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Articles about VauxWhat a fantastic week!
Sep 2006 by Gary Seed
As I set up my gear, I wonder what the week on Le Vaux will have in store for me.
I am fuelled by adrenalin and excitement, a childhood dream achieved, and what’s more – I’m here with my family. They too can experience a week in the life a carp angler, and witness my achievements I may experience during the week. I also hold hope that my daughter and two young boys will catch the bug for fishing! Our family holiday will serve a multitude of purposes, but the main aim is to beat my personal best.
The lake is more than I had anticipated; its beautiful surroundings, peace and tranquillity are something I have never experienced; a million miles from the busy hustle, bustle and usual squabbling over pegs on the packed out lakes of Northern England that I have become accustomed to, and with the prospect of catching a 47lb carp on Le Vaux I know this will be a holiday to be remembered!
By 9.30 p.m. I am already experiencing some activity. I have had a drop back and missed one, so I adjust my set up, and sit and wait. My older son will not leave my side, he is really getting involved and asking all the usual questions. This is what I had hoped for, and slowly over the week a special bond would form taking me back to the days when I would sit with my own father, and to the many hours he spent with me by the lakeside encouraging my love of fishing and handing down to me all his knowledge.
11.00 p.m. I am in – what is on my hook? Is it a common or a mirror? How much does it weigh? I am desperate to see my catch, but gently wind it in and ease it into my landing net. My son grabs my scales and I take my catch over to my mat. I am ‘chuffed’ – I have landed a 22lb mirror – not my personal best, but it is a start.
I try to get some sleep before sunrise, having also caught a 17lb 8 oz common and 18lb 8 oz mirror in the early hours as well as 2 commons (one of which weighed 21 lbs).
The next day is very quiet, having caught only one common in the morning. The temperatures are beginning to soar, and the fish are losing all interest in my offerings!
It is night, and no different. I pray that tomorrow will bring rain to cool the air; I know this is a bit selfish as my family are enjoying the sunshine and warmth, but I do not care – I am on a mission, and the greed for a 30lb carp is taking over, no matter what the cost is to everyone else’s happiness – I have to achieve my goal. My family know my purpose on this holiday and are very understanding of the addiction carp angling brings in what can seem at times like a selfish hobby, so they fully support, encourage, and understand my love for angling.
I cannot believe it! It is 7.30 a.m. on Monday 11th September 2006, and all my hard work is paying off as a 32lb 8oz mirror graces my mat. It is like all my Christmases rolled into one! I have beaten my personal best, and what better than having my wife and 3 children witness this occasion!
The rest of the day has held another 4 catches being a 24lb 12oz mirror, a 21lb 4oz mirror and 2 more commons. As I lie here thinking about my day and tactics I drift into sleep.
1.00 a.m. Tuesday 12th September 2006. I have awoken to the screams of my bite alarms to catch a common, and half an hour later they are off again taking the total to 2 this morning; these may not be the weights I am hoping for, but I am catching, and at least they are taking my bait.
By the end of Tuesday I have caught another 6 fish, and my greed is beginning to get the better of me again. I did well yesterday morning, but where are the rest of the big ones? Why aren’t they feeding? I want another 30lb carp, and the thought will continue to consume me for the rest of the night!
Wednesday has arrived, bringing with it torrential rain, and I have decided to try something different. We (me and my son) are soaked, as is all the equipment – this has never stopped me before and will not today. My family think I am crazy as they huddle inside the dry gite playing scrabble and watching MTV, but again my madness is paying off as (I was to learn later) all the rain has brought the first of the new water into the lake for 6 months; the lake is alive, fish are jumping everywhere as we are being treated to an amazing performance of nature!
With all the day’s activity come another 12 carp. I have achieved my goal again with a beautiful 31 lb carp this evening putting the icing on the cake for me.
With just two and a half days left to go, I am so glad we chose Le Vaux. Chas has been fantastic, and his company is much appreciated as is his advice and bait boat! His constant hard work is evident on his beautiful, much loved and well maintained lake, and the quality of the fish are superb. Chas’s humour is fantastic and brings me back to earth when at times I feel as though my angling attitude is becoming too serious. He has gained a few fans too, as our children will not leave him or Buddy (the family dog) alone, from the moment they stepped foot on the lakeside leading up to us leaving they are all out to impress Chas and see who can get the most attention!
The early hours of Thursday brings me another 3 fish – 2 commons and a koi, and 2 more commons from mid morning to noon. It is late evening, and I land a further 3 commons weighing up to 21lbs.
Friday 15th September – my last full day – my son’s birthday brings double celebrations as at 1.30 p.m. I have beaten my personal best from Monday, as I land myself a 35lb mirror. My son also lands his first carp on his 7th birthday and is very pleased with himself on catching a 16lb common. I catch 3 more, the heaviest being a 21lb mirror.
Saturday has arrived; our time to pack up and head back home; I catch 6 more fish this morning and this is the perfect end to our French family carping holiday. I feel very pleased with my catch of 6 commons and mirrors weighing up to 25lbs.
This is our first family holiday, and it won’t be our last. I am experiencing all emotions on my week’s stay at le Vaux. Chas is teaching me new things that I am very grateful for – in the life of a fisherman you meet many people unwilling to share their years of knowledge and experience.
Le Vaux reminds me of why I first took up fishing as a young boy; no pressures, no competitiveness, no judge and jury, just me and one of the most beautiful lakes I have experienced.
Time stands still at Le Vaux.
Chas and Josie are so welcoming and treat us like family, being fantastic hosts and giving us a holiday that will not be forgotten.
I highly recommend this venue to anyone. We shall definitely come back.
On my return to England I am pleased to discover I had broken the lake record of most fish to one angler, being 50 carp in 6 days!