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1h 21m St Malo

Articles about Vaux

A Week at Vaux
Aug 2004 by David Keep

Everyone who works for Angling Lines tries to take at least one weeks fishing holiday at one of our venues every year. We make lots of short visits throughout the year but there's nothing like spending more time & sampling exactly what our customers get. So this year my chosen destination was Vaux.

We took the ferry to Cherbourg - Vaux was an easy 3.5 hours drive from there. We returned from Le Havre which was closer - around 3hours. Looking at the map I guess Caen would be even closer, around 2.5 hours, so that's probably the best option. All depends how quick you want to get there I guess. The directions were excellent & we arrived around 7pm to be greeted by Chas & Josie, the English owners.

carp fishing in France
carp fishing in France

First impressions..
The first thing that strikes you is how close the house is to the lake. At 2m you could literally fall out of the door & into the lake! A point to watch if you have young children, but otherwise what a fantastic set-up. On trips like this I'm taking a family holiday - I don't want to be away from them all day - so Vaux is just perfect. They can wander down to visit you & back without it being too much hassle - if you're really lucky you might even get your food bought to your swim!

The house and lake are both stunning from the outside but the real treat comes when you go inside the house. Chas & Josie have renovated it to such a high standard and with such good taste that I swear most of us would be happy to move in tomorrow! There's all modern conveniences including dishwasher, washer/dryer, Sky English TV, DVD player, a fully equipped kitchen, 2 walk-in shower cubicles, bath.. the list goes on and on. I saw some early feedback from one of our customers saying he thought the accommodation was too good for anglers - well I have to agree with him, but not too good for anglers families. This really is a venue where you can take the family and not be worried about complaints from the non-fishermen.

carp fishing in France

You can fish from the lounge window!

On to the lake. At 2.5 acres the lake is small & intimate, not at all intimidating. It reminds you of an English Estate lake and looks extremely carpy. It's roughly triangular in shape, trailing off to a point at the shallows at the opposite end to the house & dam wall. Fishing is not allowed from the right bank giving a lovely tree-lined margin to fish to. Chas has prepared his fishery with the angler in mind and has erected stable wooden platforms down the left bank - from here it's an easy lob across to the right hand margin. The shallows is where the feeder stream enters & is always alive with carp - the muddy bottom is being stirred up all day as the fish wait for new food morsels to be washed in. Based on what I saw and from talking to Chas this is definitely where to go if you're looking for maximum action. Me? I chose to fish the opposite end entirely! Told you - I was on a family holiday!!

carp fishing in France

The lounge

The fishing...
Since there was only myself & 13 year old Ben fishing this week, and because I'd bought along my baitboat, I knew I'd be able to fish most of the lake from the dam wall, so that's where I set-up. At only 20m from the house it was very convenient too. I'd say the lake would be ideally suited to 3 or 4 anglers, any more would be really tight I reckon.

Using the marker float I could find no real discernable features in front of me but a nice consistent 2.5m of depth. The right hand margin screamed carp though. Using the landing net handle I found a hard stony bottom with around 1.5m just cm's from the bank - ideal for the baitboat.

carp fishing in France

View from my swim

So we started with 3 rods directly out in front of us at around 40m & the other 3 down the margin using the baitboat. Bait was Tiger Nuts on 2 rods & boilies on the other 4 (Angling Lines Specials, Nutrabaits Trigga & Starmer Pineapple CSL - all 18mm). We created bait beds of carp pellets catapulted out to the open-water rods, mixed seed & aniseed & pellet dropped by baitboat for the margin rods. Over the week the boilies outfished the Tiger Nuts, so much so that by the last 2 days all the rods were on boilies.

carp fishing in France

My baitboat. my favourite Big Boys Toy!

We didn't have to wait long for action - one of the margin rods was away after about an hour. I picked up & waited for the customary bend in the rod and. nothing!! On retrieve I found I'd been cut-off. I was gutted. This happened another twice on the margin rod during the week - but to put it in perspective we probably had around 25 takes down the margin, so it's not inevitable, but needs to be noted. I mentioned earlier that by feeling around using the landing net handle I could feel large stones (the lake was originally a quarry). I reckon that the angle I was fishing from meant that my line was virtually running down the margin. Because I was dropping in so close with the baitboat, when I had a take the fish usually ran out into the lake. If the trailing line was running round a sharp stone then.cut-off. I had my nylon cut twice & braid hook-link once, so I'm not sure a braided leader would help - these stones must be very sharp. Don't get neurotic about it, and if you were fishing from the opposite bank it would probably occur must less frequently due to the angle of the line being different.

carp fishing in France

26lb 06oz

carp fishing in France

30lb 04oz

carp fishing in France

29lb 12oz

carp fishing in France

24lb 06oz

The fishing remained fairly consistent throughout the week. We had around 6 to 8 runs a day, spread fairly evenly throughout the day, although mornings up to 10am & evenings after 7pm were probably the best times. I love waters like this when you're always expecting a take. We've all fished venues were you might as well wind the rods in after 7am until the next night. Not so at Vaux - you can never be sure when it'll go! We only fished 2 nights & didn't find them particularly productive - the nice warm comfy bed in the house was a much better option!

Average size was around 15 to 18lb and we caught mainly commons, but there are plenty of mirrors in there. All our bigger fish were mirrors and interestingly they all came from open water marks, not down the margin. Probably just coincidence, but worth mentioning. Indeed, over the week the open water marks produced just as well as the margin swims, so don't go thinking you need a baitboat to get tight to the over-hanging margins. And the open water fishing couldn't be easier. marker float at around 40m, catapult out loose bait, cast to it (I fished 2 rods on the baited area & one around 10m off) & wait - simple.

For the record our catch was:

1 x 30.04 mirror

1 x 29.12 mirror

1 x 26.06 mirror

1 x 24.06 mirror

1 x 23.08 common

3 x 20 - 23lb mirrors

32 fish between 15 & 20lbs (mainly commons)

The surrounding area...
Situated in a lovely part of Normandy there's plenty to keep the non-angler happy; the seaside is only an hour away ( Mont St. Michel ) with lots of beautiful beaches all along the coast. In Fougeres (about 7 miles away) there's a very interesting medieval castle and at Fougeres Forest there's a swimming lake & man-made beach. There's lots of interesting local market towns - there's a Wednesday typical French market in St Hilaire (10 miles). There's a good supermarket in Louvigne (7 miles) plus a bakery just 5 minutes walk away.

We went for a fantastic meal at the Lion D'Or in St. James (18 miles). It's a "proper" French restaurant but don't be intimidated - there's an English menu if you ask! The food is fabulous and not too expensive. We paid around £18 per head for a 4 course meal, including wine.

carp fishing in France

Restaurant Lion D'Or

carp fishing in France

The Bakery, 5 mins. walk away

carp fishing in France


In conclusion..
We had a fabulous time - it was impossible not to relax. The weather during our stay wasn't good, but because of the proximity of the house it just didn't matter. Chas & Josie couldn't be more welcoming - they'll even lend you DVD's and board games if the kids need entertaining. Chas has extensive knowledge of the lake and he's more than willing to put you on the hot-spots. His enthusiasm for his lake and fish is infectious - he's a real good source of knowledge. Listen to his advice and you won't go far wrong.

carp fishing in France

Chas & Buddy

So in conclusion we really enjoyed Vaux - if you're looking for a family venue & some reliable buzzer action it'll take some beating!

Tight Lines,

David Keep

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.