By browsing our site you agree to our use of cookies. You will only see this message once.
You can view our cookie policy here.

1h 54m St Malo

Articles about Lillypool

My trip to Lillypool
Oct 2009 by Ron Key

Carp fishing France

Lillypool - surrounded by trees and open farmland

There I was tackle and bait packed, reels spooled with new line, bait sorted and then the phone rings. It's Angling Lines telling me that Seafrance are on strike from 7-30 am the next day, and of course I’m due to sail a few hours later at 1230. A quick phone call to my mate Ken, “Can you get here, NOW???” and then I’m back on the phone to Angling Lines asking if we can sail tonight. I caught them just before the office closed and within minutes they called back and we were on the 11-30 that night. What great service!

It was an easy drive down through the night with virtually no traffic to share the motorway with. A couple of double espressos and a quick neck snapping nap en route and we were there.

After a brief argument with the sat nav we arrived on the right side of the road and at the gates of Lillypool. A quick call to Martin one of the owners who gave us the gate combination, and he was soon on his way to join us. The pool is around four acres surrounded by trees and open farmland. There are mature beds of lilies, reeds, red mace, patches of weed, and a wooded island. It’s a fairly shallow lake sloping from 2ft at one end to 6ft at the other. The numerous features and the layout of the swims ensure that each angler has an interesting and challenging array of conditions and most importantly good fish holding areas in front of him.

Carp fishing France
Carp fishing France
Carp fishing France

As we walked around the lake on our first lap with Martin and Jay the bailiff, fish were showing and fizzing everywhere especially close to the weedbeds in the shallower areas. It was an easy decision for Ken and me to select our swims either side of the island, and we were luckily very close to the excellent new fishing lodge. The lodge has a large shaded outdoor dining area, a modern fully fitted kitchen, toilet and wet room, with as I was soon to discover the best shower I’ve had on a carp lake. There is some road noise which very soon we did not notice. Martin informed me that the construction of the stock pond is starting in a few weeks, and the earth would be used to create a high bank to be planted with poplars to hide the road and reduce any background noise.

Carp fishing France The excellent fishing lodge
Carp fishing France A shaded outdoor dining area
Carp fishing France
A modern fitted kitchen
Carp fishing France
The best shower
Carp fishing France
The lodge toilet

Not wanting to disturb the feeding fish I kept casting to a minimum. I put out 15mm Quest Chilli Chocolate bottom baits and PVA bags of crumbed boilie and Spicy Micro Feed as close to the bubbles fizzing on the surface as I dare. The warm sun on the bivvy and the lack of sleep took over and as I stretched out on my bedchair I soon drifted off. It was not for long and it wasn’t my sounder box that woke me it was Ken. 3-30 on a bright sunny afternoon and he had a superb 26lb mirror in the net. I photographed a delighted Ken and his capture and he quickly slipped it back into the pool.

Carp fishing France
Ken had a superb 26lb mirror in the net

That night the bright starlit sky signalled what I had feared with such a late trip and the temperature plummeted. There were no more fish that night and in the morning they seemed to have vacated the shallow water in front of us. A move was on the cards for both of us, Ken moved a couple of swims to give him access to the open water, and I moved to the other end of the lake and the deepest water close to the no fishing bank. It was another beautiful bright sunny autumn day with acres of clear blue sky, and I sat watching a waggler trying to temp one of the fizzing carp out of the corner to my right. It’s a water that lends itself to any style of fishing and I’m sure stalking and particularly float fishing will temp the fish in the warmer months.

Carp fishing France
Carp fishing France
Carp fishing France

Martin and Jay had been invited for lunch to by the farmer next door, and at three o’ clock on cue my middle rod which I had cast back towards the island screamed off. Martin and his wife, Jay and daughter, mum, dad and of course the farmer and his family crowded around as I played the fish. The fish bow waved around on the surface to everyone’s delight and then finally went nuts under the other rods. Martin helped as we disentangled the lines, and slipped a 28lb 1oz mirror over the net cord. The old French farmer was astonished, but found it difficult to understand that we had travelled all the way from England to fish so close to his home. After some complicated conversation and translation; I think he said he took his hat off to me, at least I hope that’s what he said. I love an opportunity to meet and socialise with the locals on these trips. It’s easy on a fishing trip not to experience any of the local food and culture but it is an opportunity not to be missed. I know many are scared by the language issues but I think it adds to the fun.

Carp fishing France
28lb 1oz mirror

At 3-30 the next morning the alarm sounded and there was an icy crunch to the grass as I moved towards my rods. I had cast a rod into the deeper water in front of a bed of reed mace and now a carp sped off and quickly buried itself in a weedbed and stopped, absolutely solid. I put the rod back on the rest and gave the fish some slack line, which the carp slowly took as I ducked into the bivvy to retrieve my fleece. I gave it some more and the line continued to tighten then the fish hit the surface and kited to the left taking out my right hand rod. I eventually pumped it towards my waiting net along the margin to my left, the weight of the fish pulling the line out of the reeds and bushes. Weighing the fish was going to be a problem as my weigh sling had frozen to the unhooking mat. I separated the two as the fish rested in the net in the margins. I was more than happy when a common tipped the scales at 23lb 2oz. I quickly photographed it on the mat and watched in the light of my headtorch as it swam a way strongly. Quest Chilli Chocolate does it again.

Carp fishing France
Carp fishing France I quickly photographed it on the mat
Carp fishing France

The next morning the wind picked up and finally moved into the south. At last some cloud cover and a warmer wind. The lake quickly responded to the change and feeding fish were soon evident as the rising mud clouds gave away their location. I couldn’t resist it, and cast at one of the mud clouds and at four in the afternoon there were a couple of beeps. I peered around the bivvy door and there were a couple more. Then the water erupted and the rod pulled around and leapt off the buzz bars, as the carp headed for the reeds close to the island. I put on as much pressure as I dare and stopped it inches away, its head cleared the water as it rolled then swam back into open water. Minutes later a deep bodied common weighed in at 25lb 4oz. Chilli Chocolate, this time fished as a snowman rig topped with a very bright yellow plastic pop up to give some visibility in the mud clouds. I was really enjoying this very visual fishing.

Carp fishing France
25lb 4oz common

The lake is fairly hard bottomed with a layer of silt over it, and when the fish are feeding heavily they give away there location as the mud rises; disperses; and colours the water. I cast to another mud cloud. As I enjoyed a glass of red wine relaxing on the first mild evening, the mud cloud erupted yet again. An atomic carp charged through the weed, scaring the hell out of me as the line cut through the strands and pinged off the carps’ back as back as it twisted and turned. A 22lb 10oz mirror, and obviously another chocolate lover.

Carp fishing France
Another chocolate lover

All too soon our short visit had come to an end. The conditions were right and I felt I had the measure of the lake, but unfortunately we had to go and it was to be an early start with another lake to visit further south. I was up before six and as I looked across the lake I could see the glow from Kens’ headtorch. He was into a fish. You can’t beat a 26lb common for an alarm call!

Carp fishing France
You can’t beat a 26lb common for an alarm call

We didn’t get in contact with any of the lakes larger residents, but the first three frosts of the year didn’t really help. I think a return visit with more than three days fishing will put that right. It’s an enjoyable, interesting place to fish, with great hosts who are enthusiastic, knowledgeable carp anglers, and of course excellent facilities. Great food is available close by at Villiers Charlemagne and supermarkets at nearby Aze. Definitely one for the future.

Ron Key

International Passenger ProtectionBest Foreign Holiday Company - Total CarpBest Overseas Holiday Company - Carp TalkWinner UK - Frech Awards 2010Powered by Barclaycard
Angling Lines, PO Box 761, CHESTERFIELD, S40 9NS Registered at Companies House, Cardiff. Company Number 4122063

All contents © Copyright 2017 Angling Lines. All rights reserved.
Angling Lines, PO Box 761, CHESTERFIELD, S40 9NS
Registered at Companies House, Cardiff. Company Number 4122063

All contents © Copyright Angling Lines. All rights reserved.