France’s best kept secret

With the hustle and bustle of a busy work life Brad maximises him time on the bank bagging himself several stunning captures, Brad explained;

“After an intense couple of weeks at work after the launch of a big project, there was nothing I was looking forward to more than having a week’s fishing abroad in France. It wasn’t just the fishing I was looking forward to, it was also just the thought of once the rods were out, then just lying on the bedchair, mobile phone switched off for once and just chilling out and relaxing as I watch the water for any fishy signs whilst the world and nature goes by.
“Cherpont lake, also known as “France’s best kept secret” is a Lake which I have always heard about, so when I got the heads up about an available space with my brother and a few mates I jumped at the opportunity. Cherpont lake is based in the Limousin region of France. Limousin is famous for its stunning scenery as it’s full of woodlands surrounded by big Valleys.
“Cherpont exceeded expectations as I can honestly say it’s unbelievably picturesque and the landscape backdrop / scenery of the valley hills above the trees give the most breath-taking views. We arrived Saturday morning and after a brief walk around and then greeted by Dan / Jackie with a full English breakfast, we all chose our swims and away we went.
“I opted for a swim known as ‘Moorings’. I chose this swim because it’s a point swim which covers a large expanse of the Lake and if the fish are moving between a big bay to my left and open water to my right, I would be at the perfect interception point. With the bottom being silty and completely uniform / flat all over and only one main feature in front, I decided to make my bait the feature in the swim.
“Two rods were fished over an area which was heavily baited with heavily glugged, chopped and whole Mainline Hybrid Boilies in conjunction with the matching pellet. The other rod was on a small patch of pea shingle type gravel amongst the heavy silt and baited quite tight. With the bottom being extremely silty and very murky, I wanted to create a really potent mix.
“A little tip of mine which I often do and especially on long sessions is washing the baits out. My main reason for doing this is that with the bait being soft, not only does it appear older therefore less dangerous to the carp, but it also makes it a lot easier for the fish to chew and pass through the bait, therefore getting through your bait a lot quicker which hopefully brings quicker bites.
“In this situation though, I was mixing the lake water with matching Hybrid Activator so even though the baits were washed out, I still wanted a high attraction and flavour level due to the murky nature of the water. Once the baits had been properly washed out, before spombing / boating out I would drain off the water, and the give the bait a quick glazing of matching boilie dip.
“Rig wise, I opted to keep it extremely simple, but effective. The rules dictate that for fish safety, quick release lead clips only to be used. Therefore, my choice of rig was 12 inches of n-trap soft (Long and supple to combat the silt), blowback style mounted onto a size 4 Kurv Hook. This was then attached to a Hybrid Quick release lead clip and three feet of Dark Matter Rig Tubing.
“One thing I was doing was carefully critically balancing my hybrid snowman hook bait and with the putty strategically placed on the hooklink, even with a very subtle coated braid like N-trap, the rig will still slowly kick away from the lead and reset. This is vital; especially because on the cast I was attaching a couple of nuggets of pva foam.
“Not to protect the hook as there’s no weed or anything, but purely to help the rig to fall as slowly through the water as possible on the cast when feeling the lead down to help stop the rig penetrating too deeply into the thick silt. The weather for the week was not in our favour. High pressure had properly kicked in and we were having temperatures of 24 degrees Celsius in the day, then down to 3 degrees at night.
“I managed my first fish of the trip on the following morning and at a weight of 38lb 8oz so the pressure was shortly off and it was a good start. As the week went on, it appeared that the fish were definitely most active at night time, and in the warm day times after a very cold night the fish would sit up in the shallows basking in the sun.
“Particularly in my swim, the bites came every morning between just before first light and nearly every bite of the trip came between 5 and 7 am. It was almost like my buzzer was the perfect alarm clock, with a French cheese on the end to start off a perfect day! Dan & Jackie the lake owners treat you like kings on your trip to Cherpont, and it’s fair to say Jackie’s cooking is pretty spectacular and the desperado’s definitely taste better in France! Will, I be returning next year? – We’ve already rebooked!