Carp Fishing Tips And Tricks-Chateau Lake France
Chateau Lake France Information.
Tips And Tricks That May Help You.
There cannot be many carp anglers that have not heard of the Chateau lake in France or la poiteviniere as it is otherwise known. If you have booked a trip are just looking for information about the lake or need booking information I do hope that this will help you.
I have fished the lake on a few occasions and would recommend it to any one in a word it is stunning after over 40yrs of carp angling I find more and more that the beauty of my surroundings is as important as the carp themselves you will not be disappointed at the Chateau.
All my trips to the Chateau lake have been organised trips with Phil & Irene from Tyram Hall near Doncaster.. If you are thinking of making a carp fishing trip to France for the first time I can highly recommend them. Just drop your car off at Tyram load your gear into the van, sit back and enjoy your holiday. You can do drive and survive trips but I am getting lazy in my old age. Whether you decide on drive and survive or the organised trips I do believe that Phil has taken over all the UK bookings for the lake so you will have to go through him any way.
I have just had a look on his website and it looks as though places are going fast, I am hoping to make a return visit myself this next year so it looks like I am going to have to get my skates on. Do yourself a favour and book yourself a swim you will love it. You can visit Phils site HERE
The first thing you should realise is that the Chateau Lake is NOT your typical commercial French runs water, get in the right swim at the right time and sport can be fast and furious but you do need to think about your fishing.
At around 170 acres it can be a bit daunting to any one that has not fished a large water before, do not let this put you off there are a lot of fish present and they do like to show themselves. I have caught carp 3ft from the bank but a lot of the fishing can be considered as log range but again think about what you are doing and watch what the fish are doing and fish accordingly.
Tackle For The Chateau.
You do not need any specialist gear to fish the Chateau Lake your English set up will catch fish but if you do have some long distance gear ie 3-3.50tc rods and big pit reels you will be at an advantage if the fish are showing at extreme distance. Do not forget to take your marker and spod rod and a descent throwing stick.
I usually spool up with 10lb Diawa sensor for my main line it casts smoothly and touch wood has proved reliable. There aren't any snags so this should do you fine, the only thing I would worry about is hooking one of the two catfish that inhabit the lake. Make sure to use some good strong hooks as the Chateau seems to be producing more and more 40 and 50lb fish with each passing year.
If you are fishing any of the swims on the Chateau side of the lake do not forget to take your chest waders in most of the swims you will need them for casting and landing fish as the margins do tend to be on the shallow side.
The swims all have boards with most swims having plenty of space to erect your bivvy at the back of your swim. Do not forget your pod. I like to take a two man bivvy something on the lines of the Nordic Two Man Bivvy are ideal they are very sturdy and have plenty of options for whatever the weather throws at you.Photos below. There are toilets and showers available on site.
Chateau Lake Map.
Chateau Lake Swims.
Which Swim ???
The Chateau Is A Large Lake.
If you are used to the smaller lakes in the UK first impressions can be a bit daunting but there is a large head of carp in the lake so you have a good chance of catching from any of the swims as long as you keep your wits about you, ie keep your eyes and ears open and let the carp show you where they are. As I mentioned earlier most of the fishing is at long range but I have caught carp 3ft from the bank in 18ins of water so do not follow the herd and think that you have got to fish at long range religiously.
Chateau is approximately 160-180 acres in size being roughly 2km long and perhaps 700m wide at its widest part. It has two extensive areas of shallows, one at the extreme eastern end of the lake in the reserve, and the other in the front of the Chateau and the island, which lies roughly a third of the way down the lake from the dam wall. The depths on the shallows vary between 18ins and 3ft before the lake bed falls away to a more or less featureless bottom some 8ft deep, though this does drop down to about 15ft at the outfall. The lake bed is mostly hard stone and mud but you can find the odd gravel patch. The lake bed down in the nature reserve consists of mainly silt.The old river bed winds its way down the lake and is a good place to place a bait but it is not very discernible the best way to find it with your marker rod is to search for deep silt rather than a difference in depth. See map for a rough idea of its location.
To me the only down side to fishing the Chateau lake is that you have to book a particular swim before you go, some of the swims you may have to book two years in advance to be able to get on, the island swim for instance, the swims next to the nature reserve are also very popular. Early season the carp do tend to group up down in the nature reserve prior to spawning and there have been some unbelievable catches made from the end swims looking down into the nature reserve. I will give a low down on the swims that I have fished further down the page.
Chateau Lake Carp.
Just To Wet Your Appatite.
The Boat House Swim Chateau Lake.
On my first ever visit to the Chateau Lake I was booked into the Boat House Swim made famous by the writings of Ken Townley. My first impression of the lake was WHERE do I start, if you are used to small intimate carp waters back in the UK the sheer size of the Chateau can leave you gasping.
Sat on the boards watching the lake, just taking it all in I saw a carp stick its head out at about 80yds straight out in front, the rods were all set up so a bait was soon cast to the spot while I set about setting up the bivvy. Imagine my surprise when a few minutes later the rod was being pulled off of the pod and I was into my first Chateau carp did end up losing the fish to a hook pull but it was a confidence booster.
I ended up catching a dozen carp over the week up to 38lb from different spots in the swim, the spot where I hooked the first fish failed to produce another take. One spot that produced was casting down towards the island on your left at around 100yds, leading around I found a silt pocket that produced four fish over the week.
The most productive spot was by the Boat House its self, there are actually two swims in the boat house I was fishing the left hand swim looking out to the lake, I was able to wade down the margins to the actual boat house opening and bait up with broken and whole boilies and drop my rig over the top. This tactic produced the most runs over the week. Please check current regulations for wading before doing this.
Swim 21 Chateau Lake.
Swim 21 Chateau Lake.
My Favourite Swim At The Chateau.
The swims on the Chateau bank are a bit more expensive to fish but to my mind are well worth the bit extra. Swim 21 has to be my favorite, if you are walking down the chateau bank down past the boat house swim there is a large shallow bay in front of the chateau before you reach swim 21 or the gardens as I believe they class it, if you look at the photo above you will see that you have a huge amount of water to yourself with the boat house swim way over to your right.
You cannot see from the angle of the photo but the right hand margins come to a point that then opens up into the bay in front of the Chateau, If you imagine a line drawn from this point straight over to the island there is a very distinct line where the mud/silt bottom of the swim changes to a hard gravel bottom. I caught quite a few fish by fishing just on to the gravel, a word of warning use a running lead, if you use an inline lead the bottom of your lead and your rig knot will hit the gravel first and could leed to you being cut off on the gravel.
If you have a nice wind blowing into the swim DO NOT forget the margins I had three takes one afternoon by walking a bait up the right hand margin and feeding some particles 3ft from the bank and fishing a snow man rig over the top. Likewise there was a small bush down the left hand side of the swim that produced fish from only a rod lengths out.
The week that I spent in swim 21 produced the odd fish throughout the week, what could have been a disaster struck halfway through when I was sat out on the boards and the resident ducks found their way into my bivvy and my stock of boilies. I ended up having to buy a sack of pellets from the supermarket to supplement what few that they left me. The spot just onto the gravel between the point and the island was by far the best spot producing a total of eight fish on the last night. If I manage to make a return trip to the Chateau Lake in the coming year this is the swim that I will be heading for.
I do prefer a two man bivvy for a week long trip, preferably with a porch area for stowing any wet clothes, bait etc. there is plenty of room to take one at the back of the swim.
Part Of The Last Nights Catch.
Angling Chateau Lake Swim 22.
Chateau Lake Swim 22.
Do not be put off this swim by what I have to say! it is a year or two since I fished it and the week was hot and the water level was down. Not only that but the staging was unsafe to say the least. I believe that all the stagings have since been rebuilt or repaired so you will not have this problem.
I do not like wearing waders at the best of times but on this particular week with the water level being down I was having to wear them for casting out and to land any fish that I was lucky enough to catch as the water off of the staging was too shallow to net a fish. By the middle of the week I had had enough of the waders so was just wading out in bivvy slippers and a pair of shorts. This would not have been too bad if I had not got around a hundred bites from the red ants that had infested my bivvy. I think that wading out in my shorts had allowed the bites to get infected, I was on antibiotics for two weeks on returning home.
Most of the carp that I caught that week were on single hook baits fished at extreme range, but I did pick one or two bonus fish up by wading out as far as I could, stirring the bottom up and baiting up with a few broken boilies and then just dropping my hook bait over the top. This produced the odd fish even in the heat of the day when nothing else seemed to be stirring.
Long Distance Casting Requires A Decent Carp Rod.
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Cocoa Fly Fishes from Wherever the fish are! on December 28, 2011:
Thank you so very much, Hobros, for your wonderful hub & lovely photos. This place is so beautiful that I want to go there right now! *wow*
I am sorry that the fishes died. I am glad that you are experienced enough to fish for carp that large. These are not small fish, & they must have given you a great deal of exercise! *phew*
Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us.
Warm regards to you & yours in the New Year...Cocoa Fly Fishes
Hobros (author) from Doncaster on May 22, 2010:
Thanks for the comment, for any one interested in nature or photography I do not think you can beat carp fishing.Being there at dawn and dusk watching the wild life go about its business is a privilege not to be taken lightly.
Chip from Cold Mountain on May 14, 2010:
I always enjoyed fishing for large mouth bass near the Mississippi River (in the States). What your showing in your photos appeals to me both as a fisherman and a photographer!