Saturday, 27 February 2010

Jones finishes with a good 'un.

Good evening fellow bloggers

The session at Cassien has come to an end and whilst I had a fishless last ten days or so, Paul finished off with this lovely south arm mirror of just over 40lb.

Home Truths

At Cassien, as with most of the big name waters I suppose, theres a lot of bollocks to contend with and much more than was expected, and apart from the mad christmas period, we fished at a quiet time so what its like in the busier months I don't know.
You hear a few things now and again about this and that, but until a long session is done on a water when you get to see it for what it is, then I suppose you never know for sure what goes on.
One of the worst practices is the so called anglers that pay someone to get themselves down to Cassien maybe a month or six weeks before the aforementioned so called angler wants to fish, and work themselves into one of the good areas for that time of year. For example (and I mean example because its a regular thing) when I fished Kevin Ellis for the last few weeks of the session, there were two German fellas turned up a few days later and set up on Mathilde. Every other day for the few weeks that I was on the swim I was asked what date I was leaving and if I was saving the swim for anybody etc, etc. It turns out that a bloke called Wolfgang something or other, known as the 'legend of Cassien' in Germany by all accounts, was on his way down to the lake at some point and he would only fish Kevin Ellis. Don't get me wrong, the German lads seemed like nice enough people but when they sit there and tell me they think that all the fish are in the north arm at that time of year, then why aren't they fishing the north arm? Wouldn't like to see Wolfgangs phone bill neither, every time the Germans were at my swim the bloke was on the phone to find out what was happening, and Kevin Ellis is the same in German as it is in English, Dutch, Urdu or whatever you're native tongue happens to be so its not hard to read between the lines. If the 'leg-end of Cassien' is such a good angler then why can't he do a bit of graft and get his own fucking swim. Needless to say, the morning I packed up one of the Germans arrived at the swim before I'd even left. As a rule, most of the fish do follow the Kevin Ellis side of the west arm when they're moving up to the area past that swim so I can see why the bloke fishes that swim but ironically enough, with the water levels being as they were, most of the fish were already up there and if the leg-end had been at the lake I'm sure he could've worked it out for himself, but he wasn't so hopefully he'll have bugger all. Angler my arse.

The other things you don't get warned about are the local population of opportunist thieves that patrol some off the swims, mainly any swim with fairly easy access from the road but in particular, if you're fishing Grand Pont, Aviron, Les Pompiers and any swims up the road side of the west arm past Aviron, and you're on you're own, then lines being cut and rods taken whilst you're out in the boat is a regular thing and its not just the foreign contingent of anglers that suffer from such goings on, one of the local French lads had this done to him up the west arm in December. Whilst on the subject of opportunist thieves, its been known that ones that can swim will use that particular skill to take you're boat in the night if given the chance.

It has been mentioned in previous posts about the amount of un-natural debris that moves around Cassien so I won't go into the details again but to us it was staggering to see because at all other French waters that we've fished, you don't really see that much. At one point, on the first swim we fished in the south arm with rising water levels, we had six boats of varying descriptions and three surf boards on the swim. Its almost as if all the old pike anglers got together at some point in the past and decided to leave their boats untied just to piss off the carpers and/or the scullers.

Shortly before the end of the session Paul saw one of the instructors from Aviron driving his metal speedboat onto a discgarded fibreglass boat trying to sink it so that it didn't get in the way of the precious scullers, when any person with half a brain would've just put a rope on it and towed it to the edge somewhere so that it can't float around wherever the wind takes it. It really is a shame to see Cassien with so much rubbish floating on it.

Then there is the parking, and although its an alien concept to me, I could accept paying say 5 euros a week, and fair enough the vehicle is safe and sound but if you don't pay then you're risking a window, tyre or whatever and as Paul rightly pointed out at the time, you've the hassle and expense of sorting all that when it occurs but paying between 10 and 14 euros a week to park at a French public water is a piss take. When Gerrard's restaurant was open, apparently you could park there for free because you'd pop in for a beer and a snack now and then so the place was profiting that way, which seems like a better way to do business to me but sadly the other restaurants don't see it that way.

All of the above isn't intended to put people off the place, its there because thats what goes on at Cassien and I could go on and on with different examples of dodgy goings on at the lake, and mostly, we've both really enjoyed the session. A few more fish would've been nice but when you've not fished a water before its a learning curve, and we met a few good anglers on there that had blanked for months on long sessions in previous years untill they got the measure of the place so we didn't do too bad, and although Paul fancies another visit, I can't see myself fishing there again so there will be knowledge going to waste on my part but when Paul gets back there I know he'll have good results. There is something special about fishing Cassien because of the history thats attached to it but for me anyway, the trade off between dealing with all sorts of bullshit and doing some fishing is a little too much. There are other waters to spend time on with big fish, and I don't mean Charmes, Liez, the Moselle, Villegussien or any other you could mention on that side of the country that are rammed with anglers from all over Europe and yes, you might spend a bit of time on places that in the end aren't worth it for whatever the reason may be, but they are there - places where you can go fishing and not just places to catch fish, theres a difference.

Thankyou for following the blog, we hope you've enjoyed it and it maybe continued but for now, you can blog off

Friday, 12 February 2010

Snow and fish

Good evening fellow bloggouts.

After spending 12 nights at the top end of the north arm, and no fish to show for it, we got on the move again. Paul moved to the Grand Pont to test his sanity against the traffic while I stayed in the north and set up on Pierres Plates for 3 nights before moving down to the cross onto one of the Les Plages swims, and after catching a few specimen sized roach at each swim that would of made my day 25 years ago, it was time to think again.

On a fairly regular basis you are told all sorts of stories about the whereabouts of fish and reported captures but after a while it becomes obvious that a lot of what you are told is just that - a story, and to cut a long one short, Cassien is not dissimilar to your average meeting down at Compulsive Bullshitters Anonymous. A trip in the van down towards the reserve on a sunny morning sorted out the whereabouts of fish dilemma, I reckon 80% of the fish are all down there where they are safe and with the water levels being higher than usual, there is plenty of space and plenty of food so you can't really blame them. The day after, Kevin Ellis became free so I moved in there because along with the Aviron swim, its as close as you can legally get to the buggers and although they've a lot for water in the no fishing area , they've got to move out at some point so it was worth a go and its produced two fish for me, and after six weeks without one it was nice to see a few on the bank. Not the biggest fish in the world, both were mid 30's and the second one was in such bad condition, I put it straight back but the other fish was a good looking old'ish mirror and a nice one to have in the snow.

Although we've had the snow it hasn't been as cold as the last cold spell in January, but when all this lot melts it won't have a positive effect on the water temperature that was previously creeping back up, and with the fish I've had coming after the previous night had been mild, and Tom the Englishman having a 48lb mirror a week before in the same conditions, cold water isn't the top of the wants list and it might not do us any favours but we'll find out thats for sure.

See you soon

Wednesday, 3 February 2010


Good evening fellow blogglegums.

Carpin's crap kids. Don't do it, its not big and its not not clever. Don't be a Zammo, just say no! But just incase you still want be as daft as us, here's some homework

Carper's French Lesson 3.

Lake - lac
Pond - etang - eton
Dam - barrage - baraj
Reservoir - reservoir
River - riviere - ree-vee-air

Depth - profondeur - profonder
Bar - plateaux
Hole - trou
Gully - gully - goo-lee
Rock - roche - rosh
Gravel - gravier - gravyeh
Stones - caillou - ki-ou
Silt - vasse - vaz
Sand - sable - saab

See you soon

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Good evening fellow bloggtops

After moving out of the south last Sunday, we are now fishing the north arm and pleased to report the traffic noise is now a distant memory and almost as much of a distant sound. C'est bon. I've pitched up on La Pointe A Olle while Paul is in La Baie Des Tanches and the almost obligatory swim sketch is below so you can see the generalities of what is in front of us. In short, its close range stuff, virtually off the rods tips in some cases, the depths are dictating that but there are some margins across the bays to be fished also.

There are half a dozen other anglers up this end of the arm, plus a good few more down at the bridge who all seem to be fishing together and the barrage swim itself has been rotated this morning, a few pack up and a few more arrive and its all done with military precision so nobody else gets the swim and its clear now that probably 80% or more of the fish that have reportedly been caught from the north arm recently have come from the barrage area and there's more chance of seeing me and Paul on this weeks 'strictly come dancing' than there is of getting on that swim. Having said all that, obviously not the whole carp stock of the lake are in there and if the fish that are there decide to come out to play then we've a chance, but fish moving about at Cassien is something we've not seen, nor have we seen anything to makes us think that they're moving at all and amazingly, in nine weeks of fishing, we haven't seen a carp clear the water - not a head, shoulder, tail, or dorsal, nothing, and after our first week in this arm, it doesn't seem any different up here but time will tell. With the lake nowhere near as busy now, at least if we do see something there is more chance of being able to move into an area close by.

Whilst on the subject of moving, for those readers that are planning a trip here or maybe thinking of doing a long session somewhere similar we'll take you through a few points of the logistical variety. If fishing close to your vehicle is a priority, then apart from one or two swims at Cassien (and some other big lakes) that are generally stitched up anyway, then, your struggling. At the moment we're probably more than 2 miles rowing from the vans so a trip to the supermarket isn't a quick one and will take up most of your day, and while we were fishing at the bottom of the south arm it was about 1.5 miles which could be rowed or walked, either way it was a 30 mins each way journey - we took the walking option to save battery power. All this is easier when your fishing with a mate because there is no worry in leaving your tackle for the time it takes to get done what needs to be done. If you're moving swims on a long session its generally a two boat or a two trip affair and if its more than 500 yards or so, then obviously the two boat option is the best and similar to a trip to the shops, moving swims on a big lake can take you all day when you take into consideration the packing up and setting up time. I pack up all the tackle and load the boat in about an hour and a half where as Paul takes an hour longer, partly I think due to his age, and partly due to the amount of gear he carries around. Mind you, when you're 110 years old you've had time enough to get a fair collection of tackle together. Joking aside, Paul has the generator, solar panel - which we both use, … generator, solar panel, erm…. generator, solar panel, erm…….

The weather this week hasn't been the best carping weather with the high pressure but might help us out in the long run because it has been warm during the days, a few of which have been 16c and most have been sunny and the clear nights have been getting down to -2c but nothing too bad, with the cloudy nights being 5 or 6 degrees warmer, all resulting in the water temperature not going down any, which can't be a bad thing and if these sort of day temperatures keep coming then the water temperature will start to creep up which is probably our main hope of getting a few more fish moving about. There has been no rain so the levels are pretty much staying put , just going down a little each day as the hydro-electric dam does its stuff.

See you soon

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Its A Grueller

Good evening fellow bloggerts.

As the title of this post says, the session has now been put into the grueller category. When the number of weeks you've been fishing is greater than the total number of fish landed, its a grueller, and seen as we've landed only six carp in eight weeks it is certainly in that category. Apart from the fish count, its still enjoyable and its more than exciting knowing that there are some very big fish to be had out of this famous old lake. Its not through want of trying that we haven't had more fish, all sorts of variations in presentation, areas, depths, baits and so on have all been given a go in some favourable and not so favourable conditions and because of the length of the session, things have been tried for a few days and not a few hours but the bottom line is that there haven't been loads of fish in the south arm.

Since the last post, Paul moved up to the top of the south arm and I moved opposite him a few days later to again what looks like a very good area, and I'm sure at times it is but all its produced is a 14lb common for Jonesy and a slimey slab for myself. The north arm has eventually got slightly less manic than it normally is so the plan is to move in there tomorrow and try to get the old averages up. From what we've heard its producing a fish per day, which isn't a lot between all the anglers in there but we are sure that there are more fish up there than in the south.

The south arm itself is virtually devoid of carpers apart from myself and the Poisoned One so its been a peaceful period in that respect but both of us will be glad to see the back of the south arm road which, if you're fishing on that side of the arm, can be like some sort of interrogation technique, from 5am up to midnight its constant traffic and something we weren't expecting before arriving at Cassien. As you can see from the photo of the swim, and those of you that have been here will know, the lake is set in wonderful surroundings but some things here can be testing and eight weeks of that south arm road is certainly that. Saying that, we'll probably end up next to the bridge or one of the swims near to the road in the west arm, you really need to be half way up the north arm to escape it completely.

The weather has been changing all the time recently, we've had snow, sun, rain, lots of rain, cold days and not so cold nights, so we've had the lot in the last ten days or so although the levels in the lake aren't changing that much from day to day and if anything the water temperature has risen ever so slightly.

See you soon

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Bon Fete

Good evening and happy new year fellow bloggniks.

Its been a carpless week but Mr Jones had a bream and as much as I keep telling him they don't count, I'm sure I saw him logging it in his big fish book but he won't admit it.

The south arm is comparatively empty when compared to a few days ago with a lot of anglers packing up after their xmas hols and the west arm is much the same. The north arm is as usual full of carpers. Another reason for the west arm being quieter is the lake has risen another few feet after some more rain and snow melting in the hills to the north, so some of the swims between Kevin Ellis and Les Plages are un-fishable at the

moment. With the rising levels come the snags and apart from your standard natural stuff, here at Cassien you get surf boards, pedals, boats, pallets, fridge doors, oil drums, all sorts of stuff. If any of you are planning a trip here, don't bother bringing a second boat, just row around for half an hour and take your pick. They may need a bit of duck tape here and there but for moving swims they're good as gold. Apart from mine being Man City blue its done me proud.

Young Jones is having a move today, probably to somewhere further up towards the top of the south arm in search of fish, although its taking him an age to pack up because he's sprouted another thumb on his right hand. We've thought long and hard and the most plausible explanation is that we've been drinking lake water for four or five weeks so if you're planning on visiting Cassien, then it might be something to take into consideration because it has cost a small fortune to get all his gloves customised.

After not fishing for four nights I started again on new years eve but all things considered I'm staying put at La Banane for a bit more r + r and I'll see how things pan out in the next few days. Mind you, I'm fairing better than Vinnie, poor sod has lost his eyes.

Reports of other fish coming out have been hit and miss with so many anglers on the lake this last few weeks but there has been a few 40's out of the north arm and we've been told that Briggsy had a few before he left up 50lb and two French fellas had a 30 each from further up the south arm.

After a request from MadMickeyOneLeg, whose moving to France this year, we've got some more homework for you all. Again, can't guarantee all the spellings are 100% but you've got the pronunciations to the right.

Carpers French Lesson 2 - Bait

Boilie - Bouillette - boo-yet

Pop-Up - Flotant - flotont

Pellet - Pellet - pellay

Hemp - Cheneve - shen-vee

Maize - Maize - mice

Tiger Nuts - Tiger Nuit - tee-gair nwee

Lupin - Lupin - loo-pan

Wheat - Ble - blay

Bait - Appats

Bait up - Amorce - amorsay

See you soon