One of our favourite anglers, Terry Cheesman, has just returned from a week long escape to Bletiere, a small tranquil lake with stone gite accommodation. Here’s his review…
Having not been on a trip to France since October 2014, my regular fishing partner Steve and I were very much looking forward to our first trip of the year to La Bletiere, a venue we had not been to before. On this trip we were taking our wives so their comfort was one of the reasons we chose Bletiere as the on-site gite looked to be very suitable for them both while we were situated only about 80 yards away on the lake.
On arrival we were greeted by John and Lesley who showed us our respective homes for the week, Lesley showing the women the gite and John giving us a tour of the lake. We decided to set up in the middle swim which gave access to the majority of the lake and as we were using bait boats, enabled us to reach some of the more tricky areas with ease. Steve set up on the right which meant he had the island and far margin to fish to whereas I chose the left which meant taking baits down to the sanctuary and far margins around 120 yards away.
We had previously decided that we would use flurocarbon as a mainline as I had heard that line lay was very important at La Bletiere so with the use of this along with backleads, we were both confident that our lines were going to be as inconspicuous as possible.
It is always a great feeling when all the rods are out and you can finally sit back with a cup of coffee and take in your view for the week and begin to have an idea of where the fish may come from. As it transpired, Steve was first away late in the evening with a spirited and pretty almost fully-scaled mid-double mirror; a promising start.
The first proper day began with a couple more fish from the right, both mid/high-doubles and full of fight. A slower run late in the day produced the first 30 of the trip, again to Steve’s rods, with another mirror from a small bay on the far side. This was swiftly followed by another 30 for Steve from the same spot and finally a couple of runs for me from the right which again resulted in fish of around 17/18lb. The temperature the previous week had been around 40 deg. and although our week was going to be a little cooler, it was still in the upper 30’s and we were beginning to wonder if the bigger fish were going to make an appearance.
To our surprise, we began to get regular runs in the middle of the afternoon when the heat was at its most intense, although the most productive time seemed to be between 6.30 and 10.30 in the evening, often when the wives had just brought us our evening meals which caused a little consternation in the ranks!
One of the most interesting aspects of La Bletiere was the amount of wildlife we saw at the lake. Obviously when sitting for protracted periods of time in the countryside you are going to see more than you would simply by walking along, but along with kingfishers, oriels, and several birds of prey, we counted at least 17 different types of butterfly, including a pair of Purple Emperors which I had never seen before and was very exciting. John mentioned that he had also seen wild boar in the area but these were quite rare, but hopefully next time we might also see one. Sometimes it’s not just the fishing that is important and I feel it’s always productive to make the most of your surroundings when you are in the open for some time.
Halfway through the week we decided to go to the nearby city of Le Mans for the day which was very enjoyable and also gave the swims a rest, something that we feel is very beneficial when doing long sessions as I’m sure the lines out of the water with some free food give the fish a chance to regain some of their confidence after the continual movement around the lake. On our return we decided to move to the top end of the lake for a few hours to try and catch one or two of the fish that we had seen regularly feeding in this area. Due to the high numbers of fish present in the lake, there are always fish feeding somewhere and the overhanging bushes at this end seemed to be a hotspot for some of them.
After a couple of hours, Steve had a slow take on his rod and as soon as he struck could tell this was a bigger fish. A tense battle ensued before I managed to put the net under a large common and as soon as I went to lift it from the water, I could tell this was a big one. The weighing showed the fish to be 48lbs. A common in really nice condition, as all the fish were, and although not a PB for Steve, he was more than happy to have caught such a lovely fish. Photos over, champagne consumed and the sense of elation that a big fish brings ensued after the capture; it was now hopefully going to be my turn, although the right-hand side had certainly been the most productive so far this trip so I was not too sure it would happen.
A few more fish were caught and then on the last night I had a run at 2.00 in the night and after a long fight was able to watch Steve safely net a big mirror. We settled on a weight of 45 ¼lbs. So I was more than happy. Another run just before packing up resulted in another big mirror of 38 ½ so I was quite happy with my final result. We ended up catching 26 fish which, considering the hot conditions, we were extremely pleased with.
La Bletiere is a really picturesque venue with the possibility of some big fish; John thinks that come next year, there may be 5/6 fifties in the lake which, along with a large amount of high 30’s and several 40’s make for a fantastic stock for a small lake. We had a wonderful time at La Bleteire and will certainly be back as soon as we can to sample some excellent fishing in one of the most tranquil venues we have been to.
For more information on Bletiere follow the link – Carp Fishing in France with Accommodation