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Articles about VauxMy Week at Vaux
Aug 2014 by Duncan de Gruchy
My fourth visit to Vaux since 2008 and this is an account of my experience of a week in July spent at this classic Angling Lines venue which I want to share with you. If you are looking for a holiday located in beautiful surroundings, with top class accommodation and a large head of big carp then read on as this could be the one for you…
To kick this off, I will explain why I keep returning to this venue:
- The Carp – over the past 12 or so years, Chas (the lake owner together with his wife Josie) have built up a great stock of cracking looking carp. There is now plenty of 40lb plus carp and this year, Vaux’s first ever 50 was landed. There is also a number of smaller carp (mid to high doubles) which helps with the competition for food (more on that later) and to keep the alarms buzzing on the quieter days.
- Lakeside accommodation – the gite here is phenomenal and less than a stone’s throw from the lake. It is clean, very comfortable, well maintained and has all the facilities you could possibly wish for, and is one of the best, if not the best, lakeside gite we have ever had the pleasure to stay in. Superb!
- Size and shape of the lake – as I fish alone, it is very important to select a venue that suits a single angler and therefore, the size and shape of the lake has to be suitable to get the best out of my week’s fishing. Vaux ticks all the boxes for me as I can set myself up in the middle swim and can see (very important) and fish the whole lake without ever having to contemplate moving swims.
- Location – it is a very short drive from the port of St Malo in Brittany (just over an hour)
- Friendly and helpful lake owners – Chas and Josie do not live on site but Chas visits everyday to do his jobs round the lake and make sure you have everything you need. Chas is more than happy to share his vast angling knowledge and experiences with you and his advice can be really helpful, particularly if the carp are not “playing ball”. However, it is up to you whether you want to apply any of his tips but he knows his lake and fish inside out so ignore at your peril!
- On site fresh bait – Chas has a range of baits on offer including frozen boilies, particle mixes, pellets etc and this is very handy as Vaux’s carp can handle some bait! I used 60kgs of particle mix, 20kgs of pellet and 20kgs of boilie in my week without too much trouble.
- Surroundings – situated in a very peaceful area, Vaux is quiet and picturesque and you rarely get disturbed by anything other than the noise of the wildlife or your alarms going off. Although there is a small road adjacent to the lake, there is very little traffic to disturb your peace.
- The set up – its a bit like Marmite, you either like it or loath it. Personally, I love the set up here. There are 3 swims to choose from and each one has either a large platform or a “matted” area and each swim comes complete with the equipment to weigh your captures, weigh sling, water buckets, cloths etc etc. Basically, everything you need at hand.
We (as in my wife and I) had an interesting week where the carp were at times seemingly easy to catch and yet other days where it was real head scratching time.
When we arrived, there were fish showing everywhere (how often does that happen when you arrive at a lake!) and I couldn’t help myself wanting to get my rods in the water as soon as possible. It was the same on Sunday, when the weather was very inclement; there were huge lumps of carp head and shouldering three quarters of the way across to the far margin. Anyone who doubts the amount of large carp that are in Vaux needed to be here that day and see for themselves!
However, as is often the case, seeing the fish can be completely different to hooking and landing them and although I was confident of action I only had half a dozen takes over the first couple of days, and disappointingly, none of the real biggies I was seeing. Chas thought they were pre-occupied on bloodworm and therefore had little interest in eating little round balls!
My standard approach to fishing in France is to think about it as fishing for a week, rather than short session tactics, and therefore keep the bait going in but build up slowly. I usually give myself some options and as you can fish 4 rods here (as a single angler) I decided to have 2 rods on baited spots and 2 as “roving” rods with small amounts of bait to try and find alternative spots that might be the ones for that week.
Fish location was not a problem the week I was there as when the sun came out, large numbers of carp could be seen patrolling the shallow, top end of the lake (I counted 60 one afternoon). This became the spot of the week as 16 of the 22 fish I landed were from this area. They would not respond to even medium baiting though and I soon learnt that this spot only required a dark pop up over a small amount of boilie crumb. If I tried to put more in then the carp would disappear for 24 hours.
Highlight of the week came when I landed a 43lb 7oz Mirror which came to one of my roving rods, again falling to a dark pop up over boilie crumb with no other bait around it. Although I did catch fish on baited spots (a mix of particle, pellets and boilies) it soon became apparent that this wasn’t the method this particular week and the carp didn’t really get going on it.
I do not expect to be hauling fish when I go to France at this time of year anyway as the weather can be against you fishing wise (too hot and bright during the day) and therefore the carp can be lethargic when I’m fishing during daytime, so early morning and late evening are the best chances. The answer would be to fish nights but I’m with my wife and she certainly wouldn’t appreciate me fishing 24/7!
Vaux is a venue which offers a nice challenge to fish and you need to watch the water to see what the carp are doing and then react accordingly. They were very changeable during my stay there and at times I didn’t react quickly enough to their movements.
I find Vaux to be “very carpy” with a great atmosphere, especially early morning and at dusk. However, the fishing is only part of the holiday for my wife and I and whether its good or a little slow I still really enjoy my trips here and I will return again and again. The combination of stunning accommodation, picturesque scenery, friendly hosts and large carp to fish for are for me the ingredients I look for to make for a thoroughly relaxing and enjoyable holiday.
Duncan de Gruchy
For more information on Vaux follow the link - Carp Fishing Holiday