Carp fishing at Domaine des Iles!

Domaine des Iles is a 35 acre, peat pit relatively uniform with silt throughout. Depths range from 3ft – 7ft. The lake holds a good stocking of carp with the lake record in excess of 60lb. Specimen anglers among readers might also find it beneficial to know that the lake also holds Catfish to over 100lb. For people who are not sure, surface silt is NOT black it has a kind of greyish brownish tinge. Anything green is going to be fairly good camouflage in water. For this article I want to stray away from just telling people what we have caught and give anglers some tips and tactics about how to go about catching fish. I will include some pictures and details about how Peter and I got on in early August this year. Having fished the lake 10 times now it is fair to say we have a reasonable idea about fish location, bait, and rigs. At risk of giving away the winning methods I want to use this article is to aid peoples fishing. This cannot be deemed as the only method or indeed the best method of catching fish on this fairly tricky venue, however it is a formula both Peter and I have found extremely successful.
The first important item of tackle is a bait boat. It is almost vital to the success of catching fish on this venue. As you can probably see from pictures of the lake, the venue is reasonably large which has long snaggy margins which carp love to cruse up and down. The lake has various channels which give the carp a sanctuary when the lake is being pressured. These channels are deemed to be ‘safe’ to the carp because they are difficult to cast to, depending on which swim you are fishing. The fish have a good opportunity to get rid of the hook if you can get a hook down there. Experience fishing on this venue and other lakes with lots of overhanging bushes and trees it is surprising how easily fish can get rid of the hook when they become caught up. Unfortunately this can cause significant mouth damage. Previous experiences on this venue taught us that it is important to get the bait and rigs close to the snags or margins. Therefore it is important to use a bait boat. At night it is difficult to put the baits close to the margins. Therefore you end up fishing open water. Our most recent trip has taught both Peter and I that just as many fish can be caught from open water, as they can from the margins. This is something I would not neglect when fishing in any of the swims. I would also advise taking 3 bait boat batteries per person. At times we could not keep 6 rods in the water. I would also recommend a two chargers if you are sharing a boat and have 6 batteries. The controller for the boat may need some spare batteries also. I advise bringing a 4 gang short trailing socket so you can plug more than one thing in the GB socket.
With regard to rigs and tackle I would advise you use whatever you think is strong, reliable and effective. If you keep it simple you will undoubtedly be rewarded. If you do happen to experience repetitive fish losses due to a poor hook hold. I would advise changing the length of the hair OR the hook link. Sometimes fish loss can be due to a combination of the both however you may have got it half right. Remember that fish snagging you up does not mean that there is a problem with your rigs. It is all about getting the run. When you are unhooking the fish take a note of where the fish are being hooked. It can give you an idea of the how confident the fish are feeding, therefore give you an idea of what type of rig you can use to catch more. With the rig adjustments we made we found fish were being hooked as much as 1 inch back in the mouth. Bait is a difficult subject. I prefer to keep what I use private however I will advise a good quality loose feed, using a combination of smells, bait sizes and bait types. This keeps the carp guessing and also gives the fish plenty of attraction. Don’t be afraid to stick some feed out there. Using a combination of particle and boilies is a winning method, however be careful that you don’t get the carp preoccupied on feeding on small food items otherwise no matter how many fish are in your swim you will have little to no chance of catching them using a boilie on the hair.
The first week of August once again proved to be a fabulous time for fish captures. Both Peter and I had the best weeks fishing ever known at Domaine des Iles. We had 92 fish between us, strangely enough both having 46 fish each. This included 6 double takes where both of us were into carp. One witnessed by Bernard himself. Approximately 80% of fish were caught under the hours of darkness. The largest fish were 6 40lb+ catfish as well as a 60lb and 70lb catfish. The largest carp was a 45lb common. That was backed up with 28 carp over 30lb. 44 fish over 20lb and 11 doubles.
I hope the above tactics and tips help your fishing at Domaine des Iles. I look forward to going after one of those 40lb Carp again soon.
Tight Lines,
Simon Verrinder
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