Our field tester Paul Cooper explains why La Fonte is the right French carp lake for you if you’re after plenty of action!
What do you want out of a French fishing adventure. Is it sitting it out for that one special carp? Or do you prefer action with the chance of picking up the odd big carp. If it is the latter I have found the perfect lake for you!
I have not long returned from a new Angling Lines water called La Fonte. The lake itself is around 6 acres and has depths ranging from around a meter in the shallows down to 3 meters at its deepest point off the dam. It is an old mature lake surrounded by trees with a silty lake bed. There are 3 well maintained double carp swims, with ample room to bivvy up on large gravelled areas with each one having a wooden stage by the lakeside for all the fishing business. The facilities are excellent, with cooker, freezers, fridge, English TV, plenty of hot water for the showers and sinks and clean toilet/shower room.
This was the initial test for Angling Lines and my partner in crime for the week, once again was my good friend Jim Kelly. When testing a lake, generally one of us moves around as much as possible so that we can get an idea of all the features and feeding areas of the lake. We are not at the lake simply to catch fish but to establish the quality of the lake, to ascertain the potential of individual swims and to try and get an idea of the stocking density of the venue.
The weather the week prior to our arrival had been extremely warm and pleasant. This however changed overnight prior to our arrival with a cold northerly wind blowing reducing the temperature drastically, bringing with it rain and snow. It was the last week in April so it can be hit and miss with the weather so we were both prepared for the all seasons.
So what were the tactics that Jim and I decided on?
The fishing log from the previous week was our starting point, where a sole angler had managed a late booking on the lake and had caught around 70 carp off the first swim giving access to the deeper part off the lake nearest the dam.
Jim had the first choice of swim and decided to settle in this swim. I initially headed for the middle of the lake on swim 2.
Prior to our arrival it was our intention to fish days only, so as to rest the lake and swims overnight, fishing daylight hours only, reeling all our rods in for meals 3 times a day and for shower room duties.
Jim’s choice of boilies was Quality Baits HG42 and mine Quality Baits Patshull Park Squid and Orange.
After initially plumbing and leading the lake, Jim chose an area on the far margins in around 8 foot of water to create his feeding area. This allowed Jim to throw any loose feed into the lake by hand or catapult.
I found around 4 foot of water over fairly deep silt all the way across to the far margins. I would be using a throwing stick and spomb to create my feeding area. While messing around plumbing and leading the lake we both caught a carp each. All the rods ready for the next day, we retired to the facilities for a bit of TV watching and relaxation, then back to the bivvies for a good nights sleep.
Overnight I was awoken by fish crashing to my right in front of the shallows swim. I had not even made a cast when at first light I decided to take rods and all into the swim in front of the shallows. I had a maximum of 3 foot of water with heavy silt. I decided to create a swim around 5 yards off a fallen tree off the far bank. I was not particularly concerned about the silt as I have fished lots of silty lakes in the past without any problems. I still fished short hook-links on bottom baits and left the lead plugged into the silt at the location where the lead hit the water at a range of 72 yard. My theory is that if fish live in a silty lake they will still feed in the silt. By late evening I was reeling in for the night with 10 carp to 30lb 4oz under my belt. Jim had also had a successful day with a similar amount of carp.
The temperature was dropping drastically, down to -3 overnight, with ice on rods and mats for the first hour of daylight, along with snow hail and cold northerly winds. Not the ideal temperature for a French fishing trip. We plodded on fishing days only and the fish just kept coming. The fish that I was picking up were of mixed sizes ranging from low doubles to low thirties, with the average weights being mid twenties. Jim’s deeper water swim was less productive, but his stamp of fish were of a better average weight. On Thursday I decided to try my luck fishing off the dam in deep water. I was fishing down the margins only a yard off the dam and straight away the fish started to come. all being in the high twenties. I remained on this swim until we wrapped up early Friday evening.
The weather was awful all week and only started to improve on our departure on the Saturday morning. The proof of this lake was the results at the end of the week with 91 carp in total for Jim and myself. I had moved 3 times and Jim remained on his swim for the week. Our tactics worked well. Resting the swims overnight relieved the pressure off the baited areas.
The silt could put a lot of people off, but there is no need to worry. The magnificent carp in this lake have grown up in this environment and are used to feeding in the silt. With well over 300 carp in this lake resident carp, La Fonte will produce some massive hits for the lucky anglers that get to fish it’s water. The swims are well set out and huge with swims 2 and 3 easily accomading two anglers. Stage stands or rod pods are essential as the rod set ups are on staging. The area for the bivvies are large gravelled areas so bivvy pegs are required on here. The lake itself is set in aquiet rural valley so peace and tranquility is guaranteed.
Find out more about La Fonte here – French Carp Lakes