Croix Blanche Lakes – The Beginning of a French Carp Fishery

May 7, 2023

At any time since I was a kid, eagerly devouring the operates of this kind of anglers as Jack Hilton and Chris Yates, studying each and every post penned by Rod Hutchinson and realizing off by coronary heart the account by Richard Walker of his famous file, I have been obsessed with catching carp and all that goes with it. The mystic, the cloak that seemed to go over carp fishing for all of my formative many years was like a magnet.

With the enthusiasm for angling I always nurtured the notion of getting my possess lake, my very own Redmire with leviathan carp. Until finally January of 1999 this remained, as for most people, a pot of gold at the finish of the rainbow. Until, by way of a fellow photojournalist, I came to hear about a group of lakes up for sale. It began as a bit of a joke, but the more I considered about it the greater the idea appeared to me. This revelation had my mind in a whirl, possibly , just probably this was my Redmire pool.

On a chilly, rainy January morning I pulled up outside the fence that surrounds the “Etangs” which were buffeted by the wind and covered in a layer of mist and drizzle – they didn’t, in all honesty, seem way too inspiring. A handful of minutes later on the operator confirmed up in a large best-of-the-assortment Peugeot. He showed me all around the residence. I found two large waters of all around seven-eight acres each, and a more compact pond as effectively.

A small chalet experienced been erected near the entrance on leading of a concrete bunker that housed an kitchen, shower and toilet. This was in fact, the Peugeot man’s weekend backyard garden, his possess minor Eden, the place he could come and unwind, swim and entertain, in his leisure time. But he no lengthier came listed here, and wanted to sell up.

A handful of minutes handed and a second auto pulled in by means of the gate. A younger man descended keeping a photograph album. He then proceeded to show me some of his carp captures from the very last two several years, and inform me about the waters and their fish. What fish they were, large wide mirrors, which even from the mediocre photography looked massive. The greatest in excess of 40 lbs.

I parted company with these men and women sure that I experienced stumbled on a jewel in the French countryside, fished only by a handful of people considering that it was excavated and already generating large fish. I just had to have them. This could be my chance to get out of the rat-race that Paris and journalism experienced grow to be, and do anything I would always desired to do. So we did in fact purchase the lakes, my spouse as enthusiastic as myself.

The work associated only became evident as we acquired into it. Only 1 proper swim existed, exactly where the youthful man and his friends employed to fish. I set about slicing pitches out of the willow jungle that surrounded the edges of every single h2o. The waters by themselves just got much more and much more lovely as the seasons progressed, the h2o aqua eco-friendly, tinted with blue, common of chalk pits, and the inexperienced foliage of willows and birches that surrounded it.

The urge to fish was fantastic though, and I started regular periods, to begin with commencing on the only swim. 1 of my 1st a few-working day stints noticed me pulverize my individual very best, three moments in three fish, every one receiving greater. The best over 36 lbs .. By way of the Web I was slowly getting term about about my lakes and a couple of people wished to come to fish. The initial of these arrived at my swim on the customary “stroll round the lake” and my correct hand rod tore off. A properly scaled 27-pounder arrived to the web, my guests had been at the h2o for significantly less than 15 minutes and had been impressed. That evening, far better was in shop. As darkness descended my appropriate hand rod was off yet again and soon after a difficult, arm aching struggle, a mint forty pound mirror lay on the unhooking mat. I was, needless to say, in excess of the moon, PB smashed to smithereens once again!

And so factors progressed, swims ended up cut, a number of keen beavers came to “subject check” my waters, some went residence obtaining blanked, some with large fish below their belts. But which is carp fishing, even in France. Then a chap from Hemel knocks out a forty three and a 50 percent, after a tough 7 days. Wow!!!

In all so much, 30 fish have been caught, 11 thirties to 37lb 8oz (10 of which I’ve been fortunate ample to capture) and two forty pounders. The rest have been great twenties, with just six doubles the smallest 16lb 8oz. This offers an average of practically 28lb. I think you are going to concur the fish are very fantastic.

I plan to inventory far more fish in November, not loads of doubles (some sure) but largely very good twenties and thirties and some huge catfish to spice things up a little bit. If these fish do 50 % as nicely as the original fish in a couple of several years the regular will be superb.

I might been told the “Croix Blanche” lake itself held the most fish, but that the “Tortue” experienced possibly the greatest. Observation of this drinking water confirmed that there ended up certainly some genuine whackers swimming around in the very clear, limpid drinking water. But the entice of more substantial figures to try for observed me opt for the “Croix Blanche”, to begin with at least.

Early in April I established up for a 3-working day session with my 8 calendar year-previous son, William. I selected a swim 50 % way alongside the “Croix Blanche” lake exactly where it narrows, and is around five feet deep, providing a excellent prospect to intercept fish. I baited with soaked maize, hemp and boilies around the considerably financial institution trees, inserting a few strains, 1 balanced snowman fashion, 1 popped up and one base bait in the spot. Things were searching good when I started out to see some really massive swirls coming from the baited zone. As darkness fell I eagerly expected the night time. Up till midnight no will take have been forthcoming so I climbed into my sleeping bag. Close to 4:thirty am I was awoken by a quick operate on my remaining-hand rod. Dashing previous my cautiously positioned boots I ran in stocking ft out to strike the run. The fish moved to my proper and soon after many minutes I was ready to achieve ample line to bring it into the margins, unfortunately the line snagged a department hanging in the drinking water to my correct, which I was not able to cost-free. Pulling difficult simply lifted the fish’s head up toward the tree. I referred to as for my son, who was asleep in the bivvy. After what seemed like ages he staggered out into the evening. I asked him to grab the rod as I went in for the fish. On my command he heaved on the line to provide the fish back up to the branch and I scooped her up in the internet, pulling challenging to split the department off. On the scales she went 33 lb 4oz. I was soaking wet and chilly, but quite happy without a doubt. A new personal very best.

The rest of the evening and early morning was uneventful so I recast about ten am and sat again to reflect on the night’s motion. 1st fish a very good thirty this surely was promising. All was calm right up until mid-afternoon, when out of the blue the left rod dropped back. I struck into another heavy bodyweight. This one did quite small as I pumped her toward me. Keeping away from the dreaded tree, I netted her very easily and staggered up the bank with my prize. A body fat mirror comparable in shape to the very first one particular was weighed in at 34lb 5oz. Two thirties for two fish – wow!

The climate was by now none also very good, drizzly rain and fairly chilly. Standard April. I baited again and recast my rods in preparation for my last night time. As the rain arrived down I hit the hay early woke up by an enormous swirl over my baited location. The anticipation grew, I felt positive I would get a run. Positive adequate at two:forty five am the center rod with the popped up bait took off and instantly I felt a heavier harder combating fish. The other people had offered instead disappointing accounts of by themselves, this a single, nevertheless, created up for that. Soon after 10 minutes or so it was still cruising all around the margins reluctant to appear up to the area. With aching arms I finally slipped the web beneath a lovely fish. It was for a longer time than the other individuals with a massive hump on its shoulders and a considerably greater tail. It took the scales down to 36lb 6oz, a new personalized greatest, for the third time in 3 fish.

As the Spring gave way to Summer season I continued to capture a very good number of the biggies in the h2o. One particular of the stars of the waters is a wide shouldered mirror. This fish was to grace my web for the very first time in May possibly at 40lb and yet again in August when it experienced gained 3 pounds in fat. It also holds the lake file at 43lb 8oz caught by a browsing angler, also in August.

laisse pour tortue My tally of thirties is at present up to eleven and the forty has fallen two times to my traces. To say that the waters have surpassed my anticipations is an understatement!

And so I have turned my attentions to the “Tortue”. The water was beginning to fascinate me, in any case. I experienced observed a genuine lump swimming close to on several situations. By much the greatest fish in the sophisticated. I consequently made the decision to established my stall for the relaxation of the summer time for this fish.

One working day as I stood on the edge of the drinking water considering on where to begin. I called out loud “Carp the place are you? ” As if to response my concern, a fish crashed out above a gravel bar in the centre of the water. This then was in which I put my marker. I baited with maize and boilies for ten times every single other day. My initial evening session handed quietly, but the 2nd saw a fast operate on the middle rod. I was before long seeking at a pristine mirror a shade above 27lb. The next evening at practically exactly the same hour, 11:15 pm, the identical rod roared off and I was fortuitous to be graced by an additional of the jewels of the “Croix Blanche” sophisticated, a linear a tad beneath 36lb. A wonderful fish.

This brings us to September and regardless of a few of three-working day sessions I’m nevertheless to get yet another fish. I’ve noticed the big’un numerous times in a quite impressive team of 8 fish. All over 35lb, I’m confident. I hope with a bit of endurance and good fortune I shall soon be able to recount the capture of this big carp.

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