By browsing our site you agree to our use of cookies. You will only see this message once.
You can view our cookie policy here.

Bait Boats
Rowing Boats
Exclusive Hire
Onsite Food
1h 25m Le Havre

Articles about Molyneux

An introduction to Etang Molyneux
Mar 2007 by Paul Cooper

It was the end of February when I received a call from David Keep of Angling Lines who was looking for someone to fish a new lake that they had taken on by the name of Etang Molyneux. The lake was located in Northern France to the West of Paris. David described the lake to me and asked if I was interested, but needed it to be fished as soon as possible. After a phone call to my friend and fishing colleague Pat Gillett, I was soon back on the phone to David arranging our next French trip which was to be during the last week of March.

The Lake
Etang Molyneux has taken its new name from the owner and proprietor, Andrew Molyneux, and is set in the beautiful rural valley of the River L’Eure. Andrew moved over to France in May 2005 following his purchase of the lake from the previous French owner.

The 12-acre lake was first created when gravel was excavated from the land around 40 years ago. In 1979 the lake was stocked by the gravel company with a balanced variety of fish, which included around 80 carp, both Mirror and Common. It was later taken on as a Leisure complex by the Pathe Marconi Group for the use of their employees. The initial stocked carp are long and lean and are now reaching weights of between 28 and 42lb. Andrew has added to the stock with a deeper strain of fast growing carp, bringing the stock of carp to around 280. One of the introduced fish is a mirror carp of 50lb along with 8 low 40lb mirrors.

carp lake in france Western end of the lake
carp lake in france View from the southern bank of the lake

The lake and surrounding enclosed area has previously been used as a campsite. As a result of this there are numerous electricity points located on the southern side of the lakeside for hitching up mobile homes or caravans, which can also be easily used for charging up batteries etc. The site was previously used by French campers, and as a result of this there are also the added facilities of a shower block, with 3 fully modern toilets along with 4 working showers and numerous wash hand basins for shaving or just freshening up. The hot showers are a welcome end to an arduous days fishing.

carp lake in france Shower Block

carp lake in franceShowers

carp lake in france Kitchen and outdoor dining area

The kitchen is situated on the same bank as the shower block. The kitchen has all the facilities required to prepare a meal, although it is highly recommended that anglers pay the extra charge and have the ‘all in’ food package provided by Andrew and Chris. Chris is a fully qualified Chef and provides excellent breakfasts and a variety of evening meals, which are hearty enough for the hungriest of anglers.

There is a wooden lodge which again can be hired for an additional charge and has 4 beds, a room with table, chairs, cupboard and fridge freezer, along with a separate cloak room with toilet and wash hand basin. This is set within feet of the lakeside and has a dedicated fishing platform in front of the lodge.

carp lake in france View from the wooden lodge
carp lake in france Wooden lodge

My research established that the lake is around 12 acres and has no problems with Poisson chat. The fish stock looked sufficient to guarantee us a few fish as long as the weather was kind to us, and so far the weather this year had been very mild throughout both January and February.

Following the usual pre-fishing trip meeting, Pat and myself settled on our choice of bait which was to be provided by Shaun Harrison of Quest Baits. I have been testing Shaun’s baits for him since the launch of his company and I have achieved considerable success on the bait.

carp lake in france Quest bait ready for the trip

carp lake in france Left, Rahja / Right, frozen crab

carp lake in france Combi-rig

We decided on 20 kilo’s of Special Crab Plus, 10 kilo’s of Rahja Spice, 5 kilo’s of the new Pineapple Crush (in case of poisson chat problems) along with 20 kilo’s of hemp and 20 kilo’s of low oil carp pellets. I was soon on the phone to Shaun and placed the bait order for the trip.

The date of the trip soon came around. We were due to travel out during the early hours of Saturday 24th March. The week leading up to this date had been dreadful, with freezing cold northerly winds drawing in snow and sleet from the arctic, the first cold snap of 2007 for both England and Northern France.

We arrived in France around 6am with the temperature being 1 degree Celsius, real ‘brass-monkey’ weather. The journey took around 3 hours from the Port of Calais to Etang Molyneux and on arrival it had only reached 3 degrees.

The directions provided by Angling Lines took us to directly to the gates of the Etang Molyneux complex where we received a warm and friendly welcome from the lake owner Andrew Molyneux and his assistant bailiff, Chris Blan.

As we entered the secure grounds of the complex we were met with a vision of one the most picturesque lakes in France, with mature Weeping Willow trees set around all the banks of the lake, mature tree filled islands and fully grassed banks.

A strong freezing cold northerly wind was present as Andrew gave Pat and myself a detailed tour of the lake. Following a few hot drinks and a hearty breakfast we had a further walk around the lake and decided on our first plans of attack on the lake.

Marker float rod set up, we started to map out the lake depths and gathered a general idea of the make up of the lake bottom.

Initial findings
The west end of the lake appeared very silty as it shallowed off from the western island. There is a gravel bar, which runs from the western island to the point off the southern most island which is directly in front of the lodge. The rest of the lake averaged 2 metre depths with both gravel and light silty patches. The shelves off the islands were gravel sloping down to heavy silt at the base of the shelf. There are roots that come out from the island into the lake, which in some places could prove hazardous if fished too close.

After around 2 hours of gathering the information, Pat settled into swim 9, which is situated on the east side of the lake, 80 metres opposite a channel that runs between the 2 islands with depths of 2 metres

 View from swim 9
carp lake in france View from the Caravan swim

I had seen fish moving just off the island in front of swim 6, which is also known as the caravan swim. It is a good 110-metre cast to a group of snags on the edge of the island and that northerly wind was hacking into this swim. The fish were showing by the island opposite swim 6, so that was where I set up camp. Again I had around 2 metres depth in front of me, which shallows off on the island shelf.

Due to the very strong wind it was impossible to put any bait in a suitable location to the islands for both Pat and myself, so single 18mil Rahja Spice bottom baits over no free offerings was to be the order for the afternoon.

carp lake in france 28lb 4oz
carp lake in france 26lb

Within 5 minutes of casting my first rod to a snag off the island, I was playing a 28lb 4oz mirror carp to the net. A couple of more missed chances and I was once again into another fish, a 26lb mirror. No fish for Pat and that was the last of the action for the Saturday afternoon as we both drew in our rods for an early evening meal with Andrew and Chris, a few beers, and a well earned good nights sleep.

Sunday Morning
Around 7.30am we were back on the water fully refreshed and ready to go. The wind had dropped and changed to an easterly, but the temperature was still around 3 degrees Celsius. We both fished 2 rods to the island and 2 open water rods, over lightly baited areas. This resulted in the first 30 of the week to Pat, a 31lb 6oz common. Pat was determined to try out his new camera and air bulb release system on this fish, which resulted in this odd looking pose from Pat. Pat put another Mirror of 26lb on the bank and that completed the action for the day.

carp lake in france 31lb 6oz
carp lake in france 23lb 4oz

Following another hearty meal with Andrew and Chris it was back to the bivvies for the night. It was a clear cold night with a heavy frost but despite this I managed a 33lb 8oz mirror carp at 7.20 in the morning. That was the last fish of the day for me but Pat managed a pretty 23lb 4 oz mirror, the smallest fish so far.

carp lake in france 33lb 8oz
carp lake in france 27lb 15oz

This started as a cold foggy day with an early morning fish to myself. Soon the sun came up and burnt off the low cloud leaving a bright clear sky.

Gareth Watkins, who is the cameraman for Angling Lines, arrived at the lake just after midday. Within ½ an hour of his arrival he was soon videoing a 27lb 15oz mirror carp that I had just picked up off the island snags. We were all pleased that he was able to get his video footage so quickly following his arrival. This made our fishing a bit more relaxed. Another couple of fish on camera would be enough for the web site. That was the last fish of the day for me with Pat having his second blank.

Wednesday Morning
By Wednesday morning the weather had started to improve and the forecast was for 17 degrees later in the day. Overnight the fish had been crashing at the far side of the island, in the water which is in front of swim 12 and 13.

A move was on the cards. I had already packed up all my tackle apart from my rods, when Pat came to my swim telling me of his planned move to the same area that I was looking at. He was in 2 minds as he had just had another fish and lost one.

Breakfast over I made my move to swim 12 on the northern bank of the lake and Pat finally decided to stay put.

As I was in the process of setting up the rods, 2 large carp showed in the margins of the far island. The island from this swim was around 130 metres away. If I wanted to fish the island margins I needed to get bait out there, as I believed that the fish would start to get their heads down.

Armed with a Microcat bait boat, out went hemp, carp pellets and a mixture of Quest 18mil Rahja Spice, and Special Crab Plus boilies to 2 selected points around 5 metres off the island margins. The third rod went to an open watermark around 60 metres out and the fourth to the margins to my right. Bait was put out with the spod rod to both these marks and hook baits fished tight to the baited areas.

Pat stayed with his baited areas and introduced more bait from the rowing boat.

Around midday, I had a visit from Gareth, Andrew and Chris with some cold beers. Gareth was in the process of taking some still shots of the lake when one of my island rods gave out the normal couple of beeps, with the tell tale sign of the rod tip knocking and I was quickly into a good strong fighting fish. Gareth was quickly onto the video and he got full coverage of the capture of a 34lb 6oz long lean original stocked mirror carp.

carp lake in france View from swim 12
carp lake in france 34lb 6oz - early hours of Thursday morning

As predicted, Tuesday and Wednesday had been the best days of the week with temperatures reaching 18 degrees. Later on Wednesday afternoon, the clouds came in carrying heavy rain on the end of a thunder storm, bringing the lake to life. By Thursday night I had caught a further 6 carp which included a 34lb mirror and Pat a further 7 carp which included the biggest fish of the trip, a 35lb 2 oz original stocked mirror.

carp lake in france 34lb
carp lake in france 35lb 2oz

A strong south westerly wind arrived during Thursday evening which brought in more cold weather, rain sleet and snow. Despite this sudden change in the weather the fish fed well overnight and by mid afternoon on Friday I had landed another 6 carp and Pat another 2 which included another mirror of 33lb 2oz. The result at the end of the session was, 14 carp to 35lb 2oz to Pat and 19 carp to 34lb 6oz for myself, making a total of 33 fish for the week.

carp lake in france 33lb 2oz
carp lake in france 28lb 4oz

By 5pm we had both achieved our aim and wrapped up the fishing for the trip for a well earned drink.

There is ample room on the lake for 6 anglers allowing moves to other parts of the lake if necessary. Due to the location of the islands there are plenty of suitable features to cast to, as well as large areas of open water to create your own feeding table for the fish. The facilities can cater easily for 6 anglers and the food provided is exceptional with different meals each evening. There is no reason to leave the complex during your stay as Andrew and Chris are such good hosts.

carp lake in franceDue to the cold temperature of the water during our stay, the fish were feeding very cautiously. This led to most of the runs being just a couple of beeps on the Delkims, with the only indication that they were still on the bait, being the rod tip knocking. Failure to strike the rods in these situations would surely have resulted in less fish being put on the bank.

The baits that we used were provided by Quest Baits, which are also sold on site by Andrew. The best bait for Pat and myself was 18 mil shelf life Rahja Spice bottom baits, followed up with 18 mil frozen Special Crab Plus bottom baits.

The original stock of carp are steadily gaining weight, but the young newly introduced stock of around 220 carp which are of a deep strain, are gaining around 4 to 7lb per year. The lake is abundant in natural life including small crayfish, a staple food source for the carp, which will maintain the carps growth rate. The average weights of the carp are around 26lb 8oz. and you have a 1 in 5 chance of catching a fish over 31lb.

This is only the second year that the water has been open commercially with only small groups of anglers fishing it previously. It is without doubt one of the future premier big fish waters on the French carp scene.

It is a pleasure to have been given the opportunity to fish a venue with such quality fish, and it is set in one of the most peaceful and beautiful settings that I have fished in the last 17 years of fishing in France.

Both Pat and myself can only hope that in the near future, we once again get the opportunity to cast a line into the waters of Etang Molyneux.

Paul Cooper

Useful Info Carp Fishing Venues Our Venues
About Us
Terms & Conditions
Privacy Statement
Carp videos
Contact Us
Drive and Survive Venues
Accommodation Venues
Big Carp Venues
Runs Water Venues
Family Venues
Swimming Pool Venues

T.0845 050 3322
Calls will be charged in accordance with your own telephone provider's call charge and access charge.
Angling Lines
Useful Info Carp Fishing Venues
About Us
Terms & Conditions
Privacy Statement
Carp videos
Contact Us
Drive and Survive Venues
Accommodation Venues
Big Carp Venues
Runs Water Venues
Family Venues
Swimming Pool Venues

T.0845 050 3322
Calls will be charged in accordance with your own telephone provider's call charge and access charge.

Facebook Twitter YouTube
International Passenger ProtectionBest Foreign Holiday Company - Total CarpBest Overseas Holiday Company - Carp TalkWinner UK - Frech Awards 2010Powered by Barclaycard
Angling Lines, Suite 24309, Chynoweth House, Trevissome Park, Truro TR4 8UN
Registered at Companies House, Cardiff. Company Number 4122063

All contents © Copyright 2019 Angling Lines. All rights reserved.
Angling Lines, Suite 24309, Chynoweth House, Trevissome Park, Truro TR4 8UN
Registered at Companies House, Cardiff. Company Number 4122063

All contents © Copyright Angling Lines. All rights reserved.