Angler of the Month - Nicolas Valentin E-mail
Tuesday, 17 May 2011 15:32

Nicolas with a trophy pike

I met Nicolas through Facebook. He was a friend of a FB friend and his pictures caught my attention. I went through a couple dozen of them and they were great. I knew many of our readers would want to check them out too. So I contacted Nicolas and asked if I could do an article about him. I especially like learning about kayak fishing in other parts of the world as most of the information we gather is from the North American continent. We’re hoping to change that and continue to offer more and more international coverage. I posed a few questions to Nicolas.

Fishing blog island

1) When did you get started kayak fishing and how did that come about? I always fancied a kayak, and I work in the Glasgow angling center About 18 months ago we were selling the caper model from ocean kayak, so I got one. I had no experience what so ever in kayaking but in my youth I had a go at windsurfing and was a good swimmer. I love the water. I am a French man living in Scotland and the water, the scenery and the fishing is awesome. You can choose the sea, the sea lochs, the fresh water lochs or the rivers. It is never ending. I tend to fish different places each time. I go mostly every Monday. The weather in Scotland is unpredictable; usually at the week end I check the weather forecast and especially the wind. It is always cold here and the water is freezing. Sometimes I could be 2 miles at sea and there is nothing else but the sea. I look after myself in those conditions. It can be so dangerous where I go kayaking because there is no one. I wear neoprenes and also a foam safety vest and a Parmaris manual floatation device in case I go in! I have been in before and I know best now. The water is very cold, so I keep warm and stay afloat.
When I first got the kayak, I went along the canal waterways for practice and soon after I headed to Loch Lomond for pike fishing. Just before Xmas I took some savage gears lure kayak fishing and within 10 minutes I was into a decent pike. I decided to play that one from the land and then I went back I took another one just under 20lb. I was hooked on kayak fishing. I got that fish on board the kayak, from here to toes and race back to land, unhooked the monster and released it. By that time I was hooked. I was able to go places where no-one could go; I could face the weather and had no fear.

 

2) I see you work at the Glasgow Angling Center, what do you do there? Yes I work at the Glasgow angling center.  I have been there for 4 years now. I use to be a Chef in a Fancy Glasgow restaurant for over 18 years and I had enough. Fishing is my passion so I got a job there.  I like this job, less pressure. I mostly work in the front shop. It is the biggest fishing shop in Europe. We have got over 1000 rods on display and probably over 100,000 different items. It is huge. The online business is phenomenal and the customers are happy to see us.
Nicolas with a cod in his lap.

3) What kayak(s) do you fish from? I mostly fish from my caper, it is very easy to transport and use and also great for exploring. I have also tried my friend’s Prowler 15 which is much bigger and heavier than my caper.

4) Where do you do most of your kayak fishing? I do most of my fishing in the sea now. The adventure is great and it is more of a workout. Saturday we were kayak fishing for common skate, about 3 km in a sea loch fishing depths of over 400 feet and trying to pull in 200 lb fish! We are a very small group of people in Scotland taking up this sport. We are about a dozen but we will get bigger and bigger shortly. We are meeting more often and keeping contact with each other, mostly for safety. It is good to be together when the weather hits hard. I fish Scotland. I go to the east coast for the cod. Near bass rock it is awesome. It is 2 km at sea to this rock. On it nests 10,000 gannets, 50 seals, guillemots and fulmar. We have cods to 10lb and pollock too.
This time of year the sea is still very cold and the fishing is very hard. Shortly the mackerel will appear. I got 90 this past summer in an afternoon. I use them for bait all year round. I shall go back to Loch Etive for spurdog fishing and thornback rays.
Making bait.

 

5) What tackle, rods, reels, line, lures and baits? For sea fishing I use a Ron Thomson kamikaze rod and an Okuma XT reel. I don’t use very expensive reel and rod because it is so easy to lose the lot on a kayak. The line I use is mostly braid. I can fish a very deep loch up to 400 feet deep. That way I can keep in contact with the bites and it is easy to strike. For sea fishing I mostly use a Hokkay baited with mackerel, prawns or squid and I fish close to the bottom. For pike fishing I use a heavy spinning rod and savage lures and articulated fish. They do the job. The kayak takes me to unexplored places and unfished marks.

6) Your photography is excellent, are you a professional or a highly skilled amateur? Photography is another hobby and I share some photos on flickr.com under Nicolas Valentin. Most of my pictures are about Scotland which I love.  It is about the place. I always wanted people from all over the world to have a look at Scotland. I am an amateur photographer, although I have printed some of my work. I will never do this for money. I enjoy sharing images of Scotland and that is as far as it gets. I have sold some prints, people have paid for the use of my images...but I don't care about money!
I am also uploading some small videos on Youtube. They are slowly gathering interest. They can be found at Youtube www.youtube.com/user/1nicolas1963 have a look!

7) What kind of camera equipment do you use? I use a Nikon D90 with a Nikon 10-24mm most of the time.
Another nice pike.
 

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