Hope you are both keeping well
Thank you for making Lee so welcome last week, he really enjoyed himself.
We met you first in January 2004 when Lee came over to France to buy a Lake and you showed him round the one which we later bought in the Limousin.
Whilst we were in France to sign the papers and go through the formalities you invited Lee to fish Domain des Iles and he had a great time bagging his biggest ever fish (which he calls Tina Turner) at 30kg.
He has always wanted to come back but with setting up the lake and then running the business he never managed it until last weekend. He had a great week again bagging 17 fish between 12 and 18kg, something which surprised even you in the cold conditions for the first week in December.
We are now thinking of selling the Lake so that Lee can retire and take things a bit easier, so we may come and visit more often!!
Domaine des Iles is a 35 acre, peat pit relatively uniform with silt throughout. Depths range from 3ft – 7ft. The lake holds a good stocking of carp with the lake record in excess of 60lb. Specimen anglers among readers might also find it beneficial to know that the lake also holds Catfish to over 100lb. For people who are not sure, surface silt is NOT black it has a kind of greyish brownish tinge. Anything green is going to be fairly good camouflage in water. For this article I want to stray away from just telling people what we have caught and give anglers some tips and tactics about how to go about catching fish. I will include some pictures and details about how Peter and I got on in early August this year.
Having fished the lake 10 times now it is fair to say we have a reasonable idea about fish location, bait, and rigs. At risk of giving away the winning methods I want to use this article is to aid peoples fishing. This cannot be deemed as the only method or indeed the best method of catching fish on this fairly tricky venue, however it is a formula both Peter and I have found extremely successful.
The first important item of tackle is a bait boat. It is almost vital to the success of catching fish on this venue. As you can probably see from pictures of the lake, the venue is reasonably large which has long snaggy margins which carp love to cruse up and down. The lake has various channels which give the carp a sanctuary when the lake is being pressured. These channels are deemed to be ‘safe’ to the carp because they are difficult to cast to, depending on which swim you are fishing. The fish have a good opportunity to get rid of the hook if you can get a hook down there. Experience fishing on this venue and other lakes with lots of overhanging bushes and trees it is surprising how easily fish can get rid of the hook when they become caught up. Unfortunately this can cause significant mouth damage. Previous experiences on this venue taught us that it is important to get the bait and rigs close to the snags or margins. Therefore it is important to use a bait boat. At night it is difficult to put the baits close to the margins. Therefore you end up fishing open water. Our most recent trip has taught both Peter and I that just as many fish can be caught from open water, as they can from the margins. This is something I would not neglect when fishing in any of the swims. I would also advise taking 3 bait boat batteries per person. At times we could not keep 6 rods in the water. I would also recommend a two chargers if you are sharing a boat and have 6 batteries. The controller for the boat may need some spare batteries also. I advise bringing a 4 gang short trailing socket so you can plug more than one thing in the GB socket.
With regard to rigs and tackle I would advise you use whatever you think is strong, reliable and effective. If you keep it simple you will undoubtedly be rewarded. If you do happen to experience repetitive fish losses due to a poor hook hold. I would advise changing the length of the hair OR the hook link. Sometimes fish loss can be due to a combination of the both however you may have got it half right. Remember that fish snagging you up does not mean that there is a problem with your rigs. It is all about getting the run. When you are unhooking the fish take a note of where the fish are being hooked. It can give you an idea of the how confident the fish are feeding, therefore give you an idea of what type of rig you can use to catch more. With the rig adjustments we made we found fish were being hooked as much as 1 inch back in the mouth.
Bait is a difficult subject. I prefer to keep what I use private however I will advise a good quality loose feed, using a combination of smells, bait sizes and bait types. This keeps the carp guessing and also gives the fish plenty of attraction. Don’t be afraid to stick some feed out there. Using a combination of particle and boilies is a winning method, however be careful that you don’t get the carp preoccupied on feeding on small food items otherwise no matter how many fish are in your swim you will have little to no chance of catching them using a boilie on the hair.
The first week of August once again proved to be a fabulous time for fish captures. Both Peter and I had the best weeks fishing ever known at Domaine Des Iles. We had 92 fish between us, strangely enough both having 46 fish each. This included 6 double takes where both of us were into carp. One witnessed by Bernard himself. Approximately 80% of fish were caught under the hours of darkness. The largest fish were 6 40lb+ catfish as well as a 60lb and 70lb catfish. The largest carp was a 45lb common. That was backed up with 28 carp over 30lb. 44 fish over 20lb and 11 doubles.
I hope the above tactics and tips help your fishing at Domaine Des Iles. I look forward to going after one of those 40lb Carp again soon.
I have just returned from a great weekend at your beautiful main lake. As requested please find a picture of the 50 pound common carp that I was lucky enough to land.
Fishing in swims 18-21 we booked a long weekend in mid August (Fri/Mon). The weather was great when we arrived and we quickly landed our first cat in the daylight. During the weekend the cats kept coming from the same spot and by Monday we had landed 10 cats including a 65 pounder, 51 pounder and 49 pounder. Our carp all came from the margin to the left and started with an immaculate 26 pound leather, 30 pound common and finally a 50 pound scale perfect common in the early hours of the final morning. A great weekend and we will definitely be back next year.
Thank you Bernard & Odile for a nice weekends fishing on the main lake, Cabin Loriot.
You asked how many years I’ve been coming to DDI & having checked my records I can see I first came in 2005 when I fished the back lake for a weekend catching over 25 carp. Subsequent years I have alternated between fishing the back lake & main lake, catching many large carp & catfish.
During this year’s trip the weather was hot with no rain but I still managed to catch several well conditioned carp, I attach some photos of the better fish.
Look forward to seeing you next year or maybe October/November this year!
It was back in 2006 when I first came to fish at DDI and had the pleasure of meeting Bernard Caron and his wife Odile, along with three of my fishing mates we stayed in the Main Lodge. The 4 of us bivvied up down by lake and picked out our swims, I fished the Island swim and landed 7 fish the biggest being mid 30’s.
I enjoyed my trip so much that I decided next year I would bring my family along to experience DDI and the many fish to be caught. I persuaded my wife and young son to try out DDI and we came for 5 days – Monday to Friday. The complex is secure with entry by key pad and a code given on arrival, this makes for a safe environment and it is a tranquil setting with much wildlife around. We have seen a kingfisher, woodpecker and heron, there are also ducks and water hens, one year we were lucky enough to see a family of ducklings take their first swim out in the big wide lake that is DDI. There are also many wild birds and a friendly Blue Tit is often seen pinching Boilies from the table. This year Bernard told us that there is a deer and fawn in the grounds but we have not spotted them yet.
Late in 2007 we were discussing our next family fishing holiday and my wife said “why don’t we do Friday to Friday next year” that is how our annual family fishing trips were born, we have spent a week in the middle of May at DDI in the Main Lodge every year since. Although I can honestly say May 2013 is the coldest and wettest I have ever experienced at DDI, as I try to get in another week with the lads most years, bivvied up opposite the Main Lodge or staying in the Cabins. Although this week I was on hand to offer advice to a family in the Back Lodge as they were not catching, after showing them the rigs and giving him some of the boilies I was using they then went on to catch a 55lb mirror which is now the record for the Back Lodge.
May 2007 – I had the whole of the Main Lodge to myself and didn’t have to share the swims, they were all for me which spoilt me a little. In total I landed 7 fish and lost a few. I beat my PB with a cracking 57lb mirror and thought fishing could get no better – the weather was gorgeous and the fish had just spawned. We had only come for 5 days and this was not long enough !
May 2008 – Yet another good session and this time I had 7 days to fish ! I didn’t beat my PB but I still caught in the 50 club with a 53lb mirror.
May 2009 – The weather was kind to us again as was the fishing. I landed 9 notable fish and beat my PB with a cracking 60lb common and also a 60lb catfish. I was lucky enough to meet Paul Wheeler and he along with Paul Masters were on hand to witness my joining the 60 club, beers all round !!
May 2010 - Another good brace of fish, ranging from low 20’s to mid 40’s. The best of my catch was a 45lb mirror. I was lucky enough to return in June of this year and fished the Cabins with the lads.
May 2011 – What a year !! I landed a whopping 17 fish and back in the 50 club again with a 52lb common and I also caught a 48lb mirror, probably my best visit ever due to the number of fish caught. Another visit in October with the lads on the swims opposite the lodge saw me catch a good variety of weights, mostly mirrors and a 77lb catfish.
May 2012 – The weather was mixed and we only had a few days of sunshine. Another good fishing session and yet another 50 club fish, this time a 51lb common. In October I fished the swims opposite the Main Lodge landing commons and mirrors to 40lb.
May 2013 – As I said earlier the weather this year was not the best and the lake was taking it’s time in warming up and the fish getting active. Still not a bad return though, with 11 fish caught. I managed to catch a cracking 48.5lb mirror. Hopefully I will be returning in October with the lads.
I can speak for my family and myself when I say that we all enjoy our time at DDI, we all have our different reasons for this. Obviously mine is for the brilliant fishing which has progressed over the years and never leaves me disappointed. The fish are gaining weight and Bernard has been actively clearing out old fallen trees and snags in the more prolific areas of the lake.
My son has learnt the art of the carper over the many years of coming and will soon be wanting his own swims (don’t think so – I don’t share the lodge !), he loves walking around the lake, meeting the people on the other swims and discovering the wildlife.
My wife enjoys the relaxing and tranquil setting, many books are read and the odd bottle of wine drank. Good job the supermarket is close by for supplies !!
On friday the 11th of januari we arrived at domain des iles main lake for a 3 day trip, after a warm welcome of the owner Bernard and some tips of where to fish we started our session.
At about 15;00 all the rigs lay we wanted them. The water temperture was 6,9 and at about 21;45 we landed our first fish at 16,2 kg, a beautiful mirror...
Then at 00:40 we had another take with a mirror at 18,5 kg, a stunning long mirror, (a pb for my mate!!) there was a wind coming from the west that made the fish still want to feed, we knew a cold weather front was coming so we hoped for a few fish before the wind would change into a cold nortern wind.
At 07;50 saterdaymorning we had onother mirror carp at around 9kg and in the middle of the day we had another take that resulted in a mirrorcarp of 18,5 kg, the hopes where now really high of landing a 20kg fish because we had already 3 good fish whitin 24 hours of fishing.
Then it started to rain a bit and the wind changed in to a cold northern wind and the watertemperture dropt to 6, but at 23;00 we had another take of a mirrorcarp at 17 kg, then at 4;15 we had another take but unfortunately we had a hookpull within a few seconds.....but that's fishing..
Now the watertemerture dropt to 5,4 so the hopes where not really high anymore.. but still we had a fish around 00:30 another mirrorcarp at 12,5 kg, now it started to snow and mister winter turned up and all turned white!!...everything went quit but we where happy with 6 fish, because it's still winterfishing !!
At arround 12:00 we stopped fishing and Bernard gave us a friendly wave and we started our way home with two smilling faces..........
We will be back!!!
Bas and Patrick de VRIES
Hi Bernard and Odile
Once again thank you for yet another trip to Domaine Des Iles. It left both my dad Peter and I feeling more worn out than when we left... but that is fishing sometimes!
On arrival at Domaine Des Iles the scene was set for yet another interesting experience. As experienced anglers who have been fishing in France for many years and who have previously been to the venue on 9 different occasions both Peter and I agreed on one simple objective for our trip. “Catch one fish.” There is nothing worse than a blank week, as we know from previous French experiences at other venues.
As we had half expected before we arrived, it was mission complete within 10 minutes of setting up. Peter caught two 20lb Grass Carp to 28lb, much to the displeasure of myself his son who was eager to catch more than his dad on this trip.
The first 48 hours flew past and by 13:00 on Sunday both Peter and myself had managed to land 23 fish.
14 Grass Carp which included six of them being over 35lb,
6 Mirror Carp which included three fish over 30lb with a biggest of 35lb 04oz
1 Common which stretched the scales to 32lb
2 Catfish of 34lb and 37lb also came in the first 48 hours of fishing
We totalled 11 fish with weights in excess of 30lb in 48 hours.
Remember this is only 13:00 on Sunday.
The fish kept coming and it would appear they had become more competitive over the free offerings making them easier and easier to catch. By Tuesday at 13:00 when we looked at our records of fish caught. Between Peter and I we had landed another 20 fish taking our total to 43 fish in 4 days. That is not to mention some of the whackers which were lost at range (most probably big catfish as we are aware that they grow in excess of 100lb). At this time we were exhausted but enjoying the action. As we have learned in the past the carp tend to go off the feed for spells especially if they have been hammered in the same spots. Nevertheless we had taken:
22 Grass Carp with the biggest reaching now 36lb 12oz
10 Mirror Carp with an old Domaine fish reaching 36lb 2oz
4 Common Carp which had all given a fantastic fight to 32lb
7 Catfish with a monster 49lb 03oz for Peter thrown in as well
This took our total to 19 fish with weights 30lb +
As the week went on the fishing did not stop, so we made ourselves a target of 50 fish by the end of the week, a figure which seemed realistic. By Thursday at 13:00 we had smashed through 50 and were well on our way to catching 60 fish. Despite our knowledge of the lake the fish did not stop coming and still with 20 hours of fishing left we had managed to land ourselves 58 fish. One of the best weeks fishing we had ever known at DDI!
31 Grass Carp, 15 Mirror Carp, 5 Common Carp and still 7 Catfish however the Catfish had appeared to have gone off the feed on Tuesday.
We were astonished by the week we had already however the last 20 hours were set to turn our astonishing week into an unforgettable one! In less than 20 hours between both Peter and I we managed to land 14 more fish bringing a final total to 72 fish for the week, this included 35 fish with weights in excess of 20lb, 31 fish with weights in excess of 30lb,
37 Grass Carp to 36lb 7oz
21 Mirror Carp 36lb 2oz
6 Common Carp to 32lb 1oz
8 Catfish to 49lb 3oz
Although I did not manage to catch more fish than my dad Peter, I still managed a reasonable contribution of 34 fish making this trip to DDI the fishing trip of my life!
We left DDI in very high spirits, booking our trip for next year before we left. We look forward to returning where hopefully we will catch a fish of a life time!
Once again many thanks to Bernard and Odile for their hospitality! See you next year!
Peter & Simon Verrinder
Hi Bernard and Odile
Just a quick message to once again say thank you for your hospitality whilst we were at DDI. It is now the 9th time I have been over Seven years, Six of them in the Main Lodge with my family. The fishing has always been good and this year was no exception.
Over the first few days the weather was warm with the wind blowing towards the lodge.The rods were all in the water by 14.30 and I didn’t have to wait long before I had a screaming run which resulted in a great 44 pound mirror. The following day I caught a 28.5 pound common a 30.4 pound mirror and a 50 pound catfish. On the Sunday I caught 1 Cat fish 28 pound, 1 Mirror at 33.5 pound, a common at 38 pound, a 30 pound grass carp my first ever and the last fish of the day a great 51.3 pound common yet another 50 for me. Luckily Bernard was on hand to net the 38 pound common for me as I had just put it on the mat the other rod screamed off many thanks Bernard. Over the next couple of days I caught 2 more cat fish the biggest 52 pound and another 44.5 pound mirror.The fishing sarted to slow as the weather got warmer and i only managed a couple more fish the biggest being 30 pound,I lost 7 good fish during the week and enjoyed rowing the boat the full length of the lake only to lose the fish under the willow.At least i am back in the 50 club again,but still in search of of that lake record fish maybe one day i will be holding it.Over the week i caught 5 mirrors (30,30.4,33.5,44 and a 44.5) 4 commons (12,28.5,38 and a 51.5) 1 grass carp (30) and 4 cat fish (20,28,50 and 52) All in all it was another fantastic week at Domaine Des Iles and just wets the appetite to come back for more.
Many thanks and see you soon,
Ant, Jeanette and Aidan Fowell Cheadle, Staffs
Bernard & Odile
It was great to see you both again and thanks for a great 3 days with my son in swim 12 - in total i managed to land 15 carp and lost 7 - however my haul included 4 doubles, 5 x 20's and 6 x 30lbers - the biggest was 38.15 and also 38.03 - these were the best pics of over a 100 photos taken. i managed to also land a 37lb catfish and have attached a pic of that - the highlight was the quality bag of roach and a bream my 10 year old son managed in just 2 hours on the first day.It was a superb trip as always and all the fish were in stunning condition and the venue superb as always - i will see you again soon for hopefully another great trip.
In the past 2 weeks there have been 10 Carp caught over 40lbs up to 49,9lbs and 53lbs
All the fish in perfect condition.
Well its that time of year again when we have just returned home from our annual family trip to DDI.
We arrived on Easter Friday and stayed for 7 days. I know the back lake was fishing well, because my son Jack had recommended DDI to some of friends of his, who fished it for the 1st time the week before we arrived. They had 16 carp in total, including a 38lb & a 48lb and so well done to Charlie and Ed Russell.
Easter can be a strange time of year to fish, as the dates vary from year to year. 5 years ago we had light snow and heavy frost, last year we had brilliant sunshine and warm evenings. This year we had everything, apart from snow. Over the full 7 days, we had sunshine, torrential rain, hail, strong northerly winds, that changed to weak southerly winds, millpond conditions, a slight early morning frost, full moon and 1/2 moon. But even though the conditions were far from ideal, we still had another great trip.
For the first 3 days, the fishing was very slow and during that period, Sam and I only managed 1 fish each from the main lake. (technically I caught both, but that's a whole different story). I took myself off stalking and managed to take 3 x 20's ( up to 26lb) from the channels.
Around 4pm on Monday it started raining hard and didn't let up for 24 hrs. My Bivvy got washed out and some French anglers who were fishing 19 & 20 packed up and went home on Tuesday morning. My estimate would be between 5cm - 7cm of rain mixed with strong north winds. The rain lasted the rest of the week on and off, but it was after this heavy 24hr down pour, that the fishing really picked up. Around 5pm on the Tuesday Sam had a run on his middle rod that resulted in a new PB. a 53lb 8oz Common. A beautiful fish with a cluster of dark scales on its flank. That's his 2nd 50lb fish and so far he has beat his PB every year since 2007. 39lb 12oz - 42lb - 48lb 8oz - 50lb and now 53lb 8oz. Well done son!
My fishing really started on Wednesday. During the early hours of the morning I had a 31lb 8oz common, followed at 6am with a 37lb 8oz Mirror. At 6pm I had a strange take close to the pads, which felt like I was reeling in a fish and part of a snag, but once it got into open water the line seemed to free itself and the fight began. It was raining again and I was playing the fish in just a hoodie and combats. After about 15 minutes I managed to slip the net underneath it and left it in the water whilst I changed into some water proofs. Once I lifted the net out of the water, I felt its weight and realized it was a nice fish. Once un-hooked and weighed the scales settled on 41lb 8oz. To say I was pleased was an understatement. Its my ambition / personal goal to catch a forty at every weight and I've never had a 41 before.
As so many fish come out of the margins at DDI, its so nice to drop a rig out in open water and turn down the tension on the reel clutch. Around midnight I had a real screamer from the open water rod. A real single tone run, that's a pleasure for any angler to listen to. After a few powerful lunges the common was safely in the net and again I was struggling to carry it to the unhooking mat. It weighed in at 45lb and even though I've had a 45lb before, I was truly made up with such a beautiful fish. Sam did the honors with the camera and Mr. 45 was safely returned to the lake.
My final fish of the trip was a powerful 35lb Mirror that came from under the willow next to the channel. The rig had been out in the lake for almost a full 3 days when the take came 3.30am.
Considering our poor start and changeable weather conditions, our final tally was as follows.
To compliment the electricity in every swim we now can offer WIFI at the moement on the front of Odile and Bernard house, so if you need to stay connected for work, or just love being on-line so that you can catch up with the footy results, then at DDI it is entirelly possible.
We also have a laptop that is available for hire (deposit required).
It was the last few days of February when I had to take 2 days holiday from work and after a quick chat with Bernard on the Monday we found out that the lake was just thawing after the latest cold snap that we had received, therefor hastilly the Ferry was booked for the early hours of Thursday morning. Finishing work on Wednesday night I felt like a kid in a toyshop as I loaded up the car to drive to Paul's, it was the first time fishing in quite some time due to an incredibly busy year at work and moving house. We arrived at the lake in the early hours and went to bed knowing we had a busy day the next, going to the supermarket to stock up and then to Bernards for lunch. We had a fantastic afternoon at Bernards (thank you very much for the Lobster, it was a 1st for me), and made our way back to set up in the back lake lodge as the evening approached. We finally got set up at about 10pm and then waited until 6:15am when the 1st rod roared off, which Paul played with little problem until it reached the bank and caught on a branch, which is when we could see tt was a decent fish, Paul coaxed it away from the branch and I slid the net under the 1st fish of the trip, 46lb 12oz of lovely chestnut coloured mirror. Happy - I should say so :)
When me and Paul fish abroad we allways take the runs in turn so now it was my turn on the rods and I did not have long to wait to get my first carp on the bank, as we started to float fish for some roach I just noticed my rod tip knock slightly from the corner of my eye, so I wound down and hit into a fish which after a very spirited fight went 23lb, another mirror. Over the next few hours Paul banked a 29lb 12ox common which I folllowed with a 26lb grass carp.
That evening Bernard came down with a pot of mussels which we ate in the warmth of the Lodge. The night was quiet until 3am when me and Paul both caught a stockie, both commons.
In the moring Paul caught another 23lb mirror and in the night I caught a 28lb common.
We where due to pack up at 9am, and I woke at 6am thinking that the 40 tree had not prudced a 40 this weekend and it was Pauls turn on the( rods and I was hoping that he was going to pop to the loo in case it roared off with a last gasp fish - that is the exact scenario what happened the last time we fished this swim and I had a forty on his turn), at 6:15am the rod roared off and Paul landed another 40, this time at 41lb 8oz - I should have put the laxative in his tea this time!
As allways our 2 day/ 3 nighter had run its course in too quick a time, but we finished with 9 carp which included two forties so we where exremelly happy, especially as the carp where still not very active yet.