If you were to jet off with your fishing tackle in tow, where would you head for the ultimate carp fishing holiday?
When we put the question to you, we were expecting you to plump for exotic foreign shores. But according to our Big Fishing survey, you don’t want to travel that far. In fact your top three carp fishing destinations are all in Europe. So where are your dream carp fishing hotspots?
1. The River Ebro, Spain
Although best known for it’s giant catfish, the Ebro River in Spain is also a favourite carp fishing holiday destination. Think 300 days of sunshine each year, shoals of massive virgin common carp and a current carp record that stands at 78 lbs. Why wouldn’t you want to fish the Ebro?
With carp so plentiful, you’re in with a good chance of multiple catches – and because many of these fish have never before been caught – the fight alone is worth cost of the flight to Spain.
Expect carp averaging between 20 and 30lbs but prepare for a 40, 50 or 60lb plus beauty. And in the unlikely event you get tired of reeling in carp, you’re also likely to come across catfish, zander, perch, black bass, barbel and rudd too.
Where to head
At over 577 miles long, the Ebro is the second longest river in the Iberian peninsula, and it offers a multitude of carp fishing opportunities. You could take a road trip or base yourself in one of the market towns that dot the river banks. The small town of Flix is a popular choice for anglers as is the historic town of Caspe, known for its top quality carp and catfish angling.
Why not take advantage of the expertise offered by one of the many guided fishing operators working in the area? With over a decade in business under their belt, Catfish Capers know a thing or two about fishing for carp and catfish on the Ebro. Based in Caspe they specialise in providing dream fishing holidays for anyone from beginners right through to seasoned pros.
2. DreamLakes, France
Set in the countryside of France’s Champagne region, DreamLakes is your second choice carp fishing destination. A complex of five mature and peaceful fishing lakes, the resort is within easy reach of the channel ports. Located just outside the town of Orconte, south of Calais, it’ll only take you about four hours to drive from the ferry or Eurostar terminal to the lakes. Cue a road trip to experience some of the best specimen carp on the continent.
The lakes total 40 acres and are home to numerous large carp, including common carp, mirror carp and grass carp. Well stocked with 30 and 40lb carp, as well as bigger fish nearer the 50lb and even 60lb mark, it’s surely the proximity to the UK and the quality of fish that makes DreamLakes so popular with or readers.
Where to head
Each lake offers something different. DreamLake 1 is all about specimen carp fishing with regular catches weighing well into the 50lb range. But there are bigger fish there too, if you’ve got the skill and patience to outwit the really big carp that live there. The DreamLakes record for common carp caught in DreamLake 1 stands at 70lb 20z.
Alternatively, DreamLake 4, which opened in 2000 was originally stocked with over 200 carp and more have been added since, making it a great beginner lake. More experienced anglers will love it too and many have broken their personal best fishing this lake.
DreamLakes is the brian child of British angler, Zenon Bojko, who runs the complex with his family. There are two holiday options from which to choose: the package holiday or a self-drive package. The package holiday includes transport for you and your kit and the self-drive package has the option to pre-book fishing tackle.
Make the journey to France a worthwhile one by taking advantage of the on-site bailiffs’ experience, as well as reading up on the top tips and tactics for each of the lakes before you go.
3. Anglers Paradise, England
Anglers Paradise in Devon takes third spot on the podium which just goes to show that you don’t have to travel far to experience top quality carp fishing.
More than 30 lakes make up Anglers Paradise, 12 of which are exclusive to residents staying on site. These 12 lakes house carp nearing 40lb, as well as golden orfe, tench and wels catfish. Why not try your luck at the Specimen Carp Lake? It contains just 33 carp, eight of which weigh in the 30lb region. Interested? To whet your appetite further, just take a look at what other anglers have been catching at Anglers Paradise recently.
With so many lakes to choose from you’ll find something to suit all angling abilities. There’s a beginners’ lake stocked with over 1,000 carp mostly between 4 and 8 lbs. The fish here tend to be more obliging making the lake ideal for newbies or those of you who like the challenge of using lighter gear. Or you could choose to fish the Main Carp Lake. It’s the ‘Jewel in the Estate’, a beautifully matured 4 acre lake, ideally suited to those of you who’re are willing to be patient for the bigger fish or who like to fish at night
Anglers Paradise is one of the largest angling resorts in Europe, with anglers travelling from all over the world to enjoy the carp fishing available there. It’s an ideal place to bring non-angling guests too as they are well catered leaving you to spend the day fishing!
Alternatively, if this winter’s rain and flooding has you dreaming of giant exotic fish species in sunny climes, Gillhams Fishing Resorts in Thailand was a close contender in fourth place. See you there!
Which of these lakes have you visited? We’d love to hear your carp fishing holiday recommendations.