Three weeks ago we received a message from Dave! It was time for a last-minute carp fishing holiday in France with luxury! Etang des Persats was still available because the bailiff was on a last-minute holiday himself. This was no problem for Dave, the more privacy, the better! During the week he kept us updated and after he wrote us the following:
Firstly many thanks for arranging our trip to Etang des Persats at such short notice!
To have 12 acres to yourself is obviously a luxury made even more special by the venue itself. On arrival, the lake was even prettier than in the pictures, enhanced by the hilly landscape and mature trees surrounding the venue, peace and quiet in abundance.
Just myself my partner and our corker spaniel Jesse were made very welcome by the bailiff's parents as he himself was away on holiday that week, the gite on site blended in perfectly and provided all the mod cons needed for a comfortable trip (even though I still slept in the bivy all week). Having a lake to yourself does create its own problems with so many choices of spots to fish so I chose to setup 50m along from the pontoon and the island, allowing lots of options either direction. Fish were showing regularly around the lake upon arrival and as time was getting on I eagerly got the rods positioned planning to have a proper plump around in the morning. The night went by without any runs but the sleep after a long trip was welcome and being refreshed in the morning I started to map out the swim with the plumbing rod. The lake is a real mixture and had some great hard gravel spots and silty gullies, maiden voyage of the bait boat ended very quickly with the damm contraption failing immediately and thrown back in the car for the week. This was actually a blessing as it's easy to become dependant on these toys and I now reverted to old school plumbing, fishing to within range and creating a baiting strategy on my chosen spots.
I had purchased a sack of pellet from the lake and had 10kg of each Nash Scopex Squid and Key Cray boilies, the pellets I soaked in Scopex squid syrup along with the boilies. The venue supplies two rowing boats on-site and this made baiting easy, an area of gravel some 3/4 across the lake was my main area and baited heavily with pellet chopped n full boilies with a view to fish two rods on either end of the spot if the fish moved in and placed a marker pole (plastic conduit with reflective tape on the tip) in the lake to mark the spot, another rod was positioned on the left corner of the island in 2ft water, until the main baited area was producing I also fished a gravel spot only 25 yards out.
First run came Sunday evening from the island rod resulting in a scaled mirror of 20lb and this spot produced quite regularly throughout the week. The main baited area took time to produce but once the fish moved in runs were constant through the night with the occasional daytime pick up, throwing stick allowing the top-up of bait after each take. The close spot produced a fish at 11:00 each morning for the first 4 days before drying up and moving two rods onto the main spot.
We netted 27 carp throughout the week largest a mirror of 35lb 7 fish over 30 the remainder being twenty plus, mainly mirrors with 3 commons. All fish were clean, hard fighting and with many of the mirrors being heavily scaled. On this note I had problems with my digital scales throughout the week so weights provided can't be taken as accurate (some fish looked/felt actually bigger than the scales were showing) I did catch around a dozen Tench in the week which may be worth considering removing in any future netting program.
I did drop 3 fish to hook pulls and experienced 3 cut offs following runs, I put this down to quite a large amount of debris on the lake bed and on retrieving rigs would often result in the rig getting snagged, going out in the boat I retrieved several large branches.
Overall an excellent venue that when the fish weights increase over the years will be a top venue, I did see larger fish show over the week but unfortunately didn't connect into any. If there's any criticism it would be the pontoons, personally they are as much as a hindrance as they are an advantage and would rather prefer some dedicated backside swims without the pontoons, but that is just my opinion. The other concern would be the slope down from the gite, it would be safer with some shallow steps ( my partner struggled with this although has had hip surgery recently).
Pictures to follow when the cameras downloaded.
Thanks again for a great week.
Dave and Karen
Update: The Carp Specialist and the lake owners always take the points of improvements serious. We directly informed Yoan and he wrote us the following:
Thank you for these feedbacks, this is very important for us. For information, this winter, we will empty the pond to remove the tench and make a precise inventory of stocking (with the mortality of the beginning of the year). We are going to put big subjects to increase the average weight and remove the smallest fish.