The first time I went to Cape Cod to fish for Stripers or sailed out to the Amarantes Islands in the Seychelles I came away inspired and knew that I had to return . I feel something similar having just visited salon european des peches en mer , in Nantes France. This is a fishing and boating show attended by around 25, 000 people. You will find all the big names in lure fishing displaying all the latest gizmo’s from Jig heads to 30 foot boats.
So why would a fishing show be so inspirational ?
The French are completely fanatical about Bassfishing . The Bass guides are true professionals governed by an official body. The clients are willing to pay top money for the service they provide. The French are very patriotic with where they spend their money and spend less time hunting the web to import a lure from abroad. The French are highly technical in the way they fish , commercial pressure on stocks has diminished the numbers of fish available, as it has here. You will find guides have pushed the envelope hard in order to stay on top of the game.
I had a long chat with one of France’s finest guides . He has been targeting Bass in up to 40 metres depth at times to stay ahead and locate the large bass that you so often see in the photographs. I have vowed to return to France and fish with some of these guides. They even have magazines devoted to Bassfishing . Just a flick through the magazines is enough to convince you that these guys are highly evolved when it comes to their approach to Bass from the boat and the shore. A guide surprised me when he explained that the Bass are becoming wiser over the years . I guess if you have survived for 10 – 20 years amid the constant attention from commercial and recreational anglers then you’re going to need to be a pretty switched on fish .
Tackle Tarts beware !
The Armageddon range of rods from Ultimate France won the award for the best new product. Im not a huge fan of the name but the rods are stunning .I will be certainly be fishing with a couple of the Armageddon’s from my boat this year , try stopping me ! These Japanese built rods are mind blowing to hold , as light as a feather. Yannick the Boss of Ultimate bent and twisted these rods in a way that made my eyes water !
The Sakura stand was most impressive as was Illex . Fiiish Black Minnows stole the show last year and there was plenty of excitement about the new colours and sizes . The Duo Realis 110 mm Pencil caught my eye . I love to fish top water with hard lures and the realis stood out. I can’t wait to start slurping one across the top in 2012.
Exciting News !
We all know that the current 36 cm Minimum Landing size(MLS) on European Bass set by the EU fisheries committee is set too low. It defies nature and logic. I understand that the French Government plan on setting their MLS at 42 CM sometime very soon. Its a huge step in the right direction and great news for all involved . There are also rumours of Bag limits for recreational anglers and most importantly they are looking very hard at the Winter Pair trawling fishery and a potential Bass closed season.
These are big bold steps that reflect a common sense approach to economics and fishery management . How exciting that must be for all those fanatical Bass fishermen across the Channel !! These fish move around and breed with our Bass so its great news for us also .
I had planned on a trip to Ireland later this year perhaps I should try and squeeze in a trip to France ?
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