The 2011 season at Villefond has seen some really amazing fish and some really interesting characters on our banks. The lake was pretty solidly booked all year and despite the big problem in some areas of France from the lack of rain, our lake still exceeded all expectations.
The lake experienced the full spectrum of changes – at times it was as low as it’s ever been and saw blooms of algae, blood worm, daphnia, tadpoles, European crayfish, swan muscles, and fish fry. All of which affected the fishing… so every week was totally different from the next and each week required a unique approach from the anglers.
The banks around the lake saw the usual wildlife including hares, foxes, the occasional deer, and the always persistent coypu. Along with the wildlife all the plants fruited including berries and hazelnuts. We even had a phantom large cat prowl the banks for a couple of weeks.
The carp have done amazing well in 2011. The abundance of natural food and anglers bait has seen them put on lots of weight, making the average size of carp caught this year a fantastic 38lb!
But not only is the average weight of the carp massive but the chance of a 40lb+ carp is huge because in 2011 over 30 different 40’s were identified!
The stock also includes 3 x 50lb+ carp and there’s the real possibility of a lot more of the upper forties turning 50lb.
Big John, our resident monster common, could go 60lb+ very soon, if not already. Watch the updates for more news on him when he next gets caught.
At the beginning of the year we added 23 new fish of which 20 were carp averaging low twenties. Unfortunately we lost 4 due to the stress of the move but towards the end of the year we added a further 8 of similar size from our stock pond to compensate.
So with all the original stock now over 30lb there are currently only around 24 fish below 30lb. This means you have more chance of catching a 40lb+ carp than a 20lb+ carp!
With a carp stocking of around 200 in a lake of just under 8 acres and with so many monsters you couldn’t be blamed for thinking it was runs water. Lac Du Villefond is infact the complete opposite.
With a really very high amount of naturals and no competition from smaller carp, bream, or tench the carp can afford to take time off eating the boillies if they are at all suspicious. This means with all the pressure and with an easy alternative the fish have proved a match for even the most cunning of anglers and have given lots of experienced guys fits.
However, there are several things you can do to increase your chances of hooking one of the most cunning of French carp including using a good bait. Bait proved a deciding factor with good quality boillies really out shinning the lesser ones.
With so many variations and rumours surrounding baits we decided we needed to offer bait that we know is good for the fish and importantly catches them. So after a long process of finding such bait and then a long trial period and several great catch reports later we now offer our own range of bait. After a rude awakening about what goes into the boillies going into our lake we began to realise the importance of boillie selection and soon saw what a difference it made. Now our new range has proven a great fish catcher and we know it’s great for the carp they will be being fed over the winter period on them so next year the carp will hopefully be even bigger again!
With the fishing going from strength to strength we have decided to work more on the facilities over winter. We’ve already moved the caravan and replaced it with a mobile home. Hopefully next year we’ll be getting new solar power panels for charging and power.
We’ll also be getting a new boat and giving the lake a face lift cutting trees and bushes back to make access easier.
In conclusion, we’re over the moon with how the lake has been improving and we’re very grateful to all the fishermen who have looked after our fish so well when they have caught them, so that every time they have been caught they are still all in pristine condition.
So for 2012 we can now offer great bait, a food package and improved facilities to go along with an average size of carp that few lakes can match. With unknown/uncaught fish still coming out quite regularly and with original fish not stocked by us now over 50lb there is still always excitement even for us to see what fish has come out.
Keep watching the catch reports for catches over winter and here at Villefond we are very excited for the 2012 season and what it promises to bring. We hope everyone has a great Christmas and a great 2012!