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France with new rules!

Simon and Susan Wards first fishing trip to France since covid and the new rules on bait.

After what seems like forever, we were finally going back to France, albeit with a whole set of new challenges.   

Euro Tunnel booked ✅

Covid Vaccinations ✅

Passenger locator form filled in ✅

Return covid test booked ✅

Tackle packed ✅

Bait ????

With no problems at the tunnel and a good journey, we arrived at the lakes in France. After the usual greetings, the draw for the swims was done and in no time we were set up in our chosen swim, with the weather looking good for the week. Now our attentions turned to the bait.

The new restrictions after Brexit do not allow us to take any boilies or pellets from the UK, as this is classed as animal feed. Although Spotted Fin products meet all EU requirements and are nutritionally correct and packaged for the EU and they are a UK registered feed manufacturer, all requirements in the UK to be able to manufacture bait in the UK by the way, you cannot just turn up at a port with animal feed anymore (boilies, pellets and groundbaits). You need to have a lot of paperwork, be exporting from the UK and importing to the EU using the right systems and personnel and have the consignments checked with authorised EU Vets, as effectively you are importing animal feed into the EU block. Sadly this is the reality of the situation post Brexit. There really is no difference to taking bait across the channel as there is taking a pallet of lamb chops or a lorry full of shellfish but you are allowed to take hook baits and liquids as they are considered “lures and attractants” respectively under EU rules. This doesnt mean take boxes of hookbaits. As these also contain animal products, in the main they would normally still need to be imported but as far as we are aware personal use of a few pots of hookbaits has yet to be tested either by customs or the courts. It is about being sensible. There has been lots of rumour and myth around what will happen or not happen if you sneak boilies/groundbaits into the EU and no doubt some will get away with it but the consequences are not light if your caught and at the end of the day, its illegal and a criminal offence. Considering the EU are also making doubly sure no other member country trys to follow the UK exit route we would definitely not be taking any chances where bait is concerned.

So this is what we had done with the view to pimping any bait we had to use with our usual signature products which ensures our confidence and we know they work.    

Our initial baiting strategy was to purchase some pellet and boilies from the fishery and to increase their attraction by adding some Catalyst bait soak to the pellets which is much easier to soak into pellets and boilies quickly and some of our trusty Finamino liquid food to the boilies. We always use the Finamino and have huge confidence in it having had some memorable captures and lake records using the product, with carp to 66lb.

We spent some time finding some spots and baited up with the pellet and boilie.

This did the trick! and it wasn’t long before we were into the carp.

We stuck with this method for the rest of the week, we only fished during the day bringing the rods in at night and ended up with 36 carp, including 5 40’s.