posts by venue

posts by category

posts by date

venue blog

Croix Blanche Tortue Lake - That was the Week that Was

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

 Large groups on the lakes over the years have often been sources of hassle for me and for themselves. They are invariably difficult to organize for the guy who takes on the task, and I have seen it end in huge arguments on the banks between guys often who don’t really know each other.
So despite an easy full week for me, it was with slight trepidation I welcomed Zacc Harvey and his group to the venue on the week of the 23rd August.

Zacc had had the foresight to set up a Facebook page for the trip and we had all, me included spent a fair amount of time discussing the venue and tactics and tackle needed. This set most people’s mind at rest and paved the way for a no surprises, week of angling.
On the Saturday in question they rolled up in two hire vans absolutely packed to the gunnels with gear. This was Carp Gear R Us on steroids….
I gave them a tour of the lakes, explaining the best way to tackle each peg and what baits I recommended.
Zacc is a bait producer and has a company called ‘Best of British’, so naturally his baits were going to be put to the test.
Swims were decided and everyone went about setting up and getting the fishing under way.

Things kicked off fairly fast, Mark Lindley had the first fish in the shape of a 44lb catfish, and several swims started producing some nice fish quickly. Richard Curren on peg 2 had cats for 56lb and carp to 27lb. Zacc on peg 13 had a couple of large catfish and carp to 38lb..
Chris Boyle, not happy on peg 14, moved to peg 5 and immediately started to catch. Grant Hurst on Peg 12 had the first big carp at 42lb… all in all a very good start.

I popped in most days and was pleased and surprised to see how the lads were doing. Their baits certainly seemed to work.
What really made the week for me were the regular posts on Facebook showing their catches, with photos… while I curse mobile phones, this was an instance where they were a really useful piece of kit.

In all there were some memorable hauls… before the last night, and there were a few more fish banked during that time, they had landed a total of 74 carp and 39 catfish. This included 7 carp over 40lb to 47lb.

Zacc was the lucky captor of the stunning twotone common at 47lb but several of the guys also banked a few lumps.
Chris on peg 5 had a lovely 45lb mirror, and Richard on peg 2 continued to haul but topped it all off with a common of 45lb 8oz.

I was especially happy for young Jordan Small who struggled early on losing a fair few fish. But managed to bank a common of 45lb and a mirror of 45lb and a 60lb plus catfish… At just 16 that has to leave an impression…

What was nice was that everyone caught fish and personal bests were smashed all over the place. All in all a fabulous week with some lovely carp and cats banked.
Thanks to Zacc for organizing a great week .. See you again soon!!

Posted by David Gordon on 13/04/2015 14:00 Categories : Croix Blanche Tortue Lake, Catch ReportUpdate

Croix Blanche Tortue Lake - Superb fortnight on Tortue

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

Here are a few photos of Paul Macleod’s fortnight trip to the venue. Paul on his third trip to the lakes once again got amongst the big fish banking the largest carp of the year to date.

He started off for his first week on peg 13 of the Tortue Lake where he got right amongst the fish landing mirrors to a fabulous 54lb 3oz, a new PB for him to boot.

He also targeted the large cats banking fish of over 65lb. Unfortunately Paul twisted his ankle half way through the first week, so moved to the less steep Peg 6 on the Croix Blanche Lake. But this was not before landing 16 crackers from the Tortue, including the broken linear at 37lb which was the first fish I ever caught from the lake back in 1999.

Once he was settled into his new peg, Paul soon got amongst the fish on this lake too, and within the first couple of days had banked carp to 41lb and cats to over 40lb. He also had a run of huge bream to a massive 17lb.

the week was far from over and on the very last night Paul had a superb common that tipped the scales at 44lb 14oz.

A superb result well done Paul


Posted by David Gordon on 04/06/2014 13:48 Categories : Croix Blanche Tortue Lake, Catch Report

Croix Blanche Tortue Lake - An amazing week

Blog Post Image Blog Post Image

The last week of September has to go down as a truly amazing week’s fishing. Star of the week was undoubtedly, regular at the venue, Ceri Howells from Wales who banked an incredible 69 fish in the week including catfish to 103lb & carp to 50lb 6oz.

Fishing on peg 12 on the Tortue Lake Ceri used the unusual tactic of fishing with maggots. This can indeed be a deadly technique, which I’ve witnessed firsth and on other venues, but Ceri showed just how effective it can be for both carp and catfish, if used correctly. Using a large number on a piece of dental floss he tied this D rig style to the hook and then used a bait boat the place his rig and a handful of maggots & pellets on the spots. This caused a very intense feeding frenzy in the swim and on a number of occasions takes were almost instantaneous.
His haul consisted of 69 fish with 20 catfish over 60lb (including 3 over 90lb and the 103lb monster) and carp or 40lb 10oz; 41lb8oz; 41lb 9oz & 50lb 6oz.

Other anglers on the venue also had a good week, Belgian anglers Christophe Aelterman & Wim Waerniers got amongst the fish on pegs 13 & 14 with carp to 46lb 4oz and catfish to 61lb 2oz.

A compatriot of theirs Jhomar Vervoort was fortunate to land the sought after fish, the two-tone common at 46lb.

Finally the other huge surprise for the week was from the Croix Blanche Lake where Herman Kerkvelit took the big mirror from peg 6 at 59lb. This fish has not been banked since April 2011.
All in all an amazing week’s fishing. Well done to all concerned.

Tight Lines

Posted by David Gordon on 14/10/2013 11:44 Categories : Croix Blanche Tortue Lake, New StockCatch ReportUpdateThe Latest

Croix Blanche Tortue Lake - 90lb Tortue Catfish

Blog Post Image

Welsh angler Ceri Howells set his stall out for the lake’s big cats during his session at the venue in early July and ended up with a bumper haul.
Venue regular Ceri was fishing from the very productive peg 12 at the far end of the complex, on the Tortue lake. Conditions were fairly poor for carp with hot sunny days and high pressure, even if several good fish did come out during his week. But the catfish decided they wanted to play and Ceri did not want to miss out on the feeding spree.

His tactics were, to say the least usual. Instead of the more conventional halibut pellet or fishy boilie approach, Ceri opted for a large bunch of maggots. Now by, large bunch of maggots, that’s exactly what I mean. He was threading over 150 of the little wriggling baits onto a length of dental floss which, in turn, was tied to the D rig hook set up. Using a bait boat to present the hookbait and more maggot fee offerings over his zone, he certainly found a very effective way of attracting and catching these giant moggies.

He banked nearly 30 large fish during his week, topped off by a fish over 90lb, which is the largest landed so far this year. 

Posted by David Gordon on 01/08/2013 13:20 Categories : Croix Blanche Tortue Lake, Catch ReportUpdate

Croix Blanche Tortue Lake - Mark Cresswell's session on Tortue Lake

Here is a very nice article sent to me by Mark Creswell. Thought I'd share it on the blog:

Just returned from an extremely enjoyable trip to Croix Blanche in France

Friday 15th June is a special day for the river anglers but for me it was special as it was the day I set off, I meet my 2 companions for the week (Jeff and Steve) at Watford and we're soon at Dover, a good crossing and then a drive down to Croix. We discuss our ambitions for the following 6 nights, I am hoping for a fish over 50lb as I've never caught one or if lady luck shone a 40lb common, Steve would be happy to beat his PB (27lb) and Jeff just wanted to have a good time, which in reality is what we all wanted, a good time with hopefully some decent fish thrown in too

We pull into Croix about 10am and our host Gareth is waiting, pleasantries exchanged but we're all chomping at the bit to get fishing. Weather-wise it was very hit n miss, rain, sun rain sun etc. Swims are sorted and I get the house set up and then everything else, Jeff calls me to say the kettle had boiled so was sat with him when we heard Steve shouting he was into a fish, we went round to his swim and it looked like he was into something decent, not too long later I'm slipping the net under our first fish of the trip. It's a lump and we all say it's a 40, on the scales it wasn't quite the 40lb but a great start nonetheless. Just as we are releasing it, he gets a screamer on another rod and into his 2nd fish, he's been fishing about 90 minutes! Once landed he has a cat on the mat weighing in at 47lb, WHAT A START! With that I get my rods out, I was in a corner swim and the margins looked incredible, so 2 rods on the margin and 1 in open water where I'd seen numerous fish crashing.

Do them margins look carpy or what

Early evening I get my first run, resulting in this 24lb10oz Mirror Sunday morning I awake and just brewing up and have a take, the margin in front of me is about 8ft deep and whist the fish came in quite easily it didn't want to come up and used the deep water to it's advantage, not too long later I had it gulping for air and it was in the net, weighing in at 27lb 8oz not a bad size too Later that afternoon bank an 18lber, so 3 fish on the bank so early on plus Steve and Jeff have banked fish makes me very hopefully for the week ahead. Monday arrives and my next action was about 4pm, as soon asI lifted into the fish it was obvious something bigger was on the other end but it was no match for my angling skills and was soon sending the scales around to 35lb 2oz

About an hour later the same rod is off and I think I've hooked an express train as it just ran and ran, eventually I managed to slow it don and turn and it came in quite steady, I'm hoping it's a carp on he other end but he feeling is it's a cat, the fish swirls and it's a cat, once close in Jeff tries to net it but I've "only" got a 42" net and we struggled so in the end he chins it, on the scales we wondered if it would go over the magic 50lb mark, the needle settles on 49lb 8oz, so no 50lb but still my biggest fish ever

The next 2 days are a little slow, but I did manage a Crucian of around 3lb, yes a true Crucian before you ask, but a different strain from what we know in England. Wednesday we reeled in about lunchtime to do some sight seeing, we were in an area where there was a lot of action in the First World War and there were some memorials and graveyards. It's something I've wanted to see ever since I've been going to France and so an opportunity not to be missed, whilst they are a brilliant sight and very interesting, also extremely humbling at seeing so many headstones

Thursday morning I'm up and not too long later my alarm signals a take, a spirited fight and we soon have a 34lb cat on the bank a few hours later another cat tipping the scales at jut over 20lb is released. In the afternoon Gareth comes down to fish the feeder for the coarse fish that are in the lake, Crucians over 8lb, Tench over 11b, Rudd over 3lb plus double figure Bream and a few pike tha go over 40lb. Jeff calls me to say Gareth has a decent Crucian, a over 7lb I'd call it a whopper

What happened over the next 2hours was something I don't really want to experience again, as you see in Gareth’s picture it's quite sunny, 20 minutes later it starts raining, so I shelter in my bivvy, another 20 minutes or so the wind is picking up and the rain is getting heavier, then it starts hailing and 5 minutes later the worst storm I've ever been in hits us! My pod gets blown over (as does everyone else’s!) and I daren't venture out to do anything about it, thunder and lightening and I was a little worried. I have experienced some severe weather whilst in France, but this easily took the biscuit The picture below is taken by just pointing the camera out the door, apologies for it not being level

The storm passes over and this is 30 minutes later, how mad is this weather of ours

Thursday is our final night and Gareth cooks us one of the best meal I've eaten on the bank, before starting we all raise our glasses to Big Ron. Tales of Ron are swapped during the evening as the vino flows I then hit the sack with a heavy heart, it's my last night and I want to stay another week Just after midnight my middle rod is off and I'm out the sack faster than a striking Cobra A decent battle and as usual once close in it doesn't want to come up from the depths, I get a sight of it and think "oooerr, it's a decent common" (or words to that effect ) I get it on the surface and at first asking guide it into the net, I look into the net and see a big fish I give Jeff a knock to come and help, on th mat and it looks even bigger, scales zeroed etc and we put her in the sling and then weigh her............................43lb 14oz, my biggest common and 2nd biggest carp. Yeeeeeeeeeeee Haaaaaa is screamed, Steve is rudely awaken and comes round to take the pics

A beer is sunk in celebration and then hit the sack on a high. Fri awake and a slo pack down but still time for 2 more 20's, a 22lb 6oz and a 21lb 4oz, bit of shame we had to leave as it was looking lik the fish were coming on the feed, so a pack up and now back to reality Final tally 24lb 10oz Mirror 27lb 8oz Mirror 18lb 10oz Mirror 35lb 2oz Mirror 49lb 8oz Cat 34lb Cat 20lb Cat 43lb 14oz Common 22lb 6oz Mirror 21lb 4oz Mirror plus 1 Crucian, 1 Tench and 1 Bream all around th 3lb mark So, Croix Blanche, a lovely place, easy 2 1/2hrs from Calais and Gareth is very very helpful, a top place

Posted by Gareth Watkins on 26/06/2012 17:06 Categories : Croix Blanche Tortue Lake, Catch Report

Croix Blanche Tortue Lake - First Forty of the Year

Blog Post Image Blog Post Image Blog Post Image

As I said in my previous blog post, with the mild weather, until now anyway, and relatively high water temperatures the carp have been very active. I spoke about the pair of young Dutch anglers who fished from the 2nd of January. I now have a couple of photos to add. Here is a brief resumé of their session.
Jimmy Heijink and his mate set up on pegs 5 on the Croix Blanche and 13 on the Tortue. The used a bait boat to drop PVA bags of pellets and strawberry boilies to the shallower areas where fish were showing. The water levels were quite high so that would be around 12 feet deep.
Within 24 hours they had managed several fish to upper 20’s, which is pretty good for a month of January. Despite being mild the weather was quite extreme with gales force winds and heavy rain showers.
The lads stuck it out however, with Jimmy moving up to peg 15, due to the activity he had observed in front of that peg.
The last night saw one more fish out of the Croix lake and the icing on the cake for this early season session a superb 20.5kg (45lb) mirror.
The lads did very well and it goes to show that good results can be had year round in the right conditions. While we saw poor results in the autumn, I sure this was down to the unusual weather. January temperatures were more like November and the carp seemed top respond in the manner of an autumn session.

Posted by Gareth Watkins on 10/02/2012 17:24 Categories : Croix Blanche Tortue Lake