New Lake, New Challenges… by Paul Cooper
2nd visit to Blue Lake… what a transformation!
I have been testing new waters for Angling Lines for a number of years now and each lake has its own challenges. Unfortunately with some of the new waters there is little or no information available to research for a forthcoming trip.
My next visit to France will be sometime towards the end of July, to a new complex of lakes in the Loire region. I have the complex details but its identity will remain unnamed for the time being.
I can tell you that the complex has 4 lakes set in around 50 acres of private land and the 2 main lakes that I will be concentrating on are of 6 and 7 acres respectively. The information is that the 2 main lakes are possibly well stocked with fish to over fifty pounds.
A Villefond 38lb 9oz from a 2010 visit… this lake is now doing some real biggies.
- The problems start even before I set foot out of England. I am aware that a new lodge has been built which contains the shower and toilet block however at present the interior has yet to be furnished and there is no water or electric connected.
- Martin Barker, who is the Voice of Angling Lines in France, is in consultation with the owners and is pushing to get as much of the work completed before our arrival in the next couple of weeks. With luck, Jim Kelly and I will at least have the luxury of a toilet and some running water. As field testers this is one of the down sides of the job. By the time the lake is ready for the customers the lake facilities will be up and running.
- Another thing to consider with French waters is the presence of nuisance species of fish that may be present in the water as well the presence of Crayfish. With little information we will have to be prepared for the worst and may need to adapt our baiting strategy. Tiger nuts need to be at hand, along with plastic baits and armomesh etc, just in case. Hopefully our ever trusted Quality Baits HG range of boilies will be all that we need to bank a few fish.
- On arrival at the lake Jim and I will map out the lakes for depths, bars and establish the bottom makeup and also try to locate any snags that are in need of future removal.
- Baiting strategies are the next thing to consider along with baiting location. Again every lake is different so I will only introduce small amounts of bait at first, just in case I need to make an early move onto another part of the lake.
- Once we are settled we need to bank a few fish. Now as there is little information about the stocking, it is obviously our job to get to know the fish size and population. This is where we become the original Guinea Pigs as a lot depends on our catch rate. To date we have not failed in ascertaining the general size and stocking density. It is important that we get it right as Angling Lines and the owners of the lake need to know how the lake can be advertised and also to know if a reduction of fish is required or additional stock needs to be found.
- Throughout the trip, notes are taken so that an in depth article can be produced for the web site.
One of the 1st carp caught on a field testing trip at Sapphire lake in April 2010 at 32lb 8oz
A typical example of our lake testing is that of Blue Lake. Last year Ron Key and his fishing companion Dean joined Jim and me for a wet week at Blue Lake. The facilities were unfinished; the swims had just been freshly dug and were made up of wet marl with just sown grass seed. The fishing stocks were very low and consisted of mostly doubles. Following our findings, the owners re-stocked Blue lake with lots of very big carp and this year it has produced some bumper results and will be one of Angling Lines future big fish waters. If the lake had been thrown open to the customers from the off, there would have been some very disappointed punters, instead the feedback from the lake is exceptional.
Next month I hope that I will be in a position to be writing a follow up from this blog telling you what a great lake I have had the pleasure of visiting.
Watch this space.
Paul Cooper, July 2012
Carp Fishing in France with Angling Lines