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Mas Bas Main Lake
6h 23m St Malo

Articles about Mas Bas Main Lake

An Autumn week
Oct 2003 by Paul Ashley

Having already been out to France this year fishing for carp I could not see another opportunity arising to get out again due to increased work commitments and my family wanting to also go on holiday !!!!

As luck may have it Bridget from Angling Lines contacted me about a new lake that they are taking on way down south in the Dordogne region which had its own family accommodation, swimming pools and more importantly a carp lake...........Ummmm perhaps I could get some more carp fishing in this year after all, have a family holiday and keep everybody happy !!!!!

I mentioned that I was going to go out again to Neil and Darren and they also both jumped at the chance to come as well, even though it was only two weeks after their carp fishing trip to Canada. It was decided that we would all bivvy up at the lake leaving the Lotus cottage to Deborah and the kids to enjoy their time in France whilst we fished.

Mas Bas is located between Bordeaux and Toulouse, some 11 hours drive (including stops) from our point of entry into France at Le Havre so we decided that a night crossing on the Thursday was in order to allow some sleep prior to the long drive the following day.

Some quickly organised bait and particle was provided through Premier Baits with the successful Aminos chosen due to its past record on previous trips to France over the last few years. We decided upon taking 10kg each of 14mm to 18mm boilies and backing this up with 40kg of hemp seed, 25kg of French maize and 25kg of trout pellet (all particle just in case that the fish decided to feed heavily).  Before arrival in Mas Bas there was very little information obtainable about the lake except that it was approx 5 acres in size, minimal features except the Lilly pad beds, over hanging trees and occasional snags.  The lake being fairly shallow with the deepest part about six foot (at the house end of the lake) with the bottom generally light silt.

We decided to take two cars complete with roof racks with most of the tackle and particle within Darren's Frontera to ensure that our two rug rats had sufficient room to breathe in our car!  Upon arrival at Portsmouth we found the usual queues at the ticket booth and as "usual" we both decided on a booth with the longest possible queue!  Due to the overnight crossing we booked two en-suite cabins which made for a comfortable crossing especially after a few beers in the casino bar on the ferry.

Arriving at Le Havre at the crack of 6.30am was a rude awakening (should have spent less time in the bar me thinks !!!) and it was full steam ahead for our journey to the south.  The route was planned whilst waiting to disembark off the ferry and was thrown at my navigator Deborah to sort out the finer details for the roads we should travel.  As it turned out the route that we selected was superb being a mixture of D routes to pick up the A (auto routes) including as much toll-free sections as is possible.

For anyone repeating our route through to Cahors the tolls were 20 euros 50 cents (each way) during October 2003.  Stopping off in Cahors (approx one hour away from Mas Bas) we filled our shopping trolley at the Intermarche with the delights of wine, sparkling wines, cheeses, meats and of course bread to satisfy the hungry masses upon arrival later.

The roads were hilly with tight bends most of the way but eventually we looked down into a sheltered small valley steeped in autumn colours and saw Mas Bas for the first time ....... bliss!

We were greeted upon arrival by Gilles the owner of the property who explained at length the history and background to the 80 acre farm estate which evidently was constructed some 40 years ago as a restaurant and leisure complex now converted to three gites for holiday lets. The lake and grounds are absolutely beautiful, the surface of the water was mirror flat only broken occasionally by the crashing of carp in the large lily pad beds and the small fry closer being chased by the predators. The lake is set in a valley with steep hills on all sides which are both farmed and set with woods.  Being October the autumn colours of the trees were in a myriad of coppers and russets and overhead two large buzzards were circling searching for prey.

The lads and I walked around the lake deciding where to fish (I decided before we even arrived in France that I was going to be fishing outside of the Lotus cottage where Deborah and the kids were living so that I could see them on a regular basis).  Darren decided on the pads fishing towards the north of the lake with Neil opting to fish the willows on the Lake House bank. As we did not have much time before darkness fell, the rods were generally cast to likely spots as single hook baits or in my case, small PVA bags. An evening meal was prepared by Deborah and after a few drinks we all retired to our respective homes/bivvies to recover from our journey and hopefully to be disturbed by a carp or two.

During the night I was disturbed four times (three times by a carp and once by Thomasina the lake cat!).  Three commons graced my net during the night, two doubles and one twenty plus a bonus vole deposited inside the bivvy (still alive) by the cat who decided to chase it around for half an hour!!  Upon checking with Neil and Darren all was relatively quiet with Neil banking a 19lb common off the willows and Darren nothing apart from liners.

On Saturday it was warm and sunny with no wind to talk of and the fish appeared to be mainly confined to the two large sets of pads in the middle and northern part of the lake. Darren had three pick ups, losing two and banking a small common whilst the rest of our rods were dormant.

The fish appeared to be happiest feeding against pads and similar features with the open water being unproductive with hardly a liner betraying their presence. We all decided to fish against features and apply some boilies and particle by the boat on site.  Whilst on the boat, we used our fish eagle echo sounder to try and find further underwater features that could not be found by the marker float and found very little other than the gentle shelving against the banks. During October the water level was down by comparison to earlier in the year possibly by two foot so we found the lake bank to be the deepest at approx six foot shelving to the middle at approx three foot and coming up to the far margins at about one foot in depth. A plan of the lake can be accessed by clicking the map link.

All my fish came after dark and Sunday was no exception with three doubles netted and one large fish lost (the bait was picked up close to the island and the fish decided to run between the island and the bank under a bridge which I turned and then lost it down the back channel with a hook pull ........  aaarrrghhh!!!). 

Darren on the other hand lost two more during the night due to the pads and was not a happy chappy! He popped over to Neil's swim and whilst there Neil's left hand rod roared off with the fish going into the snags at the base of the over hanging willows. Rather than taking the risk of bullying the fish out, I decided to go after it in the rowing boat and upon finding the fish minding its own business in the snags I hand lined it out playing the fish as I went until Neil took over on the rod (about time he did something !!). This fish was definitely a shared fish with Neil taking a third share (because it was on his rod), Moi taking a share (because I played it by hand) and finally Darren taking a third share as one of his rigs was in the fishes mouth (lost during the same night!!!).
Monday was generally quiet for all with Darren taking an 18lb common, losing two with Neil no activity (apart from his snoring that is !!!) and me losing one. Oh yes, I nearly forgot we had a theft on the lake !!!. Neil returning to his bivvy from lunch found that a good kilo of boilies had been removed from his cool bag, with the cat the main suspect. After questioning the black moggie it was instantly noticed that it's stomach could in no way hold that much food and the culprit was more than likely a feathered thief...........KETCHUP !!

Tuesday was a little bit more prolific (mainly from me) with six extra fishes to my tally, one to Neil (20lb) and Darren with the best of the trip so far, at 21lb.  All the fish taken were all commons and generally long and lean but extremely hard fighting and would not give up until they were totally exhausted with our arms in a similar condition.

Even Deborah got in on the act in my swim landing a 12lb 6oz common to give her a personal best (whilst we were all involved with lighting the barbeque).

Wednesday was another quiet one even though we expected it to be otherwise after a major downpour with an ominous stormy sky.  The fish unfortunately had a different agenda with only Neil taking a 17lb 6oz common after poaching part of Darren's swim within the pads.

Thursday, our last day, I broke my duck by having to fish off my spots in daylight.  Neil poaching another fish out of the pads next to Darren and Darren excelling with an 8lb common!!! (Must have been the smallest fish in the lake!!) I increased my tally of species by bagging a couple of skimmers, a roach and a perch on float fished sweetcorn before nightfall.

The lads decided to pack away their bivvies as this was our last night and fish into the early hours from their chairs before bagging some sleep in two spare beds in the Lotus cottage whilst I opted to fish the night away in my bivvy with the hope that a bigger fish would come my way.

It almost came true with two more fish out during the night of 20lb 8oz and an 18lb 2oz. In all we had 27 carp during our week and a number lost. Darren had 4, Neil 5, and me 18.

Whether it was us or the fish were in a bit of a mood waiting to go into their winter torpor, none of the better fish that are known to exist in the lake decided to come our way despite fishing hard on static rods and stalking the margins.  Mirrors were seen within the large pads but they unreservedly decided not to play !!!.

What the lads and I can say is that Mas Bas is a glorious place to fish, totally peaceful, full of wildlife, blue skies, warm weather and is the perfect location for a family carp fishing holiday. Yes it is a long way to travel but it is utterly worth every mile getting there and who knows on your holiday, perhaps one of the bigger prizes will grace your net !!!!!.

I just hope that I can talk Deborah into another visit next year. Can we dearest ???

Au Revoir mon amis

Paul Ashley

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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.