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Articles about Laroussi
Aug 2004 by Cliff and Steve Hughes
The Etang de Larroussi is a new venue for 2005, run by French carp enthusiast Medhi Daho, and is set in the Sarthe region of France just south of Le Mans . A 15 acre gravel pit is has been stocked with carp, grass carp and sturgeon. The average size of the fish is quite exceptional and we are convinced it will become a firm favourite in the coming seasons. Angling Lines regulars Cliff and Steve Hughes checked out the venue for us in August. Here is a short article on their findings..Ed
The owner of the Etang de Larroussi, Medhi, is a passionate angler and this is reflected in the effort and thought that has gone into the layout of the swims and other facilities. Living on site, he also manages to strike just the right balance in being neither too intrusive nor unwilling to provide advice as and when sought. He speaks very good English and took great care to explain the fishery rules verbally as we arrived - a good idea as this should avoid any misunderstandings - currently these are posted in the facilities hut, but only in French.
Having been open to the public for about one year, the fishery itself is still very fresh, with nice grassy banks and a good deal of water available to each swim, although the four on the south bank need some mutual consideration and La Pointe could dominate the water if fished selfishly. It is also very refreshing to be able to say that we found not one single piece of litter - not even one cigarette butt.
There are seven swims, five of which are good doubles. There is a three-rod per angler limit, although six can only be used when sharing either L'Anse or Les Deux Saules, other swims being limited to four per two anglers. Two of the swims are have good shade (L'Anse and La Chene) with the others leaving the angler exposed to the sun - some work to improve this in the future would be worthwhile. Indeed, the owner plans to plant some willow trees on some of the more exposed areas. This will greatly enhance those swims that are currently too open to the elements and will provide summer shade for both fish and angler alike.
Each of the swims is provided with three tree stumps, about 18 inches in diameter and two foot high - these can be moved around at your convenience to provide a table, footstall or whatever your needs dictate - well I liked them anyway!
This was our first experience with sturgeon. We were told that the lake contains ten - we caught four and lost one other. They were very visible, jumping frequently; they should not be netted like carp - being too long at about 4 feet to do so without risk of damage, seem to feed madly on anything other than light baiting. They grow very big very quickly, however, I certainly won't actively seek them out in the future.
We caught 17 fish, lost 2 in bank side snags and pulled out of 6 other fish - so a total of 25 runs turned into fish contact. We also missed an amazing number of other strong, single tone runs, possibly around the 50 (yes - fifty) mark - and we still don't know why. We switched from free running to fixed leads, with one of us fishing locked up, which seemed to help a little - but to miss so many strong runs is unprecedented, at least in our experience. All other anglers we spoke too (five in total) reported similar experience, as do many others according to the owner.
All of the fish we caught were in superb condition, with perfect mouths and with the exception of the two 40's, fought well. Each angler is supplied with the owners chosen Klinik -type disinfectant.
The weather conditions seemed to have the greatest impact - the prior week had been wet and windy and the lake fished well. These conditions persisted for the first two days of our session, during which time we baited lightly (believing that a great deal of bait remained in our swims, La Chene and La Plage, from the previous anglers) and we caught 6 fish, including 3 sturgeon, which did seem to home in quickly on any large quantity of free food. The weather then turned bright and sunny and we struggled to catch more than one during our third day - though this was a superb PB mirror of 42Ib 8oz for Steve. Mid morning on Tuesday, we decided on a move, partly in the knowledge that L'Anse would position us on the quietest part of the lake when an influx of new anglers were due to arrive. These three guys duly arrived, settled into La Pointe, Le Haut Fond and La Plage and as we had hoped, pushed fish our way, against the wind, which remained southerly, south-westerly or westerly all week. Tuesday afternoon and evening we were blessed with lots of wind and rain, so we baited heavily and settled to wait. The night that followed was dry and warm and although the sky was clear, it was moonless and very dark - and the bigger fish settled down to a big feed. The period from 8pm to 7am saw us catch five fish - all mirrors at 22.08, 33, 28.08, 43 (PB for Cliff) and 33.08
The sturgeon showed a definite liking for halibut pellets (we stopped fishing these during the night, as one sturgeon can quickly wipe out five other rods in the dark) with the carp caught mostly on Active 8. We had no takes on fruity or other high attract baits, catching only on fishmeal types.
The facilities are very good, housed in a new, well constructed building and containing a food fridge, bait and food freezer, toilet, shower and wash station.
There is a big Leclerc supermarket about ten minutes drive away, in Allones on the southern outskirts of Le Mans. This is open 9am until 9pm each day, and does not close for lunch. It also has a cash machine.
Brief details of our catch:
• 17 fish for total of 501Ib at overall average 29Ib 7.5oz
• 4 Sturgeon averaging 35Ib 14oz, 11 mirror carp averaging 31Ib 5oz and 2 common carp averaging 12Ib
Sturgeon: 35,35,36.5(PB for Steve),37(PB for Cliff)
Mirror Carp: 43(PB for Cliff), 42.08 (PB for Steve), 33.08, 33, 30, 30, 29, 28.08, 23.10, 22.10, 17.12
Common Carp: 14.12,9