Paul Cooper answers an anglers questions regarding the swims and features of Brie, a 15 acre carp haven tucked away in the champagne region that is booked exclusively for up to 4 anglers…
Last year I visited a number of lakes in France, all on test for Angling Lines, one of these was of course Brie. Just the location alone made it for me on this great lake, with 15 acres of water there are just 2 massive double swims. This gives both swims lots of water to fish.
When I arrived at Brie last year, I was fishing with my companion Jim Kelly. The fish were cruising and crashing in swim 2 and with Jim having the 1st choice of swims on this occasion, he decided that he would like to drop onto swim 2 which has the narrowest section of the lake in front of it making casting to the far margins easy.
I settled on the second choice swim of swim 1 which turned out to be a good move.
Swim 1 is the biggest of the 2 swims and is located closest to the dam end. If there are 2 of you fishing this swim it can be split into 2 sections of water.
Left side of swim 1
Directly in front of you running parallel with the dam is a very long cast to the far margins which I would estimate at around 140 yards. On the far margins are lily pads that stretch out into the lake for about 15 yards and then there is a light weed on the lake bed for another 30 yards out into the lake. During the day this does appear to be the main holding area for the carp as they cruise in or around those margins. As for the rest of the water in front of this swim, the average depth was around 4 and a 1/2 feet with the lake bed being made up of clay covered by a light silt.
I found an area that was a comfortable cast of around 100 yards parallel with the dam and baited it up heavily with boilies either by spomb or more easily with a catapult from the dam to my marker float. This baited area produced all my night time captures and a few early morning as well.
Right side of swim 1
If you have the use of the boat or you are using a bait boat it is worth dropping a bait around 50 yards off the far margins as this does appear to be a good feeding area. Also over on the right of the far margins you will see a bush that protrudes out into the lake. This bush is between swim 1 and 2 and does appear to hold a lot of fish during the day. Drop a bait around 5 yards off this bush and you should get action on this rod. The silt approaching the far margins is a little heavier but there are some clear areas where the fish have been feeding. Find these and you could be in for a good session.
Alternatively, create a bed of bait as far out in the middle of the lake as you can comfortably reach, as the fish do patrol the whole lake.
This swim is the farthest swim from the dam. Again this can be split into 2 swims due to the nature of the water in front of you. I did not get the opportunity to fish this swim so I can only offer my thoughts and not my experience on how to fish it.
Left side of swim 2
The far margins are 85yards in front of this swim and have over hanging bushes and some light lily pad covering. This did appear to be one of the main patrol routes for the carp running from the bay to the right to the other section of lake in front of the dam. Towards the far left of swim 1 on the far margins, is the bush that I mentioned for swim 1 . To the right of this bush appears to be a holding area for the carp where there is also quite a heavy bed of lilies. The lake is quite heavily silted, however with plumbing and leading clearer areas can be found especially on the far margins. Depths range from 4 feet to 3 feet.
Right side of swim 2
This is a massive bay which is again heavily silted but again clear patches can be found, mainly on the margins. Here the margins have lily pads protruding out for about 5 yards. Last year there was a lot of weed in the bay, but the weed held a lot of fish. The bay stretches for about 200 yards to the right and there are also areas on the nearside bank that have some hard graveled areas where the fish feed.
Bait is a personal choice and I would suggest taking boilies that you have full confidence in. I personally would take 18mil Quality Baits HG47 or Quality Baits Patshull Park Squid and Orange. These baits have produced for me all over France and I would not hesitate to use them. You have to use barbless hooks, so I would recommend that you use my Ultimate Barbless hook rig set up (you can see a video of how to do this here). Brilliant rig as it causes no or little damage to the carps mouth and to date I have lost only the occasional carp, not due to barbless hooks.
We did not experience any crayfish problems, but just in case take some armo-mesh for your boilies and maybe a kilo of prepared tiger nuts. This works and also stops any nuisance fish nibbling away at the bait. This is French carp fishing so be prepared for the unknown.
Best of luck with your trip and I hope you get a few PB’s.
For more information on Brie follow the link – Carp Fishing in France