Every carp deserves the same amount of respect
and care regardless of it's weight.
Over the course of the last 12 years as a fishery owner I have witnessed first hand, how certain elements of carp rigs cause damage to the fish during their capture. The rules at this fishery have been formulated around the accumulation of this knowledge
with the purpose of minimising injury to the carp. We hope that amongst your reasons for choosing this venue is the fact that the carp are in pristine condition. We can only offer a venue with pristine condition fish if all anglers contribute to the carp care program, so consequently we expect everyone who fishes here to give the carp the best possible care. If you are the type of angler who puts results before the welfare of the fish - please choose another venue.
Les Croix has a barbless hooks only rule. There is no argument in favour of barbed hooks that is based in fact. Those that do argue in favour of barbed hooks do so because they believe that they might lose fish due to hook pulls. The truth is that very few carp are lost in this way. The most damage that can be caused by a barbed hook is when it is removed from the mouth, and a barbed hook will always cause more damage on removal because of the barb. When a barbed hook passes through a carp's mouth and gets caught in the landing net mesh, it is very difficult to remove from the mesh, and the damage caused by the fish whilst it struggles in the net can be appalling and irreversible.
A barbless hook, although remaining firmly in place whilst the line is kept tight, often falls out when the fish is in the net, or requires very little force to remove it form the carps mouth. Carp can often be easily unhooked in the net - which reduces stress and handling on the mat. A lost carp or a carp that has picked up a cracked off rig that has a barbed hook in its mouth will struggle to get rid of it, meaning that at the very least it will be trailing your rig, and at worst it will become tethered in weed, lilies etc. An accident involving a barbed hook stuck in your finger, means that you will have to go to hospital to have it removed.
We don't allow uncoated braid hooklinks. The way in which a carps' mouth becomes damaged is misunderstood by the majority of anglers and lake owners. In terms of carp mouth damage, the hooklink material is by far the most destructive element of the rig. Uncoated braid is the most destructive hooklink material available and will easily cut through the flesh at the corners of the
carps' mouth causing damage that will never repair. In our opinion uncoated braided hooklink materials should be banned at all carp fisheries. Coated braid is the most fish friendly hooklink material available and the only material allowed here - it must not be stripped, the coating must be unbroken. Interestingly, since we introduced this rule, it has been widely copied at many other French fisheries.
We recommend the Nash Combilink and Atomic Tackle Jel-E-Wyre as two of the best coated braids currently available although any similar product is acceptable.. We also ask that tubing is used over the eye of the hook because this reduces the damage caused by the eye of the hook rubbing against the inside of the mouth of the carp when the carp is hooked well inside the mouth.
All fish must be unhooked, weighed and photographed in the water - please read the section below to see how easily this is achieved.
The fish at Les Croix fight incredibly hard at times, and we expect anglers to take their time bringing the fish to the net. It is not unusual for an hour or more to pass before a carp is ready for the net. When the fish is on a short line there is very little stretch in the line and although the rod acts as a shock absorber, the risk of damage to the fishes' mouth is much higher at this time.
During this latter part of the fight, the clutch on your reel should be adjusted so that any movement of the fish will result in line being taken off the spool.
At Les Croix we provide a bankside assistance service that is second to none, and we will be pleased to help you as often as neccessary.
We provide landing nets, inflatable unhooking mats, weigh slings and fixed weigh stations of the highest quality, and we ask anglers to use them in the following mannner, which is the correct and most fish friendly procedure. Anglers are provided with 2 -way radios to communicate with the owners. Please contact the owner on the radio and keep the fish in the landing net in the water until someone arrives to assist you. This process allows us to monitor the condition of the fish and may be relaxed at the owners discretion.
All fish must be weighed & photographed in the water - you may wish to bring waders with you although after April shorts and crocs are more suitable. The water in front of the swims is around 2 feet deep and there are no shelves or holes in the lake bed so there is no risk to the angler.
Ensure that your kit is laid out ready - the swims have purpose built weigh stations at the waters edge, have your medi-carp and camera easily accessible. Our weigh slings fit perfectly inside the unhooking mats, - once you have removed the net, the carp is already in the sling ready to be weighed.
1. Zero your scales with the sling wet. With the carp safely in the net and with the weigh sling laid out open on the unhooking mat,
cut the line above your leader, remove the lead from the lead clip, and then roll up the net, checking that the fins of the carp are folded flat against it's body.
2. Ensuring that the fish is lying on its side, move the carp onto the mat, one hand to lift the net and the other hand supporting the weight of the fish, unroll the net and unhook the fish. Inspect its mouth and apply medi-carp to the hook exit point, also check the body and apply medi-carp to any other areas needing attention. Never stand the fish up on its belly whilst it is in the sling
or on the mat, as this places pressure on its internal organs which can cause damage. Please remember that a carp is always supported in its environment by the water that surrounds it and when it is out of the water, gravity exerts unnatural forces on the fish.
Watches, bracelets etc must be be removed before handling the fish.
3. Remove the net, leaving the fish on top of the weigh sling, If you want a photo then photograph the fish now - before you weigh it.
4. Zip up the weigh sling at both ends, check again that the carp is lying on its side weigh and record the weight and then return it to the water in the sling, ensure that you are in sufficient depth of water, open the front zip and leave the fish in the water in the sling until it is ready to swim off of its own free will - do not force the fish out of the sling, fish can sometimes stay in the sling for 30 minutes or more before moving off. You should now return to the bankside, the sling can be recovered when the fish has moved away. Anglers are provided with 2 weigh slings so that this practice can be followed.
In this way we can all continue to enjoy catching carp that are in superb condition.