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Articles about Blue LakeField testing at Blue Lake
Jul 2011 by Paul Cooper, Jim Kelly, Ron Key & Dean Randle
View from the West bank of Blue Lake
Years ago I would travel around France looking for lakes that had not seen a carp angler on its bank containing unknown and uncaught carp. Well this year I had the opportunity of fishing just such a lake with fellow field testers, Jim Kelly, Ron Key and Ron’s colleague, Dean Randle. The virgin lake is a 14 acre gravel pit situated between Paris and Le Mans and is to be called Blue Lake, the name being inspired by the cobalt blue colouring of the clear deep waters.
The History of Blue
The owner of the lake, who is a French fish farmer by the name of Sebastian, has purchased the venue within the last 6 months. Normally catering for the Dutch contingent of carp anglers, he made the approached Angling Lines wishing to offer Blue to British carp anglers.
Since taking on Blue lake, Sebastian has been involved in some major work at the venue. The lake was last fished by a local French fishing club around 8 years ago and has since been left for nature to reclaim its bank side vegetation, with tall trees and heavy undergrowth taking over the banks. Sebastian has created eleven double swims along with a single swim, all with vehicular access. Also on site he has installed a toilet/shower block which has only recently been connected to the French main water supply. The electric is due to be connected in the next couple of months.
Sebastian is aware that when the fishing club were on the lake, carp to around 20kg (44lb) were present. A few friends and family members of his have tried their hand at carp fishing the lake since the purchase, and they have reported back carp captures to just over 30lb. Our challenge was to help gather more information to ascertain what it contained and to what size so Sebastian could make decisions on how many and what size carp to stock.
Jim and I arrived on the Saturday morning having just completed a week on another of Angling Lines waters. Ron and Dean were already there being shown around by Sebastian. As we arrived the weather was on the change from being warm and sunny to dull cloud with drizzle.
Jim and I completed a tour of the lake, watching fish cruising and crashing all over the lake. We met up with Ron and Dean and gave them the opportunity to select their swims. They chose to fish together on the single point swim nearest to a sunken island on the Northern bank. Ron decided to fish the bay to his right and Dean out towards the sunken island. Out came my marker rod and we set about leading and plumbing the lake to find out the nature of the rest of the lake.
This is what we found:-
Sketch of the lake
The Lake Bed
On the West bank there are 3 double swims, the last one being in the most Southern corner of the lake. The southern corner swim was 7 to 8 foot in depth for around 45 yards then shallows up slightly where a large weed bed sat. Beyond this the water deepened off to around 14 foot.
In front of the other two west bank swims the lake bottom is made up of sand and firm silt, and had depths from 11 foot in the margins to around 14 foot at 60 yards out, this then shallows off to around 7 foot at 100 yards.
The Eastern Bank has 4 double swims, all with lots of features in front of them, with weed beds close in and lots of rocks and gravel features, with gullies and plateaus.
In front of the middle 2 swims on the East bank is the sunken island which is around 130 yards from this bank. A gravel bar runs parallel either side of the island. In front of the island are another 2 gravel bars which again run parallel with the east bank, these are between 4 and 5 foot below the water with drop offs of 7 foot either side of the bars.
The Northern bank has 3 double swims and one single swim. The most Northern corner of the lake is heavily weeded and has depths from 7 to 5 foot. From the Northern most point the first swim has 7 foot of water in front of it with the weed bed to the left. The next double swim which has a small grassed point out into the lake again has 7 foot of water out for around 100 yards. To the right of this swim is a shallower bay with some heavy weed growth in the margins. The lake bottom in front of both of these swims is made up of soft sand or silt with some small gravel patches.
Behind the shower block there is a track that gives access to the only single swim on the lake. 50 yards in front of this is the main feature, the sunken island. As already described this has a bar running off either side of the island. Between the island and the bank is around 5 to 8 foot of water with a soft sand or clay bottom.
The last swim on the lake is the large double swim opposite the gate entrance. This swim gives access to large tree lined margins on both sides of a bay and carries around 14 foot of water. The lake bed is made up of soft sand or slit.
Back to the Fishing
We decided to fish the northern most swims. Jim jumped onto the one by the weed beds and I the swim with the grassed point next to it.
The rain started to get heavier and the first night proved unproductive to all of us apart from Ron who managed 2 small bream and a 20lb common. I was sitting watching the water at around 6am and saw a few fish lumping out in the southern corner of the lake.
By lunchtime, Jim and I were on the move. Jim went into the southern corner swim and I went into the swim next to it on the West bank.
|Ron with a 26lb 12oz carp||My scraper 20|
Due to the recent construction of the banks, the make up of the swims was of heavy clay, and the recent seeding had not taken effect yet. The rain kept coming and it was not long before we were walking around in moon boots made of thick clay. Not the best angling situation, but this is the beauty of being the first at a new venue. I felt settled in this swim and started to introduce hemp, High oil trout pellets with my spomb at a comfortable range of 45yards over a firm sandy bottom. I catapulted out 15 and 20 mil Quest Chilli Chocolate boilies, giving a wide spread to accommodate 3 rods. That night I picked up a few bream along with a couple of mirror carp around the 19lb mark. Jim had a couple of bream and the next morning decided on another move. He moved to the next double swim up on the East bank and selected an area around 90 yards out to place all his rods. Ron and Dean stayed put with no more fish to their names.
Monday was another wet and miserable day with the only fish coming out in daylight hours to my rods, more bream.
Tuesday was no better, heavy rain turning to light rain with more bream. I had a couple of more carp overnight again one upper double and a scraper 20 with a few more bream thrown in for good luck. Dean had his first fish of the session and Jim picked up a couple of double figure carp overnight.
On Wednesday morning Martin from Angling Lines arrived to video the lake and hopefully some fish captures. Things weren’t looking good. Dull and yet dry, with little sign of fish. Around lunchtime I had a drop back, hit into it thinking that it was another bream, I connected with another upper double which Martin captured on film.
A high double for the video
He left and the rains once again arrived. France is not always that wonderful sunny location. Ron had a 27lb carp before dark and overnight we had a monsoon, but the temperature was rising and it felt carpy. Sure enough by midnight I had captured another 2 upper doubles, I was soaked through to the skin, and wound all my rods in as Jim and I were due to leave first thing in the morning.
|Dean with a 24lb common
||Another 20+ for Ron
We packed the car and were ready to leave by 9am. We went to say our goodbyes to Ron and Dean who had decided to both move into the swim I had just vacated.
I had managed 7 carp and 13 bream, Jim had 3 carp and 5 bream, Ron had 4 carp and 2 bream and Dean had landed 1 carp. The fishing had been hard but the weather was clearing up with a blue sky popping through the clouds.
Dean with his 27lb 8oz carp
The next 2 nights proved productive for Ron and Dean in their new swim. Ron fished to the left of the swim and managed another 5 carp and Dean fished over my old bed of bait and produced another 3 carp to 27lb 8oz. Overall that one swim had produced the majority of the fish.
|Blue certainly is a gorgeous lake....
The testing of the lake produced a number of 20+ carp to 27lb 8oz, along with a similar amount of doubles and a lot of bream. This shows the importance of our visit to the lake as we have ascertained the need for the removal of bream and additional stock. Sebastian has numerous lakes at hand with varying sizes of carp stocks. He will be stocking over 200 carp between 22lb and 35lb from his stock ponds along with some bigger specimens if they grace his nets. This will take place well in time for the opening of the lake in Spring 2012.
Some netting will also take place at Blue lake to remove as many bream as possible and at the head of the lake a holding pool is being built to accommodate any line caught bream.
By the first week of opening in Spring, the swims should be fully mature and grassed and the toilet/shower block will be fully up and running with hot and cold water.
Sebastian is a well known carp farmer and he will make every effort to make this venue one of the top waters in France.
Paul Cooper, June 2011