July 22, 2005: Headlines: COS - Chad: Carp: Fishing: International Herald Tribune: Chad RPCV Thomas O. Mann writes about Carp Fishing in France

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Chad: Peace Corps Chad : The Peace Corps in Chad: July 22, 2005: Headlines: COS - Chad: Carp: Fishing: International Herald Tribune: Chad RPCV Thomas O. Mann writes about Carp Fishing in France

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-23-45.balt.east.verizon.net - on Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 9:46 pm: Edit Post

Chad RPCV Thomas O. Mann writes about Carp Fishing in France

Chad RPCV Thomas O. Mann writes about Carp Fishing in France

Essentially an overgrown goldfish, carp were introduced to North America from the Old World by immigrants who thought they were doing a kindness. But the hardy, omnivorous carp quickly invaded the habitat of native freshwater game fish, and came to be maligned as "bottom feeders" whose flesh was shunned by most Americans as "muddy-tasting."

Chad RPCV Thomas O. Mann writes about Carp Fishing in France

Meanwhile: Getting a taste for carpe à la provençale

By Thomas O. Mann International Herald Tribune

FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2005

CAIRANNE, France No, this story is not about food. Camaret sur Aigues, Sérignan du Comtât, and Sainte-Cécile-les-Vignes are three quiet towns in Provence, where I now live for part of each year. Each town has a fishing club, with its own stocked pond (étang, or plan d'eau). Some of these Provençal anglers specialize in fishing for carp.

Essentially an overgrown goldfish, carp were introduced to North America from the Old World by immigrants who thought they were doing a kindness. But the hardy, omnivorous carp quickly invaded the habitat of native freshwater game fish, and came to be maligned as "bottom feeders" whose flesh was shunned by most Americans as "muddy-tasting."

However, the carp's reputation in the United States as a sport fish has grown in recent years. Carp routinely grow to 44 pounds (20 kilos), and they are now recognized by American fly-fishermen as a worthy quarry, strong fighters; as picky and hard to fool as any fish that swims.

So when my French neighbors in Provence told me about an upcoming three-day marathon carp-fishing contest, I had to see it for myself.

Any Provençal carp fisherman worth his pastis has a secret formula for bait. They are as tight-lipped about these aromatic concoctions as a three-star chef is about a signature dish.

The bait begins as a paste, which is molded into a ball and boiled to maintain its shape. Carp fishers use telescoping fiberglass rods of 11 to 12 feet (3.5 meters) and spinning reels spooled with stout line. The baited hook is cast into the depths on a weighted line that may be suspended under a bobber.

The angler waits patiently on the bank for something to happen. Once landed, the carp are weighed, then released to fight again. As far as I know, fly-fishing for carp, which entails attracting a strike by sight rather than scent, has yet to catch on in Provence.

The three-day marathon pitted teams of carp anglers at the three ponds. I visited Sainte Cécile's étang de Bel Air each day. On Friday night, I arrived to find some of the anglers comfortably ensconced in tents pitched around the shady banks of the pond, lines in the water, their rods ready to grab in the event of a bite.

Another group of anglers was enjoying a picnic, while little boys watched their lines for a bite.

A strapping young fisherman named Sebastian was methodically flinging bait pellets into the water around his lines, hoping to chum up some action. His bait did smell appetizing, but I can't divulge its secret.

I left at 9:00 p.m. when the sky was still light, assured that nothing would happen for hours. Apparently, big carp in the étang feed only at night.

I returned the following day around 6:00 p.m. Walking around the edge of the pond, I saw a large pod of carp swimming around nonchalantly in the middle, clearly visible in the bright midsummer evening.

Peace Corps Online

A member of the team reported that one fisherman had caught two carp the previous night, weighing over 26 pounds (12 kilos) each. From all three ponds, those were the only fish taken in the first two days of the marathon.

The team earns 1,000 points per kilogram for each fish. The anglers of the étang de Bel Air held a commanding lead, which they padded the final night by adding two more carp to reach a total catch of 88 pounds (40 kilograms).

The same fisherman, a facteur (postal worker) in Vaison-la-Romaine, caught all four fish. Evidently he had the best spot on the étang, the je ne sais quoi that makes one fisherman better than his peers, and, of course, the most alluring bait recipe.

No prize was awarded, but according to my neighbor, Richard, "the winner had the satisfaction of knowing he was the best."

The carp marathon has opened my eyes to a new sport fishery I overlooked during a decade of long summer vacations in Provence.

Perhaps I can visit the étang de Bel Air with my fly rod when the light is low. Bien sûr, I will start by conferring with the facteur from Vaison to figure out what kind of flies might appeal to carpe à la provençale.

About the author: Thomas O. Mann

I have written about fly-fishing and related topics in various publications for the past 15 years, including the Wall Street Journal, and other small, limited circulation journals of local conservation organizations in Michigan and Washington, DC.

I have been editor of Riffles, the newsletter of the National Capital Chapter of Trout Unlimited for several years.

I was a Peace Corps volunteer in the 1960s, and served as a US government lawyer for 30 years before retiring in December 2004.

When this story was posted in July 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Contact PCOLBulletin BoardRegisterSearch PCOLWhat's New?

Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
The Peace Corps Library Date: March 27 2005 No: 536 The Peace Corps Library
Peace Corps Online is proud to announce that the Peace Corps Library is now available online. With over 30,000 index entries in 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related stories in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can find hundreds of stories about what RPCVs with your same interests or from your Country of Service are doing today. If you have a web site, support the "Peace Corps Library" and link to it today.

Top Stories and Breaking News PCOL Magazine Peace Corps Library RPCV Directory Sign Up

Special Events for RPCVs Date: July 13 2005 No: 683 Special Events for RPCVs
Join the NPCA in DC for Advocacy Day on July 28
NPCA to hold Virtual Leaders Forum on July 29
RPCV's "Taking the Early Bus" at Cal State until Aug 15
"Artists and Patrons in Traditional African Cultures" in NY thru Sept 30
See RPCV Musical "Doing Good" in CA through Sept
RPCV Film Festival in DC in October

July 17, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: July 17 2005 No: 690 July 17, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
C. Payne Lucas writes "Can we win the war on HIV/Aids?" 11 July
Director Vasquez hints at expansion in Bangladesh 17 July
Why didn't I spend my life helping others? 17 July
John Beasley returns to the islands of Micronesia 17 July
Jennifer Field to study glacier melting 17 July
Tucker McCravy works with Serendib in Sri Lanka 17 July
David Vick writes "Waging civilized warfare" 16 July
Tom Petri says Nelson helped to promote civility 16 July
Peace Corps Director Visits Volunteers in Mongolia 15 July
John Bridgeland writes "An example for Boomers" 15 July
Robert Blackwill says India and US have a great future 15 July
Peace Corps debuts new internet recruitment tool 14 July
Eight New Country Directors Appointed 13 July
Shelton Johnson Honored for Buffalo Soldier program 13 July
Bill Lorenz leads trek for Sudanese refugees 12 July
Emilie Pryor says Peace Corps ignores Lariam problems 12 July
DDN is Award Finalist for reporting on PC Safety 11 July
Randy Lewis to hire 200 people with cognitive disabilities 10 July
Maryland needs people like Tom Lewis 10 July
Dan DeWayne puts on music festival 10 July

July 9, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: July 9 2005 No: 675 July 9, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
Mike Honda says Democratic Party in paradigm shift 6 July
Peace Corps Suspends Program in Gabon 8 July
Thomas Tighe says Thailand is faring better 8 July
Michael Parmly appointed top diplomat in Cuba 7 July
Paul Timmreck got his start trailing garbage trucks 7 July
Shays says London explosions should be wakeup call 7 July
Tom Murphy says: Be Vigilant, But Not Afraid 7 July
Gov. Doyle saddened and outraged by London Attacks 7 July
RPCV Films organizing Film Festival 6 July
Terez Rose writes Aid for Africa Will the G8 Help? 6 July
Carl Youngberg takes ballet to Honduras 6 July
Kafatia faces a mandatory eight years in prison 6 July
Bill Moyers says LBJ hated FOIA law 6 July
Andy and Trudy Anderson work with The Hunger Project 5 July
Thomas A. Dine deplores the attack against reporter 5 July
Mime Troupe tackles history, politics and the World Bank 4 July
Francis Mandanici says investigation could lead to impeachment 4 July
Beth Bedinotti says motherhood is "toughest job" 1 July
Director Vasquez Visits Volunteers in Eastern Caribbean 1 July

July 8, 2005: PC suspends program in Gabon Date: July 10 2005 No: 679 July 8, 2005: PC suspends program in Gabon
Peace Corps announced the suspension of the program in Gabon citing the high cost of the program. In addition, a 2003 Inspector General report documented safety and security costs of $1 million that would be necessary to keep the program operating successfully. Background: In 1998 Peace Corps Volunteer Karen Phillips was was found murdered in the weeds about 100 yards from her home in Oyem, Gabon. Her killer has never been brought to justice.

Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000  strong Date: April 2 2005 No: 543 Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000 strong
170,000 is a very special number for the RPCV community - it's the number of Volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961. It's also a number that is very special to us because March is the first month since our founding in January, 2001 that our readership has exceeded 170,000. And while we know that not everyone who comes to this site is an RPCV, they are all "Friends of the Peace Corps." Thanks everybody for making PCOL your source of news for the Returned Volunteer community.

Read the stories and leave your comments.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: International Herald Tribune

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Chad; Carp; Fishing


By Anonymous (suffolk_hide.cache.e2bn.org - on Tuesday, December 18, 2007 - 10:05 am: Edit Post

howe big is that carp

Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.