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Articles about Boux
Jul 2011 by Paul Cooper & Ron Key
Sunrise at Boux
It was approaching early summer when I had a call from David Keep of Angling Lines. Along with Ron Key I was asked to test a new venue for the Company. But this request was a little different to the normal because this venue is not new to the French angling scene... it was the very famous Domaine de Boux. Angling Lines represented the venue a few years back but it had been absent from their books for 4 years, but now Boux was back! Boux was regularly in the angling press in the 90’s producing big fish to some very well known carp anglers like Tim Paisley. This was an opportunity not to be missed! I completed my normal research on the internet etc, and after a few long conversations with Ron we were ready for the trip.
The view from the dam
The Domaine de Boux estate sits in a valley of rolling hills deep in rural France on the Eastern edge of the Morvan Regional Nature Reserve. Access to the lake is via a private road leading from the estate farm and there is a secure car park at the head of the lake. The Western bank is the main fishing area as there is ample shade and room to bivvie up for at least 4 anglers. The other bank that is accessible for fishing is the dam; however there is no shade on this bank for those long hot summer days.
The lake was created out of marshland in the 1970’s, giving about 10 acres of water with depths varying from 3 foot to 12 foot, with the deepest water being near to the dam on the South West bank. The lake holds over 160 carp to 55lb, with the average size being in the mid thirties.
My research told me that the lake might be weedy and a boat may be needed for bait placement and for landing fish... this proved to be incorrect more of which later. Ron and I decided that if we were to use a boat we would share the boat available on the lake. Life jackets are available on arrival for a small fee, but are essential if you wish to use the boat.
The farm buildings are a short drive away from the lake along a private road through dense woodland. Set to the side of these buildings are the fisherman’s facilities which consist of a shower, WC, 2 individual sinks, a large fridge and a large chest freezer.
The shower and toilet block
Ron and I left England via the Channel tunnel on the Friday at midday, arriving at a Travel Lodge on the border of Nevers, during that same evening. We found a small Italian Restaurant less than 5 minutes drive from the hotel, which provided us with a good substantial evening meal. The next morning we set off for the 1 hour drive to the lake, arriving in good time to be met by the local estate manager and bailiff.
The temperature was in the low thirties by midday and the forecast was for high temperatures for most of the forthcoming week. There was no question as to which bank we would camp up on, it would be on the Western bank, which would provide shade from late morning through until sunset due to the dense woodland behind the swims.
The next task was to lead and plumb the lake. To my surprise there was an absence of weed on the lake. I was expecting heavy weed with small holes in the weed for bait placement. We found weed on the lake bed which amounted to patchy silkweed, some rising near to the surface in water less than 8 feet.
The dam is the widest point of the lake and it gradually narrows down to the margins of the North West bank. Ron chose to fish the deeper waters towards the dam and I fished the shallower waters at the other end of the lake.
I set my stall out by introducing hemp, pellet and Quest Chilli Chocolate boilies in 10, 15 and 20mm at a range of around 90 yards in around 8 foot of water.
Ron baited 2 swims around the same range, one in open water and the other towards the dam in around 12 foot of water. He initially baiting up with Quest’s Ghurkha Spice and Chilli Chocolate boilies along with maximum action pellets and fished relatively slack lines.
There were large carp moving all around the lake, head and shouldering, crashing & cruising, so we were hopeful of a good session.
By late afternoon the traps were set and we relaxed with a BBQ, wine and a few beers. We hit the bivvies early and at about midnight I awoke to the sound of fish crashing out to my left in the shallows. I realised that all the fish activity was not because of feeding fish but from a massive shoal of large carp spawning. By first light the carp were still at it, and continued until the sun was high in the sky.
I drew in my lines and found that I had been attacked by the dreaded Crayfish, with the bait either being removed or nibbled down to the size of a small pellet. There had been no mention of crayfish on our research so we were both totally unprepared. I turned to plastic baits and air dried 20mm baits, Ron plodded on as he was not having the amount of problems that I was having in the shallower water.
The temperature on the Sunday rose to around 35 degrees and the lake was dead, not a sign of a fish. Ron and I went through the motions and by late evening the fish were back in shallows with sex on their minds once again. On Monday morning following a heavy spawning session, Ron had a screaming run and landed the first fish of the week, a 36lb 11oz mirror. A good result... but were the fish on the feed? No chance! As the sun rose so did the temperature and by late evening the carp were back on the mating routine. The forecast was for a thunderstorm, and torrential rain. The storm arrived, went either side of us and we had about 5 minutes of rain that never even wet the ground!
Wednesday morning was the next bit of action, with Ron hitting into a 39lb mirror, following on with a 31lb 4oz fish.
Martin Barker was due to do some filming later in the day for the 2012 Angling Lines DVD... and with a bit of luck a few more fish would grace the bank. To date I had not had a single run off a carp.
Thursday morning and Ron was into yet another carp, a 29lb 14oz fish which Martin managed to capture on film. That day I had a couple of runs but kept on loosing the fish on the retrieve. I was pulling my hair out but still put on a smile and a brave face despite the frustration.
That evening we all sat down to a BBQ and washed it down with a few beers and a glass of wine. The sun was just going down when I had a screamer of a run. I was quickly onto the fish which after around 25 minutes graced my net, a magnificent 45lb 7oz mirror carp, all captured on film by Martin.
My wait was over... a 45lb 7oz carp
The fish was returned and despite this being my one and only carp of the week to that point, I had achieved my objective, a forty plus on film for Angling Lines. Martin was off the following morning at first light leaving us with one more day to fish. Ron was in again with a 39lb 12oz beauty and later that evening I managed a 25lb 14oz mirror and a 20lb common to complete the week.
|39lb 12oz||25lb 14oz|
This venue is without doubt another jewel in the Angling Lines list of waters and will provide some excellent sport to customers in the future. The lake is due for another stocking of thirties, from another lake on the Domain de Boux Estate which should take place later in the year. This will add to the stock of large residents that are already present.
We did endure some high temperatures which brought the carp on to spawn for 4 days, crayfish which I am sure were reacting to fish eggs, and the high temperatures... but despite all this we still captured some magnificent specimens. I’m sure that any other time of the year we would have captured numerous carp... & this I intend to find out as I will be returning later in the year to Domain De Boux.
Paul Cooper, July 2011