Chris Blunt was out fishing at Villefond last season with 3 friends, here’s his account of the busy week following…
Take a look at this little 8 acre gem I fished with 3 of my mates, Carl ‘Bob’ Byworth, Terry ‘Trigger’ Jennings & Chris ‘de Burger’ Goddard who had never picked up a rod let alone seen a carp. It started on a stormy evening, we left Swindon for Dover to catch the 0420 ferry arriving in Calais at 0630 with a 400mile drive in front of us down through some of the most picturesque countryside I’ve seen. 7 hours later we pulled in at this wonderful looking lake.
That’s enough about the journey; after all it’s the fishing we came for.
Size – 8 acres
Swims – 6 swims & 1 double swim
Depths – 3 – 9ft
Stock – Approx 200 carp from 20lb – 50lb+, with 50 fish over the magical 40lb mark (lake Record 56lb) 3 x Catfish to 75lb
Facilities – Caravan, Shower Block, Food Package (which is excellent)
It seems so easy to catch a 40lb carp but let me tell you, these carp are very riggy. After picking our swims, setting up the mountain of gear we brought, we settled down to a excellent evening meal, The carp were doing their thing; putting on their usual acrobatic show, we couldn’t wait to get the rods out & settle in for the night as we were expecting non stop action.
Morning came & went as did the tasty breakfast and not even a bleep on the rods. Then, as eagerly awaited, alarms began to sound out across the lake. Trigger had numerous runs landing as many as he lost, with carp to 26lb & grass carp to 22lb (below)
Caught on CC Moore critically balanced white & yellow popups with a scattering of CC Moore live system Boilies, Mainline Cell & Villefond own Boilies Plum Nut.
That afternoon Chris ‘de Burger’ Goddard in swim 7 got Terry & myself a running to his aid with a blistering one tone run, but he sadly lost the fish due to his inexperience, not to worry we all had to start somewhere. Later that same day Chris had another run as his left alarm burst into song and he was attached to a hard fighting carp. As it was in the net he cried out ‘OMG, that was incredible.’ See below, what a first carp. Well Done.
Carl was not to be outdone, he had numerous runs landing some lovely proportioned carp to over 30lb.
Getting on with my story, I didn’t have a bleep for nearly 90hours. As Carl was enjoying a cuppa in my swim after another breakfast filled baguette it was 9:30am & suddenly my right margin rod pulled around & gave me a ripping one toner, with the rod almost coming off my alarm. Good job I had snag bars in, I jumped up & kicked Carl’s cuppa all over him & my bivvy. Picking up the rod I found myself attached to a slow powerful beast.
Little by little the carp came closer to the spreader block of my net, and then it was all over, there in the mesh was a very big mirror carp. As we sorted out the carnage of the capture, we lifted her out onto the unhooking mat parting the net & placed her on the scales, my dream had come true as the needle went around to 41lb and 4oz. Wow, the carp known as ‘Dorian Grey’ (normally at 48 ish).
After all the excitement & bank carnage, we slipped her back into the murky algae water.
After that long wait for a run I didn’t even get a good photo ‘numpty’, so feeling miffed I reeled in and went off for a shower. Just as I was enjoying my nice relaxing hot shower I heard an alarm burst into song, it was Terrys. He was in. Getting around to his swim I found him into a similar battle as I was 30mins before, 5mins of heart stopping action, the net went under a lovely 40lb 12oz spawned out mirror. Terry’s UK PB is only a mere 19lb, you can imagine his face.
This Mirror has no name so Terry has named it “Trigger” also a 30lb mirror landed later that day he got to name “junior” so as you can guess the beer was flowing that night & with 3 more days left our confidence was high.
Terry’s set up is all Fox (as he loves the kit) – 3lb TC S Rods, FX 10000 reels, MMX Alarms, 15lb JRC Fluorocarbon Line, very short critically balanced CC Moore Floro Hook baits on a size 8 curved shank hook, excellent angling.
The rigs & tactics are a tried & tested method of Mark Lambert (Owner & Fishery Manager of Villefond)
After that brilliant day, Thursday started well with Chris landing a baby at 16lb and both Carl & Terry having 20’s. As on the previous day my middle rod bobbin lifted & my sounder box screeched into life, I lifted the rod into a heavy plodding carp, 10min tussle & she was in the net. As the Scale went around to 47lb on the nose (fish known as Bennett’s) normally at 55lb ish so well down in weight this one was caught on a trimmed down 22mm Pineapple Floro popup on another very short critical balanced rig.
Fishing from swim 4 my set up is Wychwood 2.75lb custom built rods, Shimano 8000 baitrunners, RX digital alarms & JRC 15lb fluorocarbon main line. My baiting approach is the same as the other lads – CC Moore live system, Villefond plum nut, usual halibut/trout pellets, Floro boilie hook baits, PVA bags solid & mesh, casting to showing fish. Baiting to the middle of the lake by boat (row boat provided) to silt & gravel bottom in 9ft of water.
This was the start of another 40lb fest day with Terry having 2 more from swim 6 a 40lb 8oz Mirror known as “Libby” at 12:30hours (normally at 48 ish) and a fantastic two tone mirror 45lb 8oz known as the “Long Two Tone” at 1500hours (normally at 55 ish) Both down in weight due to spawning, (see Pictures Below) exceptional angling for a carp angler who has only been angling for 12 months. Both carp were nailed on the same short critical rigs with size 8 micro barbed curved shank hooks with 10mm popups one white & one red.
Wow what a fantastic & manic day, sun out, beer flowing, wine pouring and carp feeding.
After another fabulous meal that evening we all went to our bedchairs but don’t know if we could sleep that well as we were all on cloud 9. Morning arrived with very little happening through the night again, just a couple of 20’s to keep the boys up.
Friday morning produced a cracking 32.4lb mirror for Carl (swim 1 & 2 the double swim) It came on the same tactics we have all used.
Not much happened for me through the day, Terry Whittled out a further 2 Grassies of a similar stamp 22lb 2oz & a 19lb er. I had my hands on the biggest mirror trophy and the biggest common trophy was to be split between Chris ‘de Burger’ & Terry ‘Trigger’ for their 26lb ers.
The last evening meal was cheese burger & wedges so we decided to leave the rods fishing & have dinner with a few drinks in my swim as a get together. As Terry and I started walking to collect our dinner, we got between 2 & 3 as my cordless receiver burst into life. Dropping what we were carrying we both legged it back to my swim; well Terry did as he is a lot younger than me; as I got to my rods, out of breath, I took the rod off Terry & proceeded to play a very heavy carp, while he got the weighing station sorted. 10-15mins later a large common carp popped up through the coloured water and Terry slid the net under her.
Lifting here out onto the mat to be weighed I knew this carp was special as Carl & Chris appeared with the dinner, food can wait as I was preparing to do some water shots.
Ironically the last fish won me the biggest common & the biggest fish of the trip. So that evening we just had a good night’s sleep as we had a long drive back. Thanks to Villefond for their hospitality & fabulous food, great weather, fantastic English owned & run lake.
Incredible; what a trip – We had 6 x 40’s, 4 x 30’s 6 x 20’s, 4 x Doubles & 3 Grass carp to 22lb.
Extremely good fishing considering the carp wouldn’t feed on big beds of bait. They were feeding on naturals but mostly the carp had only spawned 2 weeks before. In Arnie’s words I will be back.
For more information on Villefond follow the link – Carp Fishing in France