Mark Cresswell’s session on Tortue Lake

June 24, 2012

Here is a very nice article sent to me by Mark Creswell. Thought I’d share it on the blog:

Just returned from an extremely enjoyable trip to Croix Blanche in France

Friday 15th June is a special day for the river anglers but for me it was special as it was the day I set off, I meet my 2 companions for the week (Jeff and Steve) at Watford and we’re soon at Dover, a good crossing and then a drive down to Croix. We discuss our ambitions for the following 6 nights, I am hoping for a fish over 50lb as I’ve never caught one or if lady luck shone a 40lb common, Steve would be happy to beat his PB (27lb) and Jeff just wanted to have a good time, which in reality is what we all wanted, a good time with hopefully some decent fish thrown in too Read the rest of this entry »

March and April 2012 : Catch Report

May 4, 2012

Following the excellent winter results on the venue, which saw a good number of forty pound fish banked, including two to myself, the big freeze that lasted over three weeks put an abrupt end to the feeding spree, and a downer on the fishing and any high hopes I’d have of a productive start to the main season.

One or two of the anglers who had been here in January were keen to get back. This was the case in point of two you Dutch lads Gert- Jan Wijnhorsdt & Sjoerd Wildschut,  who fresh from success in January were back in early March once the lakes were unfrozen.
Fishing the sampe tactics that had been successful to others and to myself they used PVA bags and pellets on the plateau of the Tortue Lake, and in the deeper water of peg 13 to back 8 carp to 17kg in four nights.
The second week of March saw my good friend Andy Lears and three of his friends, Tim, Mark and Chris on the venue. Andy returned to peg 11 where he had done well last May, Tim fished the next peg down while Chris chose peg 14 and Mark opted for peg 3 on the Croix Lake. This week sort of set the scene for the days and weeks to come, with fish being very localised. Andy struggled on 11 and eventually moved onto peg 5 where he was able to bank a few 20lb plus carp and a catfish. For Tim again the fishing was slow in the deeper side of the lake, but he did managed a PB mirror of 37lb 2oz.
Mark caught fairly consistently with fish to 31lb. Best result of the week though was to Chris on 14. He managed around 10 fish with the best being a new PB 42lb Mirror. Read the rest of this entry »

Quest Baits Special Crab boilies now available on site

April 12, 2012

For 2012 we have opted to supply the Quest Baits Special Crab boilies at the venue. I have known Shaun Harrison for a number of years and have entire confidence in his bait quality. As I was involved with Quest at the outset, it is only natural that I put my confidence in thee high quality baits.

I have both 1kg & 5kg bags in stock.

More info on the website: Croix Blanche Lakes Bait


Last Session for January and my Second 40lb+ Common

January 30, 2012

41lb 8oz Second January Forty

With the weather forecast announcing the arrival of a prolonged cold snap next week, I felt that I had to get back out and do a couple more nights before the cold eventually put an end to the carp’s willingness to feed in winter.

The first few days of the week had been very wet so I was waiting for a 48 hours window of fairly dry weather in which I could wet a line. I really don’t like fishing in the rain. The odd shower is okay, but constant rain I just find depressing.
So Friday dawned bright and dry with a reasonable weekend in sight, and I loaded the car to drive down to the Tortue lake.
I elected to fish the same peg (14) where I’d caught all my fish so far this year. Why change, as the fish were obviously visiting this area? I know from experience they often don’t go far in winter. The water in the lakes was a fairly uniform 6°C.

Chilling in the Hammock

I’d made up a half a dozen PVA bags the night before, filled with 5mm carp pellets and broken Proline Red Devil boilies, so getting the lines out was a very quick affair this time. I had been using Quest Baits Pineapple, as I wanted a smaller  & instant bait for winter, but having run out, I only had the lake specials to use. My hook baits were hi viz tutti fruitti pops fished snowman style. I was hoping that a fluoro bait would give me a chance in the day time, as all the fish so far, had come at night.
With the baits in place and the hammock set up I made myself some dinner.  I climbed into the sack at around 8pm. I lay there reading before eventually dozing off.
At about 5am, a couple of bleeps and a steady run, on my left hand rod, signaled that I’d had a take. The fish did nothing special before rolling into the net. At 25lb it was a nice start. I did a couple of pictures and slipped her back. Read the rest of this entry »

Another Nice January Brace and a Monster Crucian

January 19, 2012

A nice mirror just shy of 30lb

I managed to get out again this week for an overnighter and once again got amongst the fish. Since my last trip a week ago, in unusually mild conditions we’ve had something of a cold snap the last few days with several heavy frosts, and cat ice in the edge of the lakes. I’d guess the night time temperatures got down to -6°C.
So Wednesday morning, with the frost still on the ground and ice still in the edge, I set up on the Peg 14, where I’d managed the fish last week. I reasoned that if they were active they may still come on the plateau in the Tortue to feed.
Again tactics were the same, a PVA bag of pellets and chopped boilies & some 14mm Quest Pineapple, with a Pineapple/Crab snowman combination.
As we settled in, things didn’t look anything like as promising as the previous visit. There I’d seen activity right away, but here with a cold wind and spitting rain, nothing was visible. Read the rest of this entry »

First Forty of the Year

January 15, 2012

First forty of the year

As I said in my previous blog post, with the mild weather, until now anyway, and relatively high water temperatures the carp have been very active. I spoke about the pair of young Dutch anglers who fished from the 2nd of January.   I now have a couple of photos to add. Here is a brief resumé of their session.
Jimmy Heijink and his mate set up on pegs 5 on the Croix Blanche and 13 on the Tortue. The used a bait boat to drop PVA bags of pellets and strawberry boilies to the shallower areas where fish were showing. The water levels were quite high so that would be around 12 feet deep.
Within 24 hours they had managed several fish to upper 20’s, which is pretty good for a month of January. Despite being mild the weather was quite extreme with gales force winds and heavy rain showers.
The lads stuck it out however, with Jimmy moving up to peg 15, due to the activity he had observed in front of that peg.
The last night saw one more fish out of the Croix lake and the icing on the cake for this early season session a superb 20.5kg (45lb) mirror. Read the rest of this entry »

Catch Report 5th June : 45lb Mirror Tops the Catch

June 14, 2010

Belgian carpers Rudi Bru and Pete Bleyaert got in amongst some superb carp and cats in a short three nighter in the company of their wives this week on the Tortue Lake.
As they arrived on the lakes they opted for peg 15 at the top end of the Tortue as there must have been 100 carp sunning themselves on the surface. The first 24 hours in the warm weather proved unproductive with just one small cat to show for their efforts. A change in the weather with a thunder storm and some rain soon put the fish back in the feeding mood and in the next few hours they banked several cracking fish.
Pete managed a lovely mirror of 45lb 2oz (20.5kg) as well as a 38lb 5oz (17.6kg) Common. Rudi not to be out done also landed some nice carp with a Mirror of 36lb 5oz and Commons of 24lb 5oz and 22lb 4oz.
The successful bait was the Proline Red Devils and a homemade garlic flavoured boilie. The flurry of action ended with the return of the hot sunny weather, and reluctantly they headed back to Belgium.

Croix Blanche Catch Report : Two fish over 20kg this week.

June 5, 2010

31st  May to 5th June

Two fish over 20kg (44lb) were landed this week in a carp bonanza that left everyone happy. With the cats in a very voracious mood of late the carp had been hard to tempt, but not this week. The weather was roasting hot but it didn’t put the carp off going on the munch. Andy Phillips opened the account with a cracking 47lb 8oz mirror from peg 14, while peg 10 followed suit 24 hours later with a 44lb mirror.
The catch of the week though went to Adam Lowridge on peg 11 who banked 18 carp including 8 thirties as well as cats to 37lb. In all 15 fish over 30lb were banked with catfish to 45lb.
Successful tactics were hempseed and boilies for the carp with Maineline Cell and SBS baits doing the business, where as pellets and boilies sorted out the catfish.
Most carp came at dusk to midnight or early morning, as the days proved hot and still only producing the odd welcome daytime catch. Surprisingly most of the cats were caught during the day.

For more photos : June Catches

Read the rest of this entry »

Five tips for Catching in the Spring

March 9, 2010

by Gareth Watkins

  1. Signs of moving fish:
    After a long winter and this year was cold, long and severe, the fish are just starting to wake up in the Spring as the days lengthen and the light penetration lasts longer.
    As the fish slowly move out of their winter torpor they won’t be moving very far. So any signs of feeding fish will certainly move you closer to your goal. If you see carp top, lump out, crash out or simply break the surface, get a bait out there, close by!! I wouldn’t recommend you bait heavily, but a PVA bag or a couple of spods should see you in with a good of a take. Read the rest of this entry »

Croix Blanche continues to produce big carp

November 22, 2009

22 November 2009

As the weather in France continues to remain mild the carp on the Croix Blanche lakes have remained active and have fallen regularly to anglers baits. Belgian carpers Paul and Pascal Rooseparck, on their third visit to the Croix Blanche venue, once again got in amongst the bigger venue residents. .

The run of excellent catches started in early November with Eric Dalenoord and a trio of forties and has continued well into the month with the latest haul of big carp.

Indeed Paul Rooseparck in just two night’s fishing managed six big carp the two largest topping the 40lb mark.

Fishing on the productive peg 13 on the Tortue lake Paul banked mirrors of :
46lb 2oz; 41lb 8oz; 30lb 8oz; 29lb 7oz and a common of 30lb 8oz.

Read the rest of this entry »