Travelling abroad can present a whole host of problems so a few minutes spent checking you’ve everything you need can really pay dividends.
1: Picture the scene. You’re sat in the pub with a few mates, and someone decides that a carp fishing holiday would be great. You’re all excited about the idea so how best to put it into action. Firstly you’ve got to decide where and when so you need a good guide – and this is where Fisherman Holidays come in. They’ve been looking after angling adventures and holidays for years and their trips come highly recommended. So, that’s the first part sorted – check out what’s available on the Fisherman Holidays site.
2: Next up is to set yourselves a date. The most popular months are springtime – and with good reason. The carp are usually all set up for a good feed after the winter and the heat of the summer is not yet upon us. Don’t dismiss the autumn though as these months can be really very productive indeed and, if you really do like to get a tan as well, a summer trip can be just what the doctor ordered.
3: So, you’ve set a date. Now what? Check the availability of the lakes you fancy on the Fisherman Holidays website bearing in mind how far you want to travel. Some venues you can travel by car too, but others are usually accessed by air. Check the fishing is what you require and that your accommodation (if required) is what you need. Get booking – and don’t forget to book your ferry or flights.
4: As the date approaches you need to start getting your kit together. Check that your passport is valid for the dates and that car insurance or flights are booked. Double check everything! Will you be requiring food and bait at the venue? If so it’s well worth contacting the venue to arrange for your bait to be ready for arrival and that they have your booking details (arrival times etc. correct). If you are taking your own bait get it ordered for delivery to you as close to your departure date as possible unless you are taking shelf-life baits or have access to a large freezer. Don’t forget that you’ll probably be able to purchase extra bait upon arrival if required, if not at the venue, then from local angling shops. Finally, start to plan your journey. A sat-nav is a real boon but it’s also advisable to print out your route just in case or use an atlas. Remember that using some sat-navs on mobile phones can incur extra data charges. Oh, and don’t forget to set your phone up for travel abroad and make sure you’ve got enough money and a credit card plus a card that can be used in cash machines.
5: Check your car out. Will it make it to the venue! If you break down abroad you could find your bank balance seriously depleted! Ensure that you have all the correct travel documents, insurance documents and your driving licence with you. Your UK licence will allow you to travel to most European countries but you’ll probably need extra overseas insurance for your car and they may supply you with what’s called a ‘green card’ to prove you’re insured. You will need to take your vehicle log book as proof of ownership and your insurance documents too so make sure they’re safe. It’s worth putting an extra driver on too. You’ll also need to buy a headlight dipping kit if you’re travelling from the UK – and make sure it’s fitted prior to driving once you’ve got off the ferry. You may also need a warning triangle, a high-vis jacket and a full lightbulb replacement kit. Check out the regulations for each country you are visiting as they do differ. One website worth checking for information is www.rac.co.uk or www.confused.com both of which offer a good comprehensive guide to driving abroad. One good point is that if you do break down most European countries have a breakdown service that can be accessed by dialling 112 on your phone. One final thing. Don’t forget to get yourself some travel/health insurance and make sure you have got a EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) which are free. You apply for these online at www.nhs.uk/ehic
6: On the day. Pack your car carefully. This may sound obvious but if you run out of petrol and the spare fuel (or even worse, the spare wheel!) is at the bottom of the kit then it’s a long haul to unpack! Make sure all your breakdown insurance and health insurance is in place and that you have all your documents such as passport, ferry tickets, insurance/car documents etc. close to hand. Don’t forget your EHIC card and please make sure you’ve got all the necessary safety kit for the country(s) you are visiting. Getting stopped by the police can prove to be very expensive. Make sure that your car is not overloaded and put the heavy items at the bottom of the car towards the middle so the balance isn’t upset too much. Check your route and plot it into your sat-nav or check your maps. It’s also worth making sure you have money or credit cards to hand to pay for road tolls etc.
7: Are you fully equipped for the venue? One final thing to check before you go is what the weather is going to be like. A good website for France is www.weather-forecast.com and here you’ll find that you can drill down to each of the regions to check out the weather for up to 15 days.
8: If you are travelling by plane you’ll still need your travel documents, insurance certificates etc and make sure you are not packing anything that’s going to cause you problems at check in. Remember that you cannot take anything sharp in your hand luggage and we would think that security checks are not really familiar with bait dips and glugs in your hand luggage nor suspicious powders! Before you leave it’s well worth checking with the venue that everything is in place for your arrival and that you have everything you need as many venues only supply certain items and you’ll probably need to take some of your own kit.
9: On the journey make sure you take regular breaks. In France there are lots of rest stops at the side of the major roads called Aires. Many of these provide toilet facilities and some have full restaurant/fuel facilities and even hotels and shops. They can prove invaluable to the overnight traveller. Make sure you adhere to the speed limit and before you leave the UK it’s wise to check up on the road signs for the country you are visiting. Take it easy driving abroad as it’s supposed to be a holiday, not a marathon!
10: On arrival at your venue you’ll most probably be welcomed by the owners/bailiff (dependant on venue) and it’s well worth having a good chat with them or any other anglers to get the low-down on the fishing. If you’ve not already booked a swim these will be allocated/chosen and you can settle in. Check out the other features on the Fisherman Holidays website to see what’s the best way to tackle differing venues and remember to adopt your tactics to the venue – don’t just do the same as you do at home. Ring the changes and you could be in for a holiday of a lifetime! Remember, it’s a time for rest, peace and quiet and a great time so make sure you’ve got everything you need to hand and that all your documents/ money etc. are safe. Prior to your trip home go back to points 5 onwards and start out for home! Bon voyage!
Tackle Check List
Rods & Buzzers
- 3-4 Rods equipped with Reels
- Spod Rod with Reel
- Marker Rod with Reel
- Weigh Sling
- Landing Net
- Bait Stick
- Rodpod or banksticks
- Storm poles
- Hangers, plus swinger adapters
- box with hooklink material and small bits of tackle, needles, funnel web, bags, PVA tape, etc
- rig making stuff, hooks, swivel, clips, braid, etc…
- spare reels & spools
- bivvy table
- knife & scissors
- multi tool
Various Tackle & Bait
- bed chair
- level chair
- sleeping bag & pillow
- unhooking mat
- Baits: boilies, particles, pellets, dips, …
- Insect repellent
- Health insurance
- Sun Cream
- Soap, tooth past, tooth brush, first aid kit
- Spare clothes
- Stove & food
- Sat Nav
- Car insurance
Nigel Banks, Jan 2017.