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How to pick the right carp fishing holiday for you?   by Phil Thomas

You have been carp fishing for a while or may be you are a beginner either way you have probably been thinking about going fishing abroad. With travel access been cheap and easy and carp fishing destinations been plentiful there has not been a better time than now for finding your ideal fishing holiday. All you have to do is decide when and where to go right?


Your choice is not a difficult one as there are many options for you to take. There are however a few questions you really should consider asking yourself when picking the right venue.

How far are you willing to travel?

A trip to France in vehicle can be a very long drive, but it will give you the advantage of having some transport freedom when over there and you can use all of your own fishing gear. The other alternative is to fly to a venue and hire kit and bait to fish the holiday. The latter is a more convenient option but will mean your planning will have to be spot on.

How experienced a Carp fisherman are you?

Be honest about your knowledge and ability. Aim to take yourself just outside your normal fishing situations as you will learn a lot in a solid week of fishing far more than you would probably learn in a year of normal sessions back at home. But don't push your horizons to far as you could end up not catching.

What size of venue do you have experience fishing on?

If you usual venues are small lakes and reservoirs, don't make the mistake of going to some of the huge inland seas abroad. This size of venue will involve a completely alien method of fishing than you are use to. I would suggest working yourself up to fishing these type of venues if that is your goal.

Is your long range casting up to it?

Some venues may require you to cast and bait up at range in order to get on the fish. For some this can be a frustrating challenge. However if the venue you would like to visit has everything you want but may require long range fishing don't be put off as this is an ideal time to get better at casting or you could think about a baitboat if allowed?

Can you handle a boat?

A lot of larger venues abroad will give you a boat as an essential bit of kit for fishing. If you are up to the physical challenge a boat can be an excellent piece of kit to give you a real advantage on a water. However continual use of a boat for dropping baits, baiting up and playing fish can be a challenging task and not to be under estimated by the faint hearted.

Are you up for a physical challenge?

Now many people will think that a fishing holiday involves nothing but sitting and relaxing behind some rods waiting for them to go. For a few this many well be the case if they pay for all the luxury. However my experience has taught me that your choice of venue and you will determine the amount of effort you put in to catching. Some anglers are happy to park next to a swim, cast in and sit and wait. However if the venue involves loading a boat, finding a swim and baiting up and fishing a few spots but staying mobile that is another ball park!

Do you just want to catch a really big fish?

The lure to most anglers of fishing abroad is big fish. However I would think carefully about the 'Personal Best' you would like to set, chasing 60lb+ fish is a great dream and very much achievable to the majority now days. However the venues with this kind of stock are often fished hard, have long waiting lists or are very difficult. Choosing a venue with a good stock of larger fish with a few that tip into the fish of a life time bracket is a good bet. This is now common place to have a large stock of 30lb-40lb fish with a few fish in the 50lb-60lb brackets.

Do you want to catch lots of fish?

Be realistic on the number of fish you would like to catch. Some anglers would be happy with catching a single target fish in a week, others would like to catch 15 30lb+ fish a day.

Do you have the necessary equipment?

For many venues abroad you will not need to vary your fishing gear at all. However when selecting your venue be mindful of the equipment you may need to fish effectively.

Are you in a group or alone?

I would suggest that most of you would be going abroad in a group of between 2-6 people. Fishing in pairs can be a great tactic on larger venues as working as a team with boats etc can save precious time and energy. A great option for a larger group is to book an entire water for a week, this gives you lots of benefits and can often be no more expensive than paying for individual swims for 4 or more anglers.

Do you like to a mix of fishing styles?

If you would like to try a mix of carp fishing styles from long range fishing to stalking and surface fishing. I would look for a venue you can roam on. This often involves booking the whole venue exclusively but can be worth it.


After considering all the above questions, you can really feel you have tested your options and picked the best venue for you. Of course the majority of the time you will be one of a group of anglers who are heading abroad. Therefore it will be the water that fits best to every one's wants and needs.


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