Erik Hurxkens


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