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Frequently asked questions…

“What is the best time of year to visit the lakes?

We open in early March and the fish will be in tip top condition and at very good weights after our extensive winter feeding campaign. October and November are also great months to catch the carp at their top weights. The summer months are generally very hot in France and as you all know the fishing is very much dependant on the weather – however, the catch reports prove that great fishing can be had throughout the season at Les Lacs du Verger.

“I have looked at your catch reports and the catch quantities vary dramatically from week to week. Why is this?

The catch reports reflect the angling party results, but this is not always the true reflection of how well the lakes are fishing at any given time. Each party has anglers of varying abilities and varying needs and expectations – some people are happy just to fish nights or days and enjoy more of a holiday, experiencing relaxation, French wine and cuisine and the fishing comes second! Other parties have a more serious approach towards their fishing…each to their own!!! So bear in mind that the catch reports are just a guide.

“Are there any specific issues with fish care that I need to know?

We wish for all anglers to cut their hook link while the fish is still in the landing net before any attempt is made to lift the fish out of the water. This is to ensure that the rod is out of the way, and also when lifting the fish there will be no unnecessary tension from the rig in the fish’s mouth.
Where possible, anglers should try to slide the weigh sling under the fish whilst in the landing net and lift the weigh sling instead of just the landing net with the fish, to reduce the stress on the fish – if you require help to do this please ask a member of the LLdV team on site, or a fellow angler.

“Will I need any specialist tackle to fish?

Tackle suitable for the average English water will suffice. Although the lakes can be weedy there are no serious snags in the water and the longest cast is approx 90 yards. We stipulate a minimum of 15 pound mono as a main line with a diameter in excess of 0.40mm and recommend that people avoid the current trend of using thinner technical lines as these are resulting in a higher than is acceptable number of losses due to line failure, probably caused by line twist and constant use. 1-3oz leads maximum should be sufficient from the casting and line drag point of view. We strongly advise the use of chest waders for Willow lake anglers as this will assist you greatly landing and returning the large fish present.

In broad terms we’d recommend that our customers err on the side of a simple robust approach to their fishing, as without compromising results this will definitely put more fish on the bank for them.

“Are there any tackle restrictions?

We stipulate the use of micro-barb hooks only, do not allow curved or bent hooks and do not allow the use of any braids or high tech fibres for mainline. The minimum for the strain of the mainline is 15 pounds with a minimum diameter of 0.40mm.

“What is the most successful bait and how much will I need?

Customers are welcome to supply their own freezer boillies as long as they fall within the rules but we strongly advise the use of the baits we supply as these have proven to be readily accepted by the fish. The LLdV house boillies appear to be producing the most consistent results at present.

We would recommend a minimum of 20 Kilos of ‘boillie’s and 5K of LLdV special mixed particles for a typical week’s session. All available on site and to order prior to your visit. Please feel free to contact us nearer the time of your holiday to check bait quantity recommendations.

“What is the stock in the lakes?

Both Orchard and Willow Lakes holds good stocks of fish. Orchard holds around 250+ carp between 20lb and 56lbs and Willow approx 80 carp between 25lb and 60lbs+. (Lake record for Willow 65.5lb in October 2005 and for Orchard a mirror of 56lb+ in October 2012). Average weight for Orchard lake = 33lb, Willow lake = 48lb (season end 2013).

Orchard also holds grass carp between 25 and 45 pounds and Cat Fish to 140lb+.

How difficult are the carp to catch?

Of the two lakes Orchard, with the higher stock level, provides the easier option producing a fairly guaranteed result for the majority of guests with the average carp 33lb+. Willow offers a more challenging experience suited to the more experienced angler with an average weight of 48lb+ carp.

“Are there any nuisance fish in the lakes?

We are not experiencing any problems with nuisance fish or crayfish.

“What is the weather like – what clothes will I need?

In broad terms the weather in the Champagne region France provides an earlier warm month in the spring and a later one in the autumn with long hot summers. The average temperatures at the beginning of our season in April and at the end in October are around 15 degrees rising to the 20’s and high 20’s throughout the summer months. Rainfall is light throughout the period though we do get the occasional thunderstorm in mid summer.

“Other than tackle what other kit am I likely to need?

We provide the weigh mat and sling and can provide a bed chair and bivvy at a nominal sum. Other than these items equip yourself as you would for a weeks’ session in the UK, but essentials sometimes forgotten include a torch, mosquito repellent and a small first aid kit would also not go amiss.

We do have a small stock of end tackle available and whilst you should come with a reasonable stock of these the features in the lake do not cause a high level of tackle losses.

“What currency do I need to bring to France?

Most major stores and petrol stations will accept UK credit cards but this is not always the case so it is advisable to bring an appropriate level of euros with you. Your expenditure will depend on your taste and what you consume but with the value of the Euro against sterling being what it is the cost for a week will be around what you would expect to spend in the UK. Bear in mind we are not able to exchange money for you.

“Can I bring a non fishing partner?

We can accommodate non fishing partners on site but due to varying needs the terms of this are to be agreed at the time of booking.

“Do you provide food and provisions?

Les Lacs du Verger is basically a drive and provide venue but fully catered packages are available by prior arrangement and we can source staple provisions from nearby sources. Alternatively everything you would need for a totally independent drive and provide holiday is available from a supermarket in the nearby town of Vitry le Francois which also has restaurants, café’s, bars and takeaways.

“Is there a water supply at the venue?

We do have access to a supply of well water which is fine for washing, washing up etc but not suitable for drinking.
We recommend bottled water which we can organise for you or can be obtained locally.

“Do you have a boat that I can use?

We have row boats on both Orchard and Willow lakes however there are rules applicable to using them: see the fishery rules section.