Ice cold carping at Lac de Villedon!

We looked forward very much to a trip to our beloved French carp lake Lac de Villedon: a 30 hectare lake in the Poitou-Charentes region of France. Although the lake is quite unknown for English anglers, it's one of the most popular lakes for Dutch, Belgium and German carp anglers. The reservoir is about a century old, and has been used as a professional fish farm for decades. The stock is truelly unique: large, beautiful and healthy carp in various shapes & sizes. The lake and its management are taken care of by Paul, John & Damien. English, Dutch, German and French is spoken, so every angler feels welcome at this lake. On site, you will find a lovely restaurant in which you can eat lovely meals... or ask them to deliver right at your swim. Great!
The weeks before our trip at the end of November were horrible in terms of weather. A terrible cold wind has hit the lake and it frooze very strong during the nights for weeks, even snow was predicted. The carp didn't like it at all, and (nearly) stopped feeding at all. Many anglers had choosen to go home earlier that week, and some did manage to catch one or a couple of carp. Our friends Hans & Quint Ramerman did very well, landing a new Personal Best at 26,6kg just days before our arrival. The carp stock at Lac de Villedon is very impressive, with an average weight of around 15kg and 3 carp over 30kg: a huge common of 30kg and 2 mirror carp of 31 and 32,5kg. So, it's a lake where many PB's are broken!
We caught our first carp of the trip within 24 hours. We fished swim 18, this because many swims at the deep part of the lake were already taken. It was a good swim choice though. Dynamite Baits The Crave had proven itself during our last trip here last December, when we managed to catch 6 carp over 20kg and 3 carp of nearly 25kg. The bait choice was obvious!
We made PVA-sticks of crushed Halibut Pellets, The Source stickmix, Betaine pellets and some other ingredients. The sticks were attached to our combi-rigs. We chose to fish the Razor Point hooks, as these are one of the sharpest hooks on the market. A lovely 13kg mirror couldn't resist this combination... after a good run and hard fight it was netted. A nice fish in freezing conditions, our hands nearly frooze off.
In the next 24 hours, Lizette caught a big 20kg+ mirror. We were over the moon with this catch! We hooked it on a 18mm Crave at a Camo Core combi-rig and CSX size 6 hook at a semi-fixed lead set-up. The carp was hooked right in the middle of its bottom lip thanks to the kicker we use at this rig. A typical Villedon carp: strong and beautiful.
The alarms kept quiet over the next few days unfortunately. Some other teams went home due to the slow catches and frost of -3 and -5 in the nights. Our friends Timmy & John at swim 3 did everything they could in order to get the carp feeding, unfortunately without a result. We moved to swim 2 ourselves to see if we could catch some more fish there, but unfortunately without success. That's winterfishing!
During our last day, 3 20kg+ grasscarp were stocked in the lake, and Lizette was happy to put them in the lake. A great addition to the lake, and there are some large Mandarin catfish and several sturgeon swimming around as well. We will be back to Villedon in 2015 for revenge again, we're hooked!
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