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Articles about VillefondUnder the spell of Villefond
Jul 2011 by Rob Allen
The day had finally come to our trip to Villefond, the weather at home was a lovely sunny day so it was looking good from the off! Paul my friend who I was going with picked me up around 2.00pm so we set off just after loading our gear. Heading south to Portsmouth to catch our ferry to Caen, we arrived early with plenty of time for a pub dinner and a couple of pints. I have travelled to France numerous times in the past few years and I really think that choosing the ferry to Caen instead of Calais cuts out a lot of driving once arriving in France, extra fishing time – which is an added bonus.
We were in France, arriving at the lake 3.5 hours later with a warm welcome from John the owner; he’s a lovely guy, really helpful. Weather was glorious, just like at home minus the typical British chill in the air. Walking around the 8 acre lake I spotted someone on one of the pegs so went up for a chat. They had had 21 carp between them, 70% of which were 30’s. I found myself grinning like the Cheshire cat eager to find my peg and get set up.
The pictures of Villefond on the website don’t do this beautiful lake justice, it’s a fantastic looking carp lake with some great pegs, all neatly built.
The island was lovely, tidy and clean looking, snag free which make it much easier to catch the carp. The island is surrounded by very tall oak and sycamore trees and beautiful willows swept their arms on the edges of the water. The water though was 3ft down the effects of such a long hot summer
I finally decided to fish the ‘dam’ end of the lake so after sussing out my swim and checking the features I found a nice gravel patch, so we unloaded the van rapidly and set up. We fished for a few hours before checking out the facilities and taking a long overdue shower. The amenities where spot on; running hot water and cooker in the caravan on the lake. A few hours quickly passed with no sign of fish or takes so we decided use our Coleman’s and get dinner prepared, somehow, food always taste’s better when cooked on the bank! We set our rods up for the evening and settled down to an early night. I was looking forward to a full days fishing tomorrow to catch some of the stunning French carp. I was woken with a start by a one toner and excitedly set out to bring it in. It turned out to be a nice 32.8lb mirror, a great start and setting me up for what I hoped would be a cracking weeks fishing. Getting my rod back to the feeding spot, I sat back in my chair and watched the morning mist drift from the lake revealing some fish on the far side of the swim. Decision made I changed one of my rods to a shorter rig so I could get a good cast to where the fish were showing, I put on a fish meal boilie which I was using for the first time. My rod was back in for 5 minutes MAX and I couldn’t believe my ears, I was in again. It gave me a very good fight and definitely didn’t want to come in, and finally as I was reaching for my net the line came slack and it was off - GUTTED.
Not long after that I had another 32lb mirror from where I had my first fish, happily this one was netted nicely, photographed and put back safely. Soon after though my other rod went off where I was fishing to the far bank (where I lost the one previously) again another 30lb+ carp, 30.06lb to be precise. Not bad really for a first nights fishing. Finally I brought my rods in and went round to see how my friend Paul was getting on, further around the lake. Unfortunately he hadn’t had anything but at least we both knew, there was plenty of time still to go.
The next day proved uneventful and we settled down again that night with high hopes but nothing interrupted my sleep. The following morning I woke around 4.30, frost lay all around. I couldn’t believe it, my expectations of carp capture were reducing by the minute! I really didn’t need this added obstacle for catching but before I knew it and to my huge surprise my rod was screaming off. Jumping up, I began to play the fish in very slowly, and was rewarded when a lovely 34.8lb mirror was sliding into my net. I was ready to put him back into the water as my middle rod had a drop back. Quickly I grabbed a bank stick and put the fish in the water while I went and hit my rod and reeled in the slack line to feel a cracking lump on the end it felt like my biggest fish yet. The Carp are real fighting fish here probably because it’s their first time being caught and I could tell this because only my hook mark was in their otherwise intact curtain in their mouths. I always bring a carp care kit to France to protect the fish and keep them in this fantastic condition. The fish slipped into my net after a good fight and it weighed in at 35lb which was indeed my biggest fish so far this trip.
Having made sure the fish was safe I ran around to Paul my heart beating fast to ask him to catch this double moment on camera. Photos taken the carp were duly returned safe again to the water.
The rest of the day then was quiet but after my stunning double, I remained in high spirits.
At this point though Paul still hadn’t caught, he was contemplating moving but decided to give his swim one more night. If there was nothing through the night then he was definitely going to move to the other side where some fish were showing. Soon after, John and his son Mark came round to see how we were getting on and asked if we wanted anything from the shops they are lovely people. They wished us luck and not 20 minutes after I had a take on one of the rods. I had cast out earlier to where they were topping and it this carp proved to be my biggest yet – 36lb!
The night came round quickly and it was soon time for bed, I was hoping for a good nights fishing. I had put my fishmeal boilies on all my rods because that’s what was working. I had found it reassuring to know that the sudden change in weather earlier didn’t entirely spoil my fishing I felt like we had been through all the seasons so far in just a week. Waking at 2.30 in the morning with another 30lb+ carp I knew there was to be little sleep for me that night and I ended up with four 30’s by 8.00am! I hadn’t even had time yet for breakfast! Soon after I was in again, a delightful 28lb mirror. The sun was shining and the wind had started blowing to where Paul was thinking of moving to. I was totally happy with what I’d had on my first peg, so I was happy to move to the other side and still fish across to the same swim, so we both got packed up and set up on the other side lake.
Paul finally got a take, but it wasn’t hooked so he quickly got it back in the same spot and ten minutes after he got a drop back and the same happened again! Paul was pig sick, He really needed to get something and soon. Shortly after John arrived to see how things were going and if things had picked up. I was telling him how his wish of luck brought me a fantastic fish … and as we were chatting away we heard a one toner, we both looked at each other and ran to Paul’s peg. Paul was playing it very slowly as he did not want to lose this fish as it would be his first if he was to land it. This fish was on a pop up which was promising as all the others had been caught on fish meal boilies. I think it’s always best if you bring a variety of baits to France, not loads as you do only use the same amount as at home. The fish taking different baits is a good sign as all my fish had come on boilies which I never usually bring to France but I brought them on the off chance. Normally I use wafters which is a buoyant bait and plastics. This just goes to show you should always come prepared for your dream trip to France …. Paul’s fish slipped into the net looking like the biggest fish so far weighing in at 36lb. He was very happy as he had waited five days for this but it was worth it he said. We were thinking John must have been our lucky charm we laughed. Just goes to show the quality of the lake, 12 fish had been banked and only one under 30lb.
After tea we sat back and relaxed with a few beers, our confidence soaring with Paul having had his first fish, the mood was really good. You never need to look at your watch on Villefond as the local church bells gently chime in the distance every hour. This is a place to chill and plan your tactics in a lovely setting.
Even the resident duck (saved from the makers of Fois gras!) does not have an annoying quack in him. Paul noticed some fish showing right over his baits and this kept him in a positive mood. It was his middle rod with fake corn on the hair, just popped up of the bottom with a few handfuls of pellet and corn. I was just planning to go and make some tea but Paul wanted five more minutes sat on that rod. It wasn’t even 20 seconds and his middle rod was off again, Paul was over the moon. Yet another fish before tea, a stunning mirror just under 30lb which was a fantastic result. 2 fish in less than 5 hours.
Experience tells me you should never give up when you come to France as anything can happen even in your last dying minutes whilst ever the rods are in there is a chance. I recall one time when I was in France I had 4 fish all week and on the last night I went to bed resigned to a poor result but in the night I had 12 fish and left the lake being top rod. This just goes to show anything can happen!
Anyway, back to this trip... The following morning was Thursday and I had my last fish of the trip which was a 34.8lb mirror around 10.00am. All good things though come to an end and I must say I really had a fantastic time here. The quality of the fishing and surroundings made it well worth the visit and I’d definitely like to return again and try in better weather conditions for even more of these beautiful and pristine carp. I feel I could have easily had 20 x 30lb’s if the weather had been on my side. So I would defiantly 100% recommend this fantastic lake to you all to make dreams come true.
My thanks to John & Mark the owners and Angling Lines of course, for arranging a magic week... and to Villefond most of all for putting me under its spell.