Interview with a Lake Owner – Richard at Lillybelle & Lillypool

We have a fantastic group of lakes on our website, which are a credit to the people that run them and all their hard work. Today we are introducing Richard, bailiff at Lillypool & co-owner of Lillybelle, two very popular lakes for small groups wanting a lake exclusive…

When did you discover carp fishing and how did you come to be here at Lillybelle?

I started fishing at 5 years old, I met my carp fishing mentor at 16 and promptly switched to carp fishing. I did my first France trip at 18 and have done a week here every year since (is it really 25years!) 

After fishing Lillypool and meeting Martin and Mark, we became good friends and decided to buy Lillybelle. 7 years ago circumstances changed and the opportunity to move out here and own and run both the lakes became available. Unlike many I have spoke to, who hesitate at such a big gamble and life style change, I jumped at the chance. I am still here and love it!

lillypool winter carp fishing
Richard with one of Lillypool’s carp

What’s the best and worst part of being the owner?

This is the easiest to answer. The best is seeing peoples dreams come true, there is nothing better than seeing guests break a pb or catch more fish than they ever thought possible.

To follow that, the worst is when guests have a week where the fish just aren’t eating, we often forget they are animals and sometimes no amount of bait/rig/spot changes can make them eat. As fantastic as it is to see people so happy is also very upsetting and frustrating for us as owners when our guests struggle.

What would you say is the best feature of your lake?

Both our lakes are tree lined with an island and lily’s. The best feature of our lakes are all our “features”. No matter where you fish, there is always something carpy to go at!

When people arrive is there anything they are surprised by?

The most common thing I hear is “it’s bigger than I thought”. Both the lakes are actually very small in French terms, they soon shrink when 4 anglers are putting 3 lines each out though!

What is the most common mistake you see anglers make at your lake?

Sadly there are quite a lot I could list, but pre-conceived ideas is the most common. Preparation and research is essential for a good weeks fishing, copying the 100kg of bait over the top of cell somebody did in August when fishing in March or October will not work! The lakes evolve every week, there are many ways to catch carp, choosing your plan before arriving based on what others did months ago is not the way to go.

Researching previous years in the month you are here, talking to me about how its fishing, what the fish are doing, what’s catching well etc is far better.

Finally, what is the one most important piece of advice you’d give to anglers visiting your lake soon?

Stick in your comfort zone, use baits, rigs, tactics you are confident with. Too many guests come and try something they never normally do. Adjust your own tactics that work for you to fit the information your given about how the lake is fishing. Trying your first ever 360 you tied from watching youtube or bought off ebay.. NO!

Find out more about Lillybelle and Lillypool here:

French Carp Fishing at Lillypool
Carp Fishing in France at Lillybelle

Read more of our interviews with owners here – Interview with a Lake Owner Series


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