Fishing at lac du Salagou, what once was a dream is now a memory. A memory of what happened and what could have happened. For me the dream started when I was half the age I am now (29) when I saw a VHS video tape documenting a fishing trip of some English fishermen. You will have to forgive me, I don’t remember the name of the videotape nor the names of the fishermen. The only things I remember are the breath taking atmosphere at the lake, the changing weather conditions and a bunch of common carp. Being 15 years old implies some major issues to fish lac du Salagou so this dream kept on being a dream for many years. Until some years ago when I met Alexander Kobler who became a good friend. He was always telling stories about his fishing trips to well known French lakes like lac de Charmes, lac de Saint-Cassien and lac du Salagou. These stories could only lead to a joint session…

Double the age as when my dream started, I could finally prepare for my first trip to lac du Salagou. Everything had to be ready as the chain would be only as strong as its weakest link. So we prepared for some hardcore fishing as the lake is a reservoir in an old volcanic region and these circumstances push your tackle to the limit. Alex had also chosen some swims which would be good for angling in the end of September. Everything was ready and the plan looked solid!

Arriving at the lake the first disappointment came up. The first view at the lake showed a lot of filled up swims with carp fishermen and even more anglers arriving at the “mise a l’eau”.  Finding an area for four anglers would be a difficult task. After some hours of driving around the lake we found a suitable area at the old village of Pradines. Reaching Pradines means a 2.5 kilometers row.

The first day I didn’t put up my bivvy and just checked out the depths of the area and started prebaiting enjoying a sleep under a million stars.  The next day I brought out the rods and built up my camp. After that the waiting could begin. It took 72 hours before I got my first bite. I had the luck to immediately strike one of the originals of the lake weighing in at just under 40lb. After that, I expected the baiting area to produce more fish but this didn’t happen.

Fishing with friends is really cool but also brings some inconveniences, especially when your prebaited area doesn’t attract a big shoal of fish. I could go and search carp at another swim and wait there alone for another giant. But then I preferred friendship over results and stayed in the camp. To get some action I went for perch fishing with Mad Matze. Fast bites and great action on the spinning rod.

Jens Verschaeren

Salagou is really spiritual space for (carp) fishermen. A place I’d recommend you to go. Maybe u will be convinced after watching this movie Alexander made:

Holidays at Lac de Grand Pétard from Pink Heron on Vimeo.

Please check the splendid blog of Jens too. Dutch only, we’re sorry:

http://debootsjongen.wordpress.com/

 

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