See if you can spot the basking carp in our flyover video filmed in the hot weather of June 2018. View the lake and gîte and surrounding countryside from a different perspective, this Gateway to Brittany
In the first six weeks of this season, there has been at least one 40 on the bank every week with a total of eight 40s up to that near 50lb mark of 49lb6oz. This week Callum caught his 44lb8oz mirror which Roz landed in October 2014 at 36lb2oz.
Photo 1 is of Callum and his mirror at 44lb 8oz
Photo 2 is of Roz with the same mirror at 36lb 2oz which she caught in October 2014
The first two weeks of this year’s new season, which started in April, has seen two new 40s grace the banks. In the first week Nathan landed a mirror at 40lb7oz (top Left) which was last caught at 38lb8oz in May 2017 by Robert (top right) The second new 40lb-er was another mirror caught by Duncan in the second week at 42lb02oz (Bottom left) which was last caught at 36lb in June 2018 by Kevin (bottom right) Fingers are crossed for a few more of last year’s 30s to tip the scales at 40lb+ this year.
Only two weeks out of the first 13 weeks of this season have not had a 40lb+ carp on the bank. The 40s are mainly coming out to Chas’s Claw Rig and its variants, with only one coming to a boilie. They have all come to orange or pink, high buoyancy, choddie pop-ups The catch rates of 40s has increased since we stopped using the hair rigs for bottom baits and pop-ups. We have no previous photographic records of these three 40s
A recent visit this June prompted our friend Kevin along with lake owner Chas to have a little friendly tactical battle. The red hot weather, clear skies and full moon in France that week did not make for ideal angling conditions, but undaunted they struggled on! go to the "Testing Times" and the "Tackle changes can bring results" articles on our downloads page to find out how they got on......
Within 24 hours of arrival, our three young anglers landed eight carp between them, six between 30lb and 36lb and two 20lb-ers, all three of them getting their PBs. By 10am on Monday, they had banked 21 carp, most of them 30s, including another PB for Chris at 37lb6oz. Later in the day they had a few more with Kyle catching another PB at 39lb12oz. They were so tired by Monday evening they pulled in their rods and spent the night in the gîte. By the end of the week they had a total catch of 34 carp weighing in at 995lb7oz, caught on a variety of baits. All three landed their PBs with their first carp, then all three had second PBs with their second and finally each later had a third PB. Four fish were lost, three in one day, which looked to be good 30s, but in any event they could have had over 1000lb of carp on the bank! A variety of baits was used; bottom bait, sometimes with pellet or fake sweetcorn which caught the two 37lb-ers, pop-up and corn which caught the 39lb-er, pop-up, pellet, sometimes with pop-up and lastly boilies, sometimes with PVA bag. They did use a bait boat, but also found that it was easy enough to cast their rods
I have noted over the years that we’ve owned the lake that 80-90% of the carp anglers tend to use some form of a combi rig, incorporating it with either their bottom baits or, when it is shotted, with pop-ups. Very few variations are seen and on almost every occasion the end tackle will include a hair.
It is not lost on me that in all those years a fairly high percentage of the carp never get caught or are caught so infrequently that the time scale between them actually being landed can be years. The big carp seem to disappear and then, out of the blue, they are on the bank again. Our koi carp are a good example: out of the seven we put in the lake in 2003, only three have ever been caught. I am a technical angler and have used a large number of different rigs in my time, but for me the basic hair rig has run its course and
now fishing with rigs and using a style that does not incorporate a hair. In April 2018 I took the opportunity to fish just 3 ½ days and nights in a swim which had not produced many carp the previous week. I was using bottom bait and small pop-ups with my new rig, the Balanced Claw Rig, in variable combinations with which I went on to catch 19 carp, 6 x 40s, 9 x 30s, 2 x 20s and 2 under 20lb. At least two of the 40s are new 40s and most of the carp came at night as the days were very hot. It would have been easy not to fish because of the heat, but I always say to anglers at Vaux, ‘when nothing is happening in extreme temperatures, it always pays to leave one rod out’. So, on one of the days, I left one rod out to the far bank which proved what I have said as I had a 40+ mirror on it. On a high, I then stopped fishing because I did not want to impact on the following week’s fishing.
Just before 8am, still dark, on a cold, slightly frosty November morning there was the delivery truck parked in front of the gîte ready to offload the latest stock of carp for Vaux. Introductions and then coffee all round in the gîte kitchen as the sky lightened and it was time to view the new arrivals.
Among them are nine 30s, including two at 35lb4oz and one at 33lb1oz. In addition to the remaining 30s there are four at 28lb11oz which, with a good feeding programme over the winter months, will also be into their 30s before too long. The rest came in at
This is the second phase of an ongoing, long term stocking programme with the introduction of a total of 56 carp so far. The first phase contained four 30s up to 33lb14oz. The stockings are being introduced in batches to monitor whether they have any effect on existing stock and if there are no adverse effects future stocking will continue.
The welfare of the carp is always uppermost in our minds and so they were transferred to the lake as quickly as possible after their long journey in the lorry tanks. Therefore, only a few photos were taken of some of the carp as they were weighed
Up to now, Vaux has been more of a bait boat lake, but after receiving requests from those purists who prefer to cast their lines, work has been carried out over the winter months to make it a more cast-friendly water and so more available to everyone who wants to fish it. So, we have to date removed 20 trees from around the lake and trimmed back the rest. It looks harsh, but spring will soon soften the outlook and hopefully our anglers will enjoy the choice of casting or using a bait boat from this season onwards.
A reminder for those anglers who choose to use a bait boat,
we offer a selection for hire: a Waverunner, a Boat-tec and a Panther Cub
each charged at 20euros per day.
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