A Trip To Golden Oak

Steve Bedford has written a really great informative post on his trip to Golden Oak from start to finish. A perfect read if you’re either looking for an accommodation venue with great fishing OR if it’s your first trip to France carp fishing and you want some pointers…

Well it’s been a while since my last blog and I haven’t managed to get out on the bank as much as I’d like due to family issues but it’s finally that time of year, the fishing holiday! It has been a couple of years since my friends and I last went to France for a fishing holiday so to say we were looking forward to it is an understatement.

 The previous 2 occasions we went to France we went to Mas Bas, a great venue in the south of France and we fell in love with it, this year however due to us booking at last minute we were not able to get Mas Bas. Not to worry, this gave us the opportunity to visit another venue that we have had our eyes on for a while which is Golden Oak! The following blog will take you through the process of booking, preparing , travelling to the venue, our first impressions, our approach on fishing the venue, tips & tutorials, catch reports and finally the return journey and a summary, basically everything (If things go well) that you need to know about going to France with Angling Lines.

Carp fishing in France with accommodation at Golden Oak

Golden Oak

Choosing the venue


To begin I needed to find out who was going to be coming with me to France, last time we went to France there was 6 of us in total, 4 of us drove down together in 1 car and 2 of our other friends who are from Belgium met us there, they decided to stay for only 1 of the 2 weeks we had booked. This year 2 of our group couldn’t make it due to starting a family, which is great as we will have an extra member in the future! And our friends from Belgium couldn’t make it either, that left myself and my friend Vin (James). Vin and I usually fish together whenever we go out as part of a group and we do make a good team, he was also my navigator and toll road payer on the previous France trips.

Carp fishing in France with accommodation at Golden Oak

Myself & Vin

Once I worked out who was going and who wasn’t it was time for us to decide where to go. After a few emails to the lovely ladies at the Angling Lines office and a phone call to Julie we had a few options. Mas Bas was always our first choice, simply because we have been a few times, love the venue, Gilles is a great host and it’s an idyllic setting. Unfortunately however Mas Bas was already booked when we needed it.

Carp fishing in France with accommodation at Golden Oak

The Venue


Our second choice was Golden Oak, this is a lake we have been looking at for a while and were really keen to try, and as Mas Bas is no longer an option what better excuse to try it? I then spoke to James and we both did a bit more research on Golden Oak and decided this was the one for us! Another quick call to Angling Lines and a card payment later and we were booked and confirmed on the lake for the 11th October for 7 days, perfect! A few days later the confirmation email was sent to us by Julie and all the documents and directions were available to us on the Customer Area on the Angling Lines website. Booking complete!

Carp fishing in France with accommodation at Golden Oak



Research pays off


Now that the holiday has been booked we needed to carry on our research; it’s pointless going to a venue, especially in France, without being prepared. The first port of call was the venue page on the Angling Lines website and the previous catch reports and reviews, this is a great resource for anyone booking a carp fishing holiday, not only will you find out what has been caught recently but you will also get an idea of the bait used most often, the areas to fish, how often the bigger fish come out and the weather you might expect on your trip. After reading a few reviews it seems like we will be in with a good chance of catching a few nice fish, with the possibility of a new Personal Best.

Another source of information was provided in the booking documents that Julie sent to us in the form of an email address for the venue. Don’t be afraid to drop the lake owners a quick email as this has a few benefits, firstly it allows you to speak with the people who are there all the time, and it is good manners to let them know who you are and to thank them for allowing you to fish their lake. A couple of days after sending out an email I received an email back from Dick and Jo letting me know how the lake was fishing and what bait has caught recently.


Now we know what bait has been working recently we can start to get our gear together. As with quite a few Angling Lines venues, Golden Oak does stock Quest Baits which you are able to order in advance and have ready for your arrival, as well as a selection of particles. I had used Quest Baits on the previous times I went to Mas Bas with great success and will be placing an order for a few kilos to be ready at the venue but I have also placed an order with a bait rolling company for a bait I have been using all year – Mainline Cell and Hybrid. I’m not a sponsored angler or a field tester so I don’t need to use a certain bait or company, I simply use bait I have faith in and that has caught me fish in the past so the combination of Mainline Cell, Hybrid and Quest Baits Ghurkka Spice should be perfect, as an added bonus I recently won a competition for 5kg of CCMoore N-Gage XP boilies, I’ve never used these before but I am looking forward to trying them out!


Ok, so that’s bait sorted, next thing on the list is tackle. Last time I went to France I used my Fox Warrior Elite 3.25lb rods, which were nice to use at the time but last year I decided to go for a bit of a change and used Sonik SK3 3lb rods for my UK fishing and this year I have decided to upgrade to a new set of Daiwa Longbow DF 3.75lb. So far I have only managed to try these out once on my club water but first impressions are great, let’s see how they do in France!

To go with these rods I have a set of Daiwa Crosscast-x 5000 reels loaded with Korda Subline in 20lb (these make a fantastic combination) and my bite alarms are the ever-faithful Delkim standard plus. Terminal tackle wise, I have a good selection of leads in different shapes and sizes, different pattern and sizes of hooks, rig making bits, hook length, braids and rigs that I have already made (see my previous blogs for details). On my last trip to France I did manage to find a couple of tackle shops but they didn’t have a very good selection of tackle, the tackle they did have was mainly aimed at game and pike fishing. I would suggest that anyone going to France for carp fishing should take ample supplies of tackle as you will struggle to find it while you’re there.

Travel Arrangements & Driving in France

So that’s another thing ticked off the list, next is travel arrangements. When you book with Angling Lines you are emailed all the information you need regarding your booking, this includes login details to the customer area on their website, on here you will find the address of the venue you choose and also a link that will let you plan out your route, simply put in your starting point in France, on this occasion Calais, and it will plan your route.

I know it has been covered numerous times but if you are driving in France you need to know certain things;

  • Everyone in the car must have a hi-vis jacket within reach at all times and you must have a warning triangle in your car, not only is it to be used in the event of you breaking down, but it is also to be used if you stop to help someone else who has broken down.
  • You must also have spare light bulbs for your car as it is illegal to drive if your car has a blown bulb and you need to ensure that your headlights are adjusted for driving on the right hand side of the road, here in the UK your headlights are aimed slightly to the left, this means that when you go to France your headlights will be aiming into the opposite carriageway instead of the grass verge, you can get stick on deflectors for your headlights that adjust the beam for you or on some cars (mine for example) you can adjust the direction of the beam by adjusting a leaver under the bonnet of your car behind your headlights for EU driving (please check you’re car user guide or online for details).
  • You also need to make sure you have all your vehicle paper work and driving licence (both parts) with you.
Carp fishing in France with accommodation at Golden Oak

Directions Generator

So that’s the research, bait, tackle, travel arrangements and documents sorted, I managed to pick up some more bait as well, we now have a good selection (which may or may not be a good idea, lets wait and see!) the final step is to wait for the holiday date to come around!

And we’re off…


Ok so it’s now Thursday the 8th of October, my gear has been loaded into the car and I am heading down to Bristol from Manchester to meet up with James (Vin), load the car with his gear and pick up some last bits from Bristol Angling before heading to Dover on Friday morning. It does help to have a large car which can be fitted with a roof box and/or a trailer. Last time we went to France we used a roof box but this year as there was only two of us we decided to go without, which to be honest was a good decision as there was plenty of room and a roof box would only cause us to use more diesel. It can also cost more on the ferry for extra height.

Friday morning our alarms go off at around 6am and we set off for Dover, well, we set off twice as someone forgot their jacket and we had to turn round after 2 minutes in the car…not to worry, it’s all part of the journey! Our ferry was booked for 13:55 and we were making good time, so good in fact that we were due to hit the M25 at rush hour, not good! So we decided to stop off at a Harvester pub for a tactical breakfast buffet! As it turns out the tactical breakfast paid off and by the time we got to the M25 it was practically empty and we still arrived at Dover early. On arrival at Dover we could see that the sea was fairly choppy so we weren’t expecting a calm crossing and when we left the port it was a little rough until we got near to France where the sea calmed.

‘Avoid Paris at all costs’

When we arrived at Calais we decided to make a start on our journey straight away, before we got here we decided to ignore the directions that we had worked out and go through Rouen in order to avoid Paris, which we normally do, but now we are here we thought we would give the Paris route a try as most people would just follow the standard directions, how bad could it be? Well in sort it was very bad, I really wouldn’t recommend the Paris ring road to anyone, it was absolute chaos. There were cars pushing in everywhere, total gridlock, vans speeding round at night with no rear lights at all and a plethora of cars broken down and car crashes.

Once we eventually got past Paris the traffic simply disappeared and it was an easy drive. As usual we stopped every few hours for a break and a sleep. We did opt to take the toll roads to get to Golden Oak, thankfully and to our surprise there was only 2! One toll was for ÂŁ16.30 and the other was for ÂŁ18.12, this was another nice surprise as previous trips to other parts of France had a lot more tolls and cost a fair bit more.

First impressions


Even though we were taking regular breaks we did arrive at Golden Oak about 3 hours early but we thought we would call in to say hello, if the place wasn’t ready we would be happy to go for a drive and check out the local area but as it turns out Dick and Jo were more than happy for us to check in early. First impressions on arrival at Golden Oak were really good, the place looks immaculate, when you arrive the road leading up to the lake and cottage opens up to reveal a stunning setting. Dick and Jo (and Bramble) give you the warmest welcome you could expect.


Carp fishing in France with accommodation at Golden Oak

The Lake

Jo showed us around the accommodation, which was immaculate and spotless, definitely 5 star and one of the best you could expect from a cottage, let alone a cottage in rural France at a fishing venue. Once we had picked rooms, which are all en suite, spotless and fully kitted out, we settled in and Dick showed us around the lake. The cottage sits back from the lake a very short way across the lawn and is secured by a gate and fence, great if you have kids as you can be sure (if you keep the gate closed and are responsible) that your children not able to fall in the lake.

Carp fishing in France with accommodation at Golden Oak

The accommodation

Dick showed us the different areas of the lake and showed where the fish usually congregate at certain times. The lake is deepest near the cottage, which is where the dam is and goes shallow as you move to the narrow end to the north away from the cottage. The bank near the house is kept well groomed by Dick to allow people to set up their bivvies and fish with ease, as you move around the lake to the left there are a few more trees leading up to the shallow end where the lake is fed by a small stream, Dick told us that there are crayfish present at this end but they are few in number and are kept under control by traps and the carp themselves.

The far side of the lake is tree lined and not really suitable for fishing from but it was quite clear this was the best place to fish to as it provides plenty of natural cover and food. This area leads almost all the way to the dam, with an area set aside for 2 lovely little goats, which are quite friendly. Dick also told us that the fish are fed by him on his own special particle mix that he makes daily to ensure its fresh, this consists of many different ingredients, the main one being maize.

Choosing our spots


After our guided tour around the lake we decided to set up on the cleared area near to the cottage simply for ease, from where we set up to the tree line on the far bank was a fair cast but we managed it with a lot of practice. We decided it was probably best to start baiting up with Cell boilies first as the catch log from previous anglers (which is available inside the cottage) seems to suggest that they do quite well, we also mixed in a few Hybrid boilies to start getting the carp used to them.

After a few kilos spread over 6 locations we started getting the rigs ready and getting them cast out. Now to be clear, Dick had told us that he had been feeding the carp for the past 2 weeks on his mix and that yellow baits/boilies popped up 2-3 inches off the bottom and snowman rigs usually produce fish. To start with we decided to try our usual rig/bait combinations which for me was IQ D-Rigs (see my previous blogs for details on how to make these) using size 4 Korda Krank hooks matched up with 18mm Cell boilies and banoffee high impact wafters, while Vin opted for a simple knotless knot rig setup with coated braid, size 4 Korda Krank hooks and peaches and cream high impact wafters.

Carp fishing in France with accommodation at Golden Oak

Vin decided he would try a few spots that Dick had suggested towards the dam end of the lake while I took the tree line heading towards the shallows.

After all rods were cast out we continued to bait up little but often with a mix of boilies and Dicks special mix. While we did see a few carp jumping near our spots they didn’t seem too interested in our bait. One important thing to take into account here was that the weather was supposed to be cool and just below 20 degrees and it was supposed to rain for most of the week, which sounds perfect for carp but when we arrived it was clear that the weather had other ideas.

Carp fishing in France with accommodation at Golden Oak

Our first day saw a very short rain shower followed by clear sunny skies and low to mid 20’s temperatures.

As it got near to 10pm we decided to reel in as we were still tired from the journey and retire to the cottage to have something to eat while we looked through the catch reports and caught up on some English TV on Sky which is available in the living area in the cottage.

Day two


Sunday saw an early start with clear skies and warm temperatures. We baited up our chosen spots again with a mixture of boilies and Dick’s special mix and got the rods back out, we were expecting more rain as it was forecast for the whole week but the temperature didn’t drop below 20 and the sky stayed clear. As it got near to midday we still hadn’t had any bites so I decided to leave the rods with Vin and have a walk around the lake to see if I could find the fish. The shallow end had one or two fish milling around the crayfish traps and a few more fish could be seen around the tree line and the dam end but not much else, on arriving back at the rods I noticed there seemed to be a fairly big insect hatch in progress which may have been keeping the carp preoccupied. As the evening drew in there was still no action on any of our rods, not even a line bite. During the day we changed bait and rigs numerous times with no success.

Later that evening I decided to have each of my three rods on different until something happened, both my left hand rod and middle rod were both setup with a simple knotless knot rig (constructed with a size 6 Korda Choddy hook with 15lb N-Trap soft coated braid with a small break in the coating near hook to allow it a bit of movement if a fish tries to take the bait), this was attached to a Cog lead system and around a foot of Dark Matter rig tubing. To go on the hair was an 18mm Cell boilie topped with yellow plastic IB corn on the left rod and an 18mm Hybrid boilie topped with white plastic banoffee corn on the middle rod.

My right hand rod was setup with a multi rig using a Korda Krank Choddy size 6 hook and 15lb N-trap semi-soft coated braid using a yellow 14mm CC Moore Silent Assassin boilie popped up about 2 inches off the bottom.

By this point we had established that the carp were used to being fed twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening as confirmed by Dick and that for the past 2 weeks he had been feeding them himself on his special mix in 3 spots of the lake as no one else had fished it for the 2 weeks. Dicks advice was to keep feeding the mix of boilies and special mix twice a day and the carp will soon move onto our spots.

Day three


Something has to give today! The rigs were good, hooks sharp, bait was good and our baited up spots looked good, the only thing missing was the fish, but would it happen today?

The day started off pretty much the same as day 2, not much action, warm weather, no rain and high pressure. At this point I had considered moving onto Zig rigs but Dick said they don’t usually work, the more simple the better, his advice was to go back to basics and use the same kind of rigs that you would have used when you started carp fishing – sounds like my simple braided knotless knot rig was going to be the one to use so the multi rig came off and another knotless knot went on with an 18mm CC Moore Equinox boilie topped with Green Citrus Zing Popup corn.

The bite alarms stayed quiet for most of the day when all of a sudden my right hand rod burst into life, there’s nothing better than the sound of a Delkim alarm scream into action, as I was sat next to the rods I was straight on it, fish on at last! As I lifted into the fish and tightened up the Quick Drag on my reels I could feel it was a nice fish, well, it was nice for the few seconds it pulled until it stopped dead in the tree line, this doesn’t feel good, I kept the pressure on as it seemed like the fish had gone round a snag, after a few minutes the fish tugged a few more times and then it went back to a dead weight. At this point Dick had seen that I was hooked into something and we agreed it had got into a snag, he kindly agreed to go out in the boat and try to free it up, a few minutes later he freed it up but unfortunately the fish had gone but had left the hook embedded in a 5 foot tree branch, ah well, personal best tree branch anyway.

The rod quickly went back out followed by the evenings bait. At least it showed that the carp were now showing an interest in our bait!

As luck turns out, not long after the stick it started to get colder and we had a short rain shower, maybe this would oxygenate the water and make the carp a little more active. At around 7pm a band of low lying mist rolled off the nearby fields and over the lake and it was really quite impressive. Just as we were looking in awe my right hand screamed into action again, fish on! Let’s see if this one goes into the snags again.

Luckily I managed to steer it away from the tree line and pull it into open water, the fish was putting up a great fight which was a good test for my new rods. After a 15 minute fight the carp finally slipped over the cord of the landing net and we were off the mark! A perfect looking mirror carp sat in the bottom of the net.

Carp fishing in France with accommodation at Golden Oak

33lb 12oz

We disassembled the landing net and rolled it up leaving plenty of slack line so we didn’t damage the carp and we slid it into the floating slings and hoisted it onto the cradle type unhooking mat (both provided by Dick at the venue), a few pictures followed along with some fish care (which is always important, you need to make sure the fish go back in the lake in as good if not better condition than they came out). This first carp weighed in at 33lbs 12ozs, result!

Carp fishing in France with accommodation at Golden Oak

And a quick shot before returning…

Day four


Tuesday was a pretty uneventful day, we got the bait out but nothing happened for the majority of the day. It was quite warm and sunny, is this the end of the rain already? If it is and the rest of the week is as warm and sunny I doubt we will see much, if any more, action. That being said, we can’t just give up! We continued our baiting morning and evening and made sure the rigs were on the spots we thought seemed best. A few carp showed through the day but nothing to say they were feeding, let’s see what tomorrow brings.

Day five


At Dicks advice we baited up and put the rods back out for a couple of hours, today we decided we would give it a few hours then head up to the shallows for a bit of stalking. After another chat with Dick we all agreed that we should have had more fish by now so I decided for a complete change of bait. As we had been feeding his mix all week and he had fed it for the previous 2 weeks I would switch all my rods over to Corn setup on a popped up blow back rig, about 2 inches off the bottom, while Vin stuck to the boilie approach, topped off with popup corn. The plan was to give it until midday then we head to the shallows.

At about 11:30am I started to think about bringing the rods in ready for the move when out of the blue the middle rod starts to rip off, this looks like the corn might be a good idea. The fight with this one only lasts 10 minutes as it decided to head straight towards me most of the time, that is until it got near the bank, then it decided it didn’t really want to go in the net! After a little persuasion it finally did and weighed in at 33lbs 6ozs.

Carp fishing in France with accommodation at Golden Oak

Another perfect mirror carp.

After its safe return to the lake we gave it another hour or so to see if anything else was out there but we had nothing, so we headed up to the shallows. We took one rod each, some scales, landing net, unhooking mat and some corn around to the shallow end of the lake for a bit of afternoon stalking.

Carp fishing in France with accommodation at Golden Oak

There’s something special about putting on a pair of polarised glasses and seeing the carp stir up the bottom of the lake with their tails up and plumes of silt being thrown up and clouding the water up, knowing that your bait isn’t far away from where they are feeding.

We spotted a few carp stirring up the bottom and proceeded to place our rigs as close as we could to them followed by a few grains of corn. For stalking we decided to stick with the N-Trap soft rigs but this time we decided to team it up with a few pieces of pop up corn to match the bait we were putting in. As the hours rolled on we saw a few more carp turn up to feed around the crayfish traps but they weren’t interested in our bait, there was even a few carp jumping just feet away from our bait underneath the Oak tree for which the lake is named.

As it got near to 3pm we decided to call it a day and head back to the bivvy so we could get our rods back out and do our evening baiting session. By now the sun had disappeared behind some heavy clouds and the temperature and pressure had dropped, maybe more of the rain we were expecting was going to show an appearance? Just after 3pm we got another short rain shower and it was starting to feel a little more carpy.

Day six


Thursday and the temperature had gone down, the skies are cloudy and overcast and it definitely seems to be better weather for fishing! There had been a few short showers overnight, this seemed to have oxygenated the water as there was clearly more fish moving about than any other day and we could see the fish stirring up the bottom and bubbling away. As Vin hadn’t seen much action on his part of the lake I decided to move my rods further to the left so he had a bigger area to fish to. His right hand rod stayed under the branches of a tree near on the dam, the middle was still 15 foot off a bush on the corner of the dam but his left hand rod was now on the spot where my right hand rod was previously, which was directly across the lake from us in a small alcove in the tree line.

I decided to move my right hand rod to a clear spot that I found about 15-20 foot out from a clearing in the tree line, this clearing was where Dick’s horse drank from the lake, so it’s easily spotted. The clear spot here was at the bottom of a drop off and as it turns out this was the old river bed that ran through this area. My middle rod was now on the far left of the lake under a tree marker, Dick had 2 white markers put in the trees in this area to indicate the “good spots”, this rod was on the right marker and my left rod was on the left marker, these were only about 20 foot apart but it seemed right.

At around 4pm my right hand rod started to give out line and the bobbin slowly started to rise up to the rod, lifting into it I could feel a nice fish on the end which then decided to try to take out all of Vin’s lines, luckily I managed to get it away from them and back into the middle of the lake, as with all the Carp caught so far this one put up a good fight but these new rods handled them perfectly and after a short time the fish was on the bank. Weighing in at 32lb 15oz this was the smallest so far but still a great looking mirror carp.

Carp fishing holidays in France at Golden Oak

32lb 15oz

Once the carp was safely back in the lake I was midway through checking my rig and attaching a new lead (the previous had dropped off mid fight), my middle rod burst into life and started paying off line, needless to say I dropped my right hand rod and picked up the middle which instantly bent into a better fish, this fight lasted about 20 minutes and managed to pick up the line on the left hand rod in the process, which was quickly sorted by Vin. As it came near to the net it I could feel the fish tossing and turning and the line flicking off its fins, this is always the most risky part, not knowing if the hook hold was good or if the carp will make one final dash for freedom, but luckily the hold was good and the carp slipped over the cord of the landing net.

Yet another perfect carp on the bank, this one had a deep body, this definitely had the potential of getting a lot bigger! While it was on the mat getting ready for being weighed it started passing Equinox boilies, I guess this proves they are finally on our bait! This beauty weighed in at 38lb 11oz, the biggest of the trip so far! Once this was back safely in the water I recast all 3 rods back to the same spots but unfortunately we didn’t see any further action during the night.

Carp fishing holidays in France at Golden Oak

38lb 11oz

Day seven


Friday and our last day to fish, the week had gone too fast, we’d had a few fish out and according to Dick we had done better than some of the other anglers that have visited this year but Vin hasn’t had anything yet apart from line bites and an aborted take. After the morning baiting session we can see a few fish moving round and a few feeding in the tree line but nothing else. At midday Vin asked me to watch his rods while he went into the house to cook lunch, as it’s our last day we need to make the most of the food we have left, which resulted in an 8 egg omelette each! Probably not the best idea in the world really, never mind.

While Vin was cooking I noticed his left hand rod start to have some action, first it was a very slow and short pull on the line, the bobbin only moved a few millimetres towards the rod, then it dropped off, I decided to pick up the rod and put a bit of tension in the line and sure enough there was a fish attached, finally Vin was into a fish! The only problem was Vin was inside and I was trying to keep pressure on the fish until he came out, luckily Dick heard me trying to get Vin’s attention and went into the house to get him. Now Vin was bringing the fish in I made sure everything else was ready, time to start a check list in my head:

  • Unhooking mat open and wet near Vin – Ready
  • Bucket of water for the fish – Ready
  • Carp care kit – Ready
  • 2 Carp slings (one to bring the fish out of the water and the other to weigh the fish) – Ready
  • Scales set to zero – Ready
  • Landing net – Ready

Lets just hope this one doesn’t come off as Vin has been wanting a fish all week!

After about 10 minutes the fish starts to near but bank but as soon as I put the landing net out it shoots off again, I guess it’s not ready yet. I know how tempting it is to try to bring a fish in as quickly as possible after a blank but it just adds another element of risk and the possibility of the hook pulling is just too great so Vin let the carp wear itself out before we tried netting it again and eventually it gave up and slipped over the cord of the landing net, finally Vin has a nice fish in the net! On the scales this beauty goes to 35lb 15oz, only a couple of pounds short of Vin’s personal best!

Carp fishing holidays in France at Golden Oak

35lb 15oz

Once the fish has gone back in the lake we decided to bait up one last time, as it’s our last day we put the remainder of our bait over all spots and recast with fresh hookbait, we have now both caught this week so anything else is a bonus! Once the rods were out we decided to start packing away a few things and load a bit into the car. The majority of the gear was packed away for about 5pm and we were just left with the essentials, as it seems to be quiet we decided to get a few photos of the venue before we lost the sun, it really is a great place with perfect surroundings, I strongly recommend anyone who goes here, take some time out from your fishing and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Carp fishing in France with accommodation at Golden Oak

The cottage and pool

Carp fishing in France with accommodation at Golden Oak


At around 18:50 my middle rod bursts into life one final time, great, a bonus fish! This one starts to come in easily but then when it was about half way across the lake it decided it wanted to be in the far left margins near to where the lake goes round a corner… if it manages to get around the corner it’s as good as gone!

After a bit of gentle persuasion I manage to get the fish away from the corner and under my left hand rod and with a little help from Vin it finally comes close enough to net and I now have 5 fish!

Carp fishing in France with accommodation at Golden Oak

36lb 5oz

This carp weighs in at 36lb 5oz, and is another stunning looking fish. With that we decide it’s time to call it a day and pack away the last of our gear.

This carp weighs in at 36lb 5oz, and is another stunning looking fish and as it’s the last fish of the trip Vin even decides to go in the lake with it to release it. With that we decide it’s time to call it a day and pack away the last of our gear.

As it’s the last fish of the trip Vin even decides to go in the lake to release it.

On Saturday morning we have a final chat with Dick and Jo. We gave Dick a copy of our catch photos, do one final check to make sure we have everything and set off back for Calais. The journey back to Calais was uneventful, the roads were clear and we made good time so we decided to try the Paris ring road again, it wasn’t as busy as our first time here but it was still quite mad, but on the up side we did see the Eiffel Tower in the distance. Even though we went around Paris we still made it to Calais a few hours earlier and managed to get on an earlier ferry.

Our conclusion


Golden Oak is now a venue I would recommend to anyone; it’s a lovely lake, the accommodation is top notch, the fish are perfect and Dick and Jo are great hosts. During our week at Golden Oak we had 6 Carp between 32lb 15oz and 38lb 11oz, mainly caught on plastic popup corn with the odd couple caught on boilie topped with corn. As with any fishing trip, you can always learn something looking back and have a few things you can try next time.

  • It’s a good idea to find out what bait has been going in the weeks leading up to your trip and adjust your bait accordingly, on this occasion, the 2 weeks before we got to Golden Oak there were no other anglers on so Dick had been feeding the fish his special mix, with this in hindsight we should have moved onto corn a lot sooner than we did, this may have helped us catch more.
  • Accurate bait and rig placement is key on this kind of venue, you need to keep baiting up the same spots each time to build up the feeding area, once the fish realise the bait is going in a certain spot they will keep coming back to check it as long as you keep feeding it.
  • If you do use a different bait than what has previously gone in it may take a while for the Carp to move onto your bait, its best to mix your bait with the usual bait that goes in, for me it would have been mixing my boilies (both whole and crushed) with Dicks special mix.
  • You don’t need to scale your tackle up for fishing in France, size 4 hooks aren’t always needed, at Golden Oak Dick advised us to go down to a size 6 or 8.
  • Next time we come to France we will probably get a ferry the same morning we are due to book into a lake, over the last few occasions we allowed 24 hours from arriving in France to getting to the venue. If you take your time and take a lot of breaks then it may be fine for you, however I would rather just drive through the morning and day light and arrive at the venue without stopping too much, sleeping in the car isn’t great. The other option is to stop at a B&B on your way but when I have thousands of pounds worth of tackle in my car, I prefer not to leave the car alone for too long.
  • Make the most of your time on the lake, on this occasion we didn’t really make the most of our time as we didn’t fish through the night.
  • Listen to the lake owner, Dick, like any other lake owner spends more time at the venue than anyone else, they have seen all the catch reports, all the baits and feeding spots and know more than anyone else about their lake. Take the time to sit down with them or have a drink with them, they will tell you more in 10 minutes about the lake than you will learn in a week.

Well that’s the end of my extended review of my trip to Golden Oak, I hope you enjoyed it and I hope it’s gave you a bit of advice for fishing this venue. Obviously there is so much more to the venue and to my trip there than I can put on this blog but I hope it gives you an insight into my fishing. If you have any questions about this venue, my trip or anything else please get in touch using the comment box below.

Until next time,

Tight Lines,

For more information on Golden Oak follow the link – Fishing Holidays


One thought on “A Trip To Golden Oak

  1. Golden Oak - France - North West Carp Forum says:

    […] A Trip To Golden Oak French Carp Lake | Angling Lines Blog that will tell you how I got on as for tips, find out if its been fished the week before you go, if hasn't then use a load of ****s special mix and fish pop up corn. The far margins seemed best, theres some white markers on the far left side, that's a good place, theres also a gravel bar that runs through the lake, other than that just fish tight under the far trees. Also, don't be afraid to reel in and go stalking in the shallows near the crayfish traps in the morning/mid day. If theres anything else you want to know just let me know. Good luck Steve […]

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