There are lots of things to get your head around in carp fishing but one that anglers may not be familiar with until their first French carp fishing holiday are Poisson Chat and Crayfish. You may be familiar with Crayfish as they do populate some lakes in England but Poisson Chat are something you wouldn’t have encountered if you’ve just fished in England. Poisson Chat are a small Catfish. They can be a real nuisance similarly to Crayfish in the way they will whittle your baits down, tangle your rigs, give you false bleeps and every now and then you will unfortunately catch them. Here are several tips to help combat Crayfish and Poisson Chat whilst carp fishing.
Poisson Chat and Crayfish both love fishmeal baits in any form. I would advise sticking to a nut based bait, this won’t completely fix the issue but it should dramatically help.
Hook bait destroyers
If you want to reduce the amount of Crayfish and Poisson Chat action and stop them from whittling down your baits the solution is simple, use bigger diameter and hardened hook baits. For example use double hardened 20mm boilies or a triple tiger nut on the hair. The tiger nuts should be largely left alone by Crayfish and Poisson Chat so this is a really great hook bait to use and carp still love them. They also work well as they are extremely hard. Therefore, the Poisson Chat and Crayfish shouldn’t be able to whittle them down quickly or take them off the hair. The bigger hook baits will also massively reduce the chance of hooking Poisson Chat as they simply can’t get a bait that big in their mouths to get hooked.
Anti-tangle rigs that will reset
One of the most important parts of combatting Crayfish and Poisson Chat action is to use rigs that will reset themselves. Although, we would like to think the above steps have stopped them picking up our baits completely but we can’t always guarantee that is the case. That is why it is so important to have a rig that resets itself if it is picked up and rejected. The best way to do this is by having a rig boom made from a stiff hook link material such as fluorocarbon with a balanced bait. For example a stiff D-rig and a balanced tiger nut would be perfect, as when this rig is picked up and dropped, it will kick out straight away from the lead due to the stiff material and balanced bait, making it effective for when a carp does come in and pick up your bait.
Plastic hook baits and wrapping your baits
Wrapping your baits with shrink wrap such as Korda Supa Wrap or by using plastic baits will ensure the Crayfish and Poisson Chat can’t whittle down your bait, or remove it from the hair, giving you confidence that there is always bait attached to your rig for when the carp move in.
Colour of your hook bait
Poisson Chat predominantly use their barbels to help them find food. This is why using a less pungent but high visual hook bait will help to deter them. The high visual will mean the carp will still see it, but as the Poisson Chat mostly feed through their taste and smell so it will reduce the amount of them trying to eat your hook bait.
Reduce the use of Tungsten Putty on your rigs. Crayfish love Tungsten Putty and will pull this off your rigs which can leave them not fishing effectively, if the putty was weighing down a pop-up for example. Try using a Tungsten bead instead as they won’t be able to pull this off your rig.
The use of Pop-ups can really reduce the bother from Poisson Chat. I can’t really explain why this is, but during our own sessions we have found a big difference and less interference when using pop-ups.
The above points can help you to avoid being plagued by Poisson Chat and Crayfish. They can be a real headache, but when the appropriate steps are taken you can dramatically reduce the interference you get from these pests leaving you to get on with catching carp!