Fishery manager Mark Lambert fills us in on the latest news from big carp water Villefond…
2016 has been a great year for Lac du Villefond, producing lots of big fish and increasing our lake record to 65lb+. Lots of new carp breaking the 50lb+ barrier for the first time, one of which is the subject of this brief article.
A busy year on the lake has meant that personally for me, my fishing has been limited and reduced to just brief night sessions. However with a few tricks and a large amount of luck I have been really lucky and on night sessions caught a new personal best carp of 63lb and some other really big fish including a 48lb common I had been after since we bought the lake 8/9 years ago. So I shouldn’t ask for more but I did and I was hoping for a 50lb+ carp before the end of 2016, if the carp gods would provide one more time…..
I had chosen to fish from swim 8 as over winter I would be doing a lot of work in this swim building a small cabin for people to fish from beside the water’s edge. The plan was to put a rod out whilst I worked. Also this is the least fished swim, literally only fished once or twice a year so I wanted to catch a big fish from there to prove it’s just a likely to produce big fish as any swim.
It was the 27th of December and Father Christmas had gifted me two new reels to christen so I decided I could fish one more night before the end of the year, one chance to land a monster before my 2016 was complete. I arrived around 2pm and got set up before dark.
Shortly after I heard a massive fish jump out in the direction of my left hand spot. As always I was fishing with only two rods – one spot was by the island and the other in open water. I heard more fish jump around my spots in the shallow water. These were good signs especially as the fish generally don’t move around a lot this time of year so if they were in the area of my baits I guess they were looking for food and I had a good chance of getting one.
I was fishing a maximum of 4ft of water, most likely less, and it was a freezing night. Conventional thinking is that in cold weather fish stay down in the deep but I have had luck many times before in shallow water in cold weather and I was confident that with fish in the area I was going to get lucky tonight. About 12:30am I got a single beep on my open water rod and as I sat up in bed to put my shoes on it started to scream off.
I rushed out and got to my rod, lifted and felt the weight of a nice fish on. The fight was a strange one and I found it hard to gauge a size as I fought it. Ten minutes later as I made ground on the fish I saw why it was a strange fight. The H block marker float I used to mark just behind my spot had tangled around the line in the fight and I was dragging that in too.
My first glimpse on the fish in my torch at a distance I saw it was massive, really massive. As the fight went on I saw it was massively long and really wide across the back, I knew I was attached to something special. Eventually I got the fish in the net along with the float, I peered over into the net and instantly knew this was what I had hoped for – a 50lb + carp.
I find it funny how, even when you know a particular fish has tipped the 50lb mark before, you can look in the net and just tell it’s not quite a 50lb’er at the time. Earlier in the year I had a fish like this, a 48lb common. Just a couple of pounds off but you could just tell it wasnt quite a 50lb fish in the net. There seems to be something special about something over the 50lb mark, they are just the smallest amount larger than a high forty but the difference seems massive somehow and this fish I knew was one of them.
I got the fish weighed at 52lb 4oz and had a few quick night photos. Unfortunately the camera got misted up in the cold night air and only a few were not blurry. But I got the fish back in the lake and laughed at the sheer size across the back as it swam off in my torch light.
This monster of a carp had broken the 50lb barrier earlier in the year for the first time at 52lb and with the ups and down of spawning during the year I was glad to see her back up to weight already, it meant she would be bigger still come spring. The massive frame of the fish meant it could easily keep growing.
We like to name our fish so it’s easy for people to learn them and about them, to have targets and so people can see easily how many big fish we have instead of reports that just read weights and could be the same big fish repeat captured. With names you can quickly identify different fish so my next job is to name this fish.
What ever name it gets the fish had capped of a brilliant year for me and the lake. On that note I would like to wish you all the best for the new year from all here at Lac Du Villefond. Happy fishing.
Fishery manager at Villefond
Find out more about the lake here – Carp Fishing in France at Villefond