Blog & Comments
Well, another busy winter (down at the office), we are just about there and ready for the coming season. All the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff has been completed, which is always fun, battling with the weather that Dordogne throws at us at this time of year!
Our thanks to both Dave Yarwood and Tony Balsdon who kindly came over to assist us in our preparations, and I hope that a few new skills were picked up along the way by both of them. Cheers guys.
The carp are slowly starting to move around as the water temperature is slowly rising.
Tony managed to wet a line whilst here for the working party by having a dabble before and after the “working day”. He managed 5 × 30’s up to 36 lb and 9 other carp between 10 and 28 lb.
A couple of things have come to light whilst clearing the banks and the usual fish holding haunts, which cause concern.
Lead clips or Nash clips or whatever you want to call them - a couple were retrieved from snags, with everything still attached!, not good folks! I even had to use pliers to remove one of the holding rubbers to be able to release the 2½ oz lead that was fitted. The rubber only needs to be lightly pushed on to the barrel of the clip, (I actually trim back the barrel that holds the rubber) or the whole clip needs to be free running. It’s easier for the fish to shed a hook on an unfortunate breakage, without dragging a 2oz lead around.
The second point: barbed hooks - two were removed from the willow swim, barbless only guys, please!
The rules are in place for a reason. I do not want to turn into the lake “policeman” and inspect everyone’s gear before they start fishing. Please ensure that all members of your group have read the rules before arriving at the lake.
Before signing off, may we remind you to make sure that everyone’s EHIC medical card is valid and in date, and also that all members have adequate travel insurance, covering travel and their gear. The unexpected can happen and without these two things being in place, medical care can be very expensive and turn your trip into a costly nightmare as soon as you get off the ferry.
We are looking forward to seeing you all, old and new.
Russ and Heather.
End of 2012
Well, not a bad year down at the Pond… all the close season work last year stood us in good stead for this past year and the work list for this coming winter is well underway.
I’ve had no reason to step in to remind our visitors of the rules, and there have been no issues with dodgy rigs or the mis-handling of the fish or the use of certain baits, but as always, if you’re not sure of something specific you only have to ask. Any excuse for me to talk fishing is appreciated.
Whilst we strive to make your stay and fishing experience a memorable one, there are certain things that we cannot control, i.e. the weather and the odd unexpected curve ball that comes winging our way. As you all know we are on call 24/7 to try and resolve any issues with the minimum of fuss. Most of this year's main work will consist of the removal of some of the trees that are just about to their limit in growth at the Dam end and to replace some of the boundary fencing on the East side of the lake.
We would like to thank all our customers for their custom and the wonderful comments left in the year book. We are glad you have enjoyed your holidays at Le Bel Etang.
And lastly both Heather and I hope you’ve all had a great Xmas and we wish you all the best for 2013.
Composed by a happy customer...
LE BEL ETANG
People ask why we travel so far,
Up to eighteen hours spent sat in the car.
These same people cannot understand
Why I’m in love with ‘Le Bel Etang’.
Even on arrival and feeling half dead
First sight of the lake will unscramble my head,
And I know for sure the best is yet to come
Never a thought for what’s left back at home.
Now it’s 6.30am and Beddall’s awake,
I open the curtains to look out at the lake.
This is why we happily leave Grande Bretagne,
The heaven that is Russ and Heather’s ‘Bel Etang’.
With moments of sunshine and patches of cloud
Carp in the margins, just messing around.
A mosaic of reflections on a sheet of smoked glass
Broken at times by the capering carp.
What more could I ask of this heavenly place,
Which is guaranteed to put a smile on my face,
Except maybe a big carp or two
But there’s 12 more days for that to come true.
And hey! If it doesn’t, who gives a damn
I’ll sure be in heaven at ‘Le Bel Etang’.
John Wood June 2012 .
2012 End of Year Catches
1-8 September. Mick and Sandra
Although only fishing through the daylight hours. With the weather hot and sunny all week they managed an impressive haul between them, a couple of singles, 10 mid doubles, 16 20’s, 10 30’s and a PB for Sandra of 44 lb 12oz (on your first visit Sandra).
8-15 September. David and Rose.
The week was eventful, although the weather got wetter and wetter towards the end of the week, even so the fishing was a pleasure with David topping out at 34 lb 5 oz. I hope my advice and pointers helped.
15-22 September. Dave, Clare, little Alfie and Tony
Only Dave and Tony were fishing, plus there were a few trips out, even so Dave managed 2 PB’s, 47 lb 7 oz mirror, and a Tench of 7 lb 3 oz on a small feeder.
There was a broad spectrum of weights of the carp, with several smaller specimens (future biggies) everything was caught on cell and maize/sweetcorn.
22-29 September. Tony and Debs
The weather started off great, then the heavens opened, rain rain and some more rain, it didn’t dampen the fishing though, at one point 5 carp in ½ hour all from different parts of the lake! A PB of 48 lb 8 oz (lumpy senior). Had 7x 30’s during the week as well.
29 Sept- 6 Oct. Paul, Simon, Adrian.
41 carp during the week, a handful around the mid 30’s. A Grassie of 26 lb, halibut pellets mainly used.
13- 21 Oct. Dave, Sue and Jo.
Weather was wet for most of the week, even so, numerous mid doubles, 10 x 20’s and a couple of 30’s were taken during the week. Jo had her PB during the week. An assortment of baits were used during the week, but Sue and Jo’s homemade liver bollies produced as well as the good old faithful Cell, method with maggot accounted for a few as well.
24-31 Oct Dave and Barry
Despite the extremes of weather (17 degrees down to – 5) the fishing remained good all week. Barry got off to a fantastic start and had a PB of 42 lb 12 oz and as the dusk rolled in Dave landed a 41 lb mirror. Day 2 saw 16 carp landed. A total of 55 fish were landed during the week for a total of 1,171 lb, not bad at all for our last visitors of the year!
Earlier Catches of 2012
14th-21st April - Bob and Helen
Although the weather was extremely wet, Bob managed to bank 20+ carp during the week, with the odd large tench. Carp caught included a 38 lb and 36 lb mirror, the largest common during the week 24 lb 12oz.
22nd-1st May - Simon, Mark and Ian
A 43 lb 11 oz mirror was in the impressive weeks catch, with several high thirties also. None of the large commons made an appearance, but several mid doubles were landed.
1st May- 12th May - Tony and Debbie
The weather wasn’t brilliant, overcast with the odd shower thrown in. Notable fish during the week: 2 different 39 pounders, 38.8, 38, 2 x 37’s, 2 x 36’s, one of the grassies made a showing weighing in at 25 lb.
12th-19th May - David and Mario
A tough weeks fishing, the weather didn’t help matters, even so David had a 41.2 and a 40.6 mirror. Mario had a 30 lb fully plate scaled mirror, the largest fully scaled recorded to date. The fishing improved as the weather improved during the week with the odd 30 and a few mid doubles being banked.
2nd June - 8th June – Cowboy Kids from Harlow!
With half a dozen high thirties caught, including a 35.7 leather, 37.9 a PB for one of the gang. A mixture of other weights were banked during the week, also the spawning kicked into full swing, well done guys!
9th June- 16th June - Pete and Dean Stepien
A total of 79 fish were banked during the week, 1 x 40, 10 x 30’s, 19 x 20’s. Most of the fish were caught during the early morning and late evenings. Dean managed two PB’s during the week.
16th June- 30th June - Chris, Pauline, John and Gill.
Had a fantastic two weeks of fishing, both John and Chris had a PB, John’s 36 lb mirror and Chris had 44 lb mirror, many other fish caught during their stay including a 26.8 and a 26 fully scaled mirror.
7th July- 14th July - Steve, Sean and Nina
Storms, rain and showers all week, Had a great week, 31 lb common and several mid doubles caught.
14th July-21st July - Bissett Gang
Weather was variable all week and the temp dropped overnight.
Rich, 36 fish, largest 37.8
Simon I, 30 fish, largest 42.2
Simon E, 8 fish largest 39.5
Two Grassies were banked at 23.4 and 16.2.
21st July-28th July - Keith, Jason Emma, Brandon and Harry.
30 plus carp landed during the week, the boys loved it, Harry topped out with a 35.4 mirror.
28th July- 11th Aug - Chris, Ann, Rad and Sandra.
Week 1- 1,666 lbs
Week 2- 1,296 lbs
5 x 40’s, 20 x 30’s biggest fish landed 44 lb
Chris 84 fish
Ann 7 fish
Rad 47 fish
Sandra 17 fish
2012 April News / Update
3rd April 2012
The season is fast approaching, with the last mad rush to prep the accommodation ready for our first visitors of 2012.
After the coldest winter for many years, -18°C, and over 4 inches of ice on the lake for over three weeks you’ll be pleased to know that there were no fish casualties.
We seemed to have gone from one extreme to another, weather wise, and have had fantastic 20°C+ this last couple of weeks. Having spent the last few days up to my neck in the lake dragging the margins and clearing the odd rig from the trees, the temperature below the first few inches is still cold but the carp have started to move about.
Tony managed to bank a 37 lb common and a 39 lb mirror last week and several others of varying weights during early morning sessions before work started.
Going back to the rigs that were recovered from the over hanging trees and bushes, there were a few suspect ones that wouldn’t freely discharge the weights and also there was one incident with a tethered carp on the dam side caught up in one of the overhanging alder trees, thanks to Dave and Sue who were at the lake at the time and spotted it - this carp was dragging around a 2 oz lead and had a lucky escape.
Please, re-read the rules as regards to rigs, and if you’re not sure, ask. A thirty pound carp is an expensive fish to replace and no one would like to deal with the disposing of such a creature.
2012 is more or less booked up, there are a couple of dates that are available: if you fancy a last minute carp quest contact Heather. We have already started to take bookings for 2013, again, contact Heather for the dates if you’re interested.
Well, off down to the open air office to do some more behind the scenes stuff, and I might just get chance to wet a line myself for an hour!
Regards to all.
End of year 2011
Well folks, just a few lines from Heather and myself to thank you all for another memorable angling year at ‘Le Bel Etang’, which we hope you all enjoyed.
Having perused the 2011 catch logs, most of you who fished seemed to have managed a personal best of some description or another.
We’ve had a strange year weather wise and the fish didn’t seem to know whether they were coming or going at times. Spawning was out of the window and not as it should have been, as the water temperature was all over the place. Even so the catches have been superb with over 20 forties being landed. 4 of them were nudging the 50 lb mark, and our first common to hit the 40 lb mark, well done Steve!.
The quality and condition of the fish has been superb.
My winter feeding schedule comes into force now so that the fish will be in great shape for the year to come and hopefully your next visit.
Work has started in earnest for the coming year and will be progressing through to mid March. I won’t bore you with the details but those of you who know me, will understand what’s involved to keep this place special.
I will be sifting through some of this years pics and will be posting them on the website in due course.
Thank you very much for your custom and we look forward to seeing you next year.
Wishing all our customers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Heather and Russ.
17th-24th September 2011
Ann, of Tavistock, Devon caught her personal best (PB) - a 47lbs mirror and her friend Sandra (blonde) caught a whopper too! Well done ladies!
(See pics on the right)
9th-15th April 2011 - Andy & Di
‘A cold week (0 degrees overnight) but lots of fish.’
- 6 × Doubles
- 9 × 20’s (including a 27 lb fully scaled mirror)
- 10 × 30’s
- several Tench around 5-7 lb mark and a couple of small Zander…
16th-23rd April 2011 - Keith, Jason, Brandon(14), Harry (12)
- Keith, 15 Carp with a PB at 38lb 5 oz
- Jason, 19 carp
- Brandon, 11 carp with a PB at 35 lb
- Harry, 16 carp with a PB at 38 lb 7 oz
‘Another great week as normal, fish in great condition and the lake is looking good, great weather all week. Thanks to Russ and Heather’ - Jason & Keith
‘Thanks Russ and Heather, best week of my life, thanks for showing me where to fish, and now I have beat my personal best twice’ - Harry
30th April-6th May - Chris, John
(accompanied with wives)
- 2 x doubles
- 2 x 20’s
- 3 x 30’s
- 1 x 40
‘A fantastic place, a fantastic holiday and fantastic fishing, what a wonderful place to be’ - Chris
- 9 x doubles
- 3 x 20’s
- 1 x 30
- 1 grass carp (23lb)
‘For me this was the perfect place at the perfect time, Chris talked it up as he had been before, and he was not wrong about anything! Thanks to Heather and Russ for the welcome on Saturday and for all Russ’s advice’ - John (Woody)
14th-1st May - David
- 49 carp for 1,127 lb
- Biggest Mirror 40 lb 8oz
- Biggest Common 30 lb 12 oz
‘The fish were in brilliant condition and fought very hard! thanks to Russ and Heather for maintaining the high standards. See you in October’ - David
21st-8th May - Mark, Chris & Brian
- 6 x 30’s
- 6 x 20’s
- 7 x doubles
- Best 39 lb 2 oz
- 1 x 40
- 4 x 30’s
- 4 x 20’s
- 3 x doubles
- Best 40 lb mirror
- 1 x 30
- 1 x 20
- Best 39 lb 13 oz mirror
‘This was the first visit for two of us and we have been delighted with the lake, facilities and the quality of the fish and also the warm welcome and helpfulness of Russ and Heather. Many thanks’
May 28th-June 4th Chris & Ann (4th year), Andy (1st year)
- 65 carp for 1,079 lb
- best fish 42lb 5 oz
‘To all those that have had the opportunity to fish here, it is like living a dream when you get a take on a beautiful misty morning….’ - Andy