posts by venue

posts by category

posts by date

venue blog

Famous Five - Poplars Lake - Our Regulars!

Blog Post Image Blog Post Image Blog Post Image

Long time regular visitors Mr and Mrs Andy and Paddy O'Brien are from Wigan, Greater Manchester.

For the first few years they stuck to Orchard Lake and Eagle Lake and Peter's Pool. However a couple of years ago the weeks they wanted on these were not available and we suggested Poplars Lake as an alternative which they had never fished.

They gave it a go and fell in love with the place! They have had numerous carp and cats with Paddy often outfishing Andy and they enjoy the convenience of the lakeside mobile home which you can fish from if you like.

In 2016 on their last visit Andy was fortunate enough to catch no less than three personal bests from three different waters. Firstly, he had a pb Wels' of 70lb from Poplars, then he stalked a pb common of 33lbs from Peter's Pool, then a 40lb mirror from Eagle Lake!

For 2017 they are coming out for four weeks with a week on Orchard and three weeks on their favourite Poplars Lake!

Posted by Paul Selman on 28/01/2017 12:01 Categories : Famous Five - Poplars Lake

Famous Five - Poplars Lake - Poplars Mobile Home

Blog Post Image

We are busy refurbishing the mobile home on Poplars Lake to make it even more comfortable for our guests in 2015. This is lakeside and with mains electric it has all the mod cons including English tv. There are two bedrooms one with a double the other with bunk type beds suitable for children. We have also created a swim right outside the door for those who don't want to walk very far!

Posted by Paul Selman on 23/01/2015 10:59 Categories : Famous Five - Poplars Lake, The Latest

Famous Five - Poplars Lake - Top-Up Stocking 2015

Blog Post Image Blog Post Image

As is our policy we add a few nice carp to Poplars Lake each season to increase the percentage of 30lb plus fish in the lake. We have added a few more this December all 30lb-35lb, courtesy of Bigot Pisciculture. Every other carp in Poplars now should be 30lb plus and we hope to add one or two more carp ready for the new season.

Posted by Paul Selman on 31/12/2014 14:24 Categories : Famous Five - Poplars Lake, New Stock

Famous Five - Poplars Lake - Top-Up Stocking

Blog Post Image Blog Post Image Blog Post Image

Every year we add a few thirties to increase the percentage of 30lb plus carp in Poplars Lake, which produced a best of 42lb last season and where many anglers banked new pb carp and cats to over 100lb. Last week we introduced three new mirrors, two at 32lbs and a real looker at 36lb plus. We will be adding one or two more thirty plus carp soon in readiness for the 2014 season so that every other fish hooked should hopefully be a 30lb plus in Poplars next year.

Posted by Paul Selman on 05/12/2013 10:25 Categories : Famous Five - Poplars Lake, New Stock

Famous Five - Poplars Lake - John's Mystery Moggie!

Blog Post Image Blog Post Image Blog Post Image

John Rushton from Rhyl, North Wales, caught a monster cat from Poplars Lake on his recent visit - but we have no idea of what it weighed!

On his second visit to the complex, John, fishing with his dad, had already landed several carp up to a new personal best of 29lbs, when he landed a new pb cat of 58lb cat which nearly bottomed-out the 60lb scales he had with him.

I sensed that at some point he would bank a bigger one by the end of the week so lent him a further two sets of scales I found in the bait shed - one set weighed up to 22kg (48lb) the other set went up to 30lb. I told him if he caught a bigger one to use all three sets, sort of back-to-back with his 60lb scales. Not 100% accurate, but it would give him some idea of weight. I could not lend him my own big scales because I was fishing a friend's private lake nearby so I might have needed them myself!

A couple of nights later something very big picked up John's bait of half a tin of luncheon meat and, after an hours protracted fight, landed a real beast of a fish. He and his dad hoisted the big cat onto the weigh tripod using all three sets of scales - and it bottomed all three!!

If you add 60lb plus 48lb plus 22lb you get 130lb which would set a new record for Poplars and also the complex record, beating the previous best of 120lb, and it may have been even bigger than that. But how accurate is this method of weighing?

In the end we have had to settle on 'weight unknown', which is a tad unsatisfying,  but it takes nothing away from John's achievement of landing such a big cat on standard carp gear.

How big do you think it is? Judge for yourself by looking at the pictures on here.

In my opinion it is over 100lb, but sadly, that is just an opinion!


Posted by Paul Selman on 24/07/2013 11:21 Categories : Famous Five - Poplars Lake, The Latest

Famous Five - Poplars Lake - The Big Cats of Poplars Lake: 2012

Blog Post Image Blog Post Image Blog Post Image Blog Post Image

For a lake of just 2.5 acres, Poplars Lake is not only an excellent carp water: it is without doubt one of the best big cat waters in France and closely rivals neighbouring Birch Lake for the number of 100lb plus Wels’ it contains.

Lake record is currently 120lbs and was caught by Andy McHales from Hull.

In the season 2012 only one hundred pounder was successfully landed, but undoubtedly many were lost with anglers reporting numerous fish ‘that broke my line’ or ‘I could do nothing with’ – even on heavy gear.

Leading the way was Carp-France client, Eric Sprought, with his cat of 103lbs caught from the swim known as Catfish Corner on three of our house pellets fished on the hair rig. This is a tactic I wish more of our visitors would try, but it does need care as the pellets break down in about four hours in warm water, so it is not a method you can rely on overnight. Eric tried the tactic in an evening before putting the rods out for the night and it also produced also an upper thirty cat for him, and he also lost another monster. I wish more would use the pellet as hookbait for the carp more often, after all tons of our French Sarb acquaculture pellet go into the water each season and has become almost natural food for the fish.

Like any water containing carp and cats, the cats develop a liking for boilies and pick up the rigs intended for carp and this is certainly the case on Poplars. Landing a powerful hard fighting cat over 30lb/40lb on standard carp gear on boilies is an achievement for any angler and I suppose over the course of a season most cats are landed from the lake on carp gear, although losing the bigger cats is inevitable on such tackle, although you can get lucky on occasions.

Whilst there is nothing wrong with landing cats on carp gear I am personally a tad old fashioned and think it’s a far greater achievement to catch the cats on rigs and tackle set-ups intended for the species and using live baits, dead baits, luncheon meat, squid, liver etc. My personal best of 85lb from Poplars was caught on a live frog off the surface, you can’t get more natural than that!

Setting your stall out specifically for cats gives you much more of a chance of landing the bigger ones and you are not solely relying on luck fishing for the big Wels’ on carp methods. So if you want a big cat acquaint yourself with the latest cat rigs in particular which are much more effective than the primitive cat rigs I was using twenty years ago. A good starting point is the Catfish Conservation Group’s website at

Finally, here is a list of those anglers who managed to bank one of Poplars big cats in the 2012 season.
Suffice to say, many are coming back next year to Poplars or are trying their hand on Birch.

Roll Of Honour 2012

Eric Sprought 103lbs (pb)

Matthew Nixon 60lb (pb)

Ivan Capel 60lb

Ashley Heaton 55lb (pb)

Jason Orr 52lb (pb) and 77lb (pb)

Gary Laidman 68lb (pb)

Michael Rutherford 70lb (pb)

Lee Atkinson 58lb 3oz

Kevin O’Shea 68lb

Lee Hallam 70lb (pb)

Daz P 60lb (pb)

Ian Brownell 67lb 2oz (pb)

Ryan O’Sullivan 65lb, 67lb, 67lb 8oz (pb)

Jamie Cottee 63lb 2oz

Posted by Paul Selman on 10/01/2013 20:02 Categories : Famous Five - Poplars Lake

Famous Five - Poplars Lake - Al Sproughts 103lb Cat Pic!

Blog Post Image

Here is a picture of carp-france client Al Sprought from Romford with his pb 103lbs Wels' catfish from Poplars Lake on the Etangs De Breton complex!

Posted by Paul Selman on 10/04/2012 12:29 Categories : Famous Five - Poplars Lake