There is nothing like a crisp cool day, sat in silence with your rod and blanket, a baguette and hot coffee, watching the water in the hope of a bite. Whether sat by a river or a lake, it relieves stress, is relaxing, is very peaceful, and can be still as much fun as it is on a warm sunny day. Fishing can be carried out at any time of year and in all weathers, combining peace and quiet with a competitive edge.
Well where do you start? Fishing is such a multi-discipline sport it can use the simplest techniques or the most complex, over-engineered solutions known to man – just to catch a fish. Here’s an overview of the different type of tackle for fishing in rivers and lakes in this region.
Greg Martin has three lakes dedicated to fishing in the Dordogne
Types of fishing
Stick fishing uses a combination float with a buoyant top and a heavy bottom and is ideal for use in running water, especially when held back, i.e. the flow of the top float is controlled by the angler.
Waggler fishing on a lake is where the float is fixed to the line at the bottom and is designed to deliver bait to the bottom quickly.
Feeder fishing delivers a swim feeder full of ground bait or pellets into the target area (the swim). Popular with many anglers, it is a simple way of catching bottom feeding fish such as bream, tench and carp. It also makes life easier in running water or in windy conditions where float fishing may be hard to control.
For general fishing, start with a fixed spool such as Mitchell’s Avocet range, or Shimano’s Sienna FE. Both can cope easily with the rigours of river and lake fishing using float and feeder rods. I would load them with 5lb of line from Maxima or Dawa which will be suitable for most situations.
Rods to match these reels for stick or waggler fishing would be in the 12ft range. I would look at the Maver Reality Match Rod 2 Piece or the Shimano Forcemaster AX Commercial Float Rod, both of which can cope with most conditions.
Feeder rods are generally a bit beefier and more able to handle casting out a swim feeder, so I would be looking for something like the Maver Reality 11ft rod or the Shakespear Sigma supra feeder.
These rods and reels are a compromise between the cheapest and the most expensive. As a new angler it is easy to become carried away and buy things that are a mismatch and a struggle to use. One of my top tips is to talk to someone who has been fishing for a while and take them to the tackle shop with you.
First published in the November/December issue of The Local Buzz