Interactive Brochure

February 14, 2012

After putting a downloadable PDF brochure on the website last week. I’ve been working on a flip book type interactive version, that can be posted on websites or sent out as an e-mail.

This simple online version of a paper brochure can be read on screen, with pages that turn just like a real glossy magazine.

Its quite simple, just click on the photo or the link: Interactive Brochure  in this post and you will open the brochure online.  All you need to do to read it, is to either drag the bottom right corner, to turn a page or simply click in the corner and the pages turns as well.

If you need a download version click on the PDF link. This can be printed out.  Downloadable Brochure

Read the rest of this entry »

2012 Gets off to a Flying Start

January 11, 2012

Waiting by my rods on peg 14

With the unseasonally mild weather the carp have continued to be very active on the lakes. In fact we have not had any frosts so far this year, let alone negative temperatures.
When a couple of Dutch lads wanted to have a crack for a few days in early January it seemed a good idea. They arrived on the 2nd January and after just 24 hours had managed 4 carp. Three in the Croix Lake and one in the Tortue. Not bad at all for a Winter session.

Well, using PVA bags bait-boated out to the areas where carp were showing, with strawberry snowman rigs, they continued to get action for the four nights fished, banking in total 8 carp and losing a couple more. The best fish was a magnificent 45lb mirror.
Fuelled by their success I decided it was time I had a go myself. My last session back in November had resulted in a blank; but now there were clear signs of active fish.

I set up in peg 14 and lobbed out three PVA bags with carp pellets and Quest baits Pineapple Crush 15mm boilies. I had wanted an instant type bait in a smaller size than I usually use, and happened to have a bag of these in the garage. Rigwise, I kept my usual fluorocarbon D rig hook links, but used a very slow sinking snowman combination. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s happened to Winter?

January 3, 2012

Croix Blanche 2010: What has happened to Winter this year?

Its funny how the years pass and are so different. One year we have a heatwave in the summer and the next it’s cold and wet.
Take the Winter; this time last year we were in the north pole, we had several feet of snow. In fact it was the heaviest in living memory for most of the people in my village. The temperatures plummeted well below freezing and the lakes were solid for well over a month.

So how different it is this year. 2012 comes in with the warmest start in over 100 years. In fact 2011 was the warmest year on average since records began. We are still yet to have a significant frost…
Its strange that we don’t seem to have regular and proper seasons any more. If proof were needed 2011 is a good case study. We had a spring that was not only exceptionally dry, but the hottest on record. Temperatures were up as high as the mid thirties by mid May.

The summer then quite simply didn’t happen. After a rainy, cold July, August was barely better. The Autumn however did give us some fine and sunny weather. Read the rest of this entry »

Summer News Letter

September 15, 2011

Following what was the hottest and driest Spring since records were kept, we moved into a month of July which proved to be the wettest and coldest in thirty years. The climate really does seem to be in complete turmoil. This in consequence has a knock on effect for the fishing.

With so much rain during July the lakes fished poorly in comparison to the previous ones. I believe that the influx of cold water, mostly through the water table, and therefore cold, caused the carp to moved up off the bottom and find a comfort zone in mid water. Groups of fish could regularly be sen in mid water. This made them very hard to tempt. Zigs were used with some success, but generally speaking things were not very productive.
I have over the years seen this on a number of waters, where July just in not a very good month for fishing.
Anyway we moved into August and things improved, with a mixture of cool cloudy weather with a few storms to hot sunny days. The fishing did pick up though and there were a few notable weeks where good numbers and size of fish were landed.

Paul Hamer and George Thomson, regulars at the venue, settled into peg 3 & 4 for the first week of July and with the cooler weather had a good week. Highlights for the guys were mirrors of 37lb 2oz, 34lb 10 oz and a Catfish of 33lb 12oz. Read the rest of this entry »

Spring update

July 18, 2011

Well it’s been a while since I’ve had time to update the blog with any catch returns, as we’ve just been so busy this year. Not only have we been very well booked out in both the fishing and the accommodation, but we have moved our horses to the pasture behind the lakes which needed fencing in and a shelter building.
Well back to the lakes… What stands out as I review this update is that the best catches have come to lake regulars. I guess it is the same on your domestic waters, but you get better results once you get to know the water a bit better. Its not a given as many of the first timers also have excellent results.
Well the catfish well and truly woke up and any amount of pellet of boilie had them camped in front of your peg. Belgian anglers Katia Hoorne and Jonas Goosens managed a good haul of cats as well as a few nice carp. Katia got off the mark with the two-tone common at a weight of 48lb 2oz. Jonas certainly managed to tame the cats with fish of 94lb 6oz & 70lb 4oz.
Uk angler Graham house further up the Tortue lake was directly targeting the larger cats and managed to bank another 90lb plus fish at 91lb.
Highlight of the month was a superb 57lb mirror to John Evans on peg 2 of the Croix Blanche Lake. I’ve been looking through old photos to tray and see what weight this fish last came out at but have not been able to identify it…Nice one John!! Read the rest of this entry »

Jeez what a storm!!!!…

June 30, 2011

I was happily eating my dinner after a spot of tench fishing, when the wind got up and it started spitting with rain… No worries, I just moved myself and gear under the tarp and finished my dinner. As I lay in the hammock, the wind got stronger and the rain heavier…and heavier and heavier.. It was a sheet of water and a violent swirling wind. When the paracord guy rope to my DD tarp broke off and it flapped uncontrollably in the wind I decided to knock it on the head and head for home.
Myself and my gear were by now totally soaked. With the carabineer ridge line and tree straps I was able to take down the tarp and hammock in a couple of clicks and bundle it into the motor. I gathered my billies and stove and was off from the lake presto…lightening was dropping all around, and we are in a thick wooded valley.
The roads on my route home were flooded and we had no electricity when I did arrive (A falling tree had taken out the power lines). So while I’ve been happily camping out so far all spring and summer in the DD hammock & tarp set up, it isn’t too clever in 80mph winds and monsoon rain. Read the rest of this entry »

Hammock Carping

May 24, 2011

For years now I have been seeking ways to cut down on the gear I take fishing, I remember well when I was a boy I’d be able to get all the gear for an overnighter on my bicycle. But just look at all the clobber we laden ourselves down with now.

I made some progress when I had my camper van as I only needed my rod bag, tackle bag and mats to get out on the bank. But swapping my camper for a 4×4 has meant I’m back to brolly and bedchair.

That is until this week…..I’ve just got myself a “hammock and tarp” to use in the summer months in place of my brolly and bedchair. Shaun Harrison first showed me this system and I must say I found it really cool. Most of us hate carrying a heavy bivvy and bedchair to a swim. Not only are these very weighty items, a Nash Titan with all the bits weighs over 15kg, and even a light bedchair is going to be 10-15kg extra. So you have a combined weight of over 30kg just to bivvy up. Read the rest of this entry »

42lb 10oz Common from the Tortue.

April 1, 2011

Seddik with his new PB common at 42lb 10oz

Well the season is on us and most anglers are turning their thoughts to coming to France for a session. I’ve been busy preparing the venue but have been able to take some time out while I can to have a dabble myself. It’s just too tempting in the lovely weather we have been enjoying in northern France for the last few weeks.

So it was that when a French mate Seddik expressed interest in doing a 48 hours on the venue I thought I’d join him.
Now I’d seen a fair few fish moving down by pegs 11 & 12 so it was here we decided to start.  I set up in 11 while Seddik went into 12.
Straight away it was obvious there were fish in front of us. Some were cruising and odd one boshed out in front of our swims.
Seddik placed his baits along the left hand margin with one other straight out to the open water. One of his margin rods being a zig popped up about 1.5m. For my part I managed to find the gravel bar in front of peg 10 and place one bait there, another popped up too 1.5m on the plateau and the final bait dropped in the margins.
After a BBQ with my wife and step-daughter we turned in for the night. I’d not long climbed into the bag when I had a drop back on the gravel bar rod. Winding down I finally made contact with a fish and banked a nice clean mirror that weighed in at a tad under thirty at 29lb 10oz. Not a bad start after only a few hours. The night proved quiet on our rods but loads of fish were crashing out, even right over my margin rod. It was difficult to sleep. Read the rest of this entry »

Young Dutch Carpers get off to a cracking start

March 11, 2011

46lb 2oz Mirror from peg 13

Two young Dutch carpers braved the icy nights and frosty mornings to get off to a cracking start at the Croix Blanche Lakes complex.
Early March is often an uncertain time fishing wise as we are only just breaking into Spring. But Joey Boots & Nick Lemmen made the most of a quiet period at the venue to tempt some nice fish.

The duo set up on peg 6 in front of the mobile home, which they had decided to rent out to improve the comfort factor for the week, and managed a couple of smaller fish 14lb & 18lb in the early part of the week, despite night time temperatures that went down to -3 and heavy frosts that left the whole lake blanketed in white at dawn.

The weather picked up mid week after a short bout of rain and the temperatures remained positive round the clock. Fish began to show so they immediately placed lines on these areas. Their change of tactics was rewarded initially by a nice mirror just under 30lb at 29lb 7oz. Read the rest of this entry »

Spring is in the Air

March 6, 2011

Well despite the cold, the weather has a distinctly spring like feel to it this week. Here in northern France we’ve been bathed in bright sunshine  with clear blue skies for the last few days.
I took the opportunity to get the rods out, (my new Freespirit Hi S to be precise). The days, while warm in the sun, around 15°C, were very cold and night and both mornings I was out, I awoke with frost on my Trakker cover. I guess we were getting -3°C. (Kind of miss the old campervan, with its heating and cooker)

The fish showed a few signs of activity, and I heard a few very large swirl at night, but not more than the odd beep came to our rods over the two days at the water.The catfish don’t seem to be at all active yet if the frantic diving activity of the coots is anything to go by. They usually vaccate the premises once old whiskers wakes up.

I had been hopeful as a couple of Dutch anglers fishing the previous week for pike (they manage a good number too to mid double figures) had managed a couple of moderate sized commons as well, so I’d been hopeful for a run. Read the rest of this entry »