Still in Pursuit of………………..

Crystal Waters – France

Crystal Lake

Back in the middle of May, the JRC team ventured out to one of its sponsored waters that lie’s in the heart of

.  This special complex owned by Lee Papper and run by the charismatic and slightly bonkers Keith Stanley AKA Backdraft.

The plan for this trip was to test the up and coming Berkley Gulp! Bait and hopefully bag a couple of whackers on the way.  After meeting with James, Stewart and Rob, we set off across France buzzing at the impeding fishing fest that lay ahead, question that was in our minds was would the baits work

As we arrived at

and pulled through the gates, we were greeted with a stunning sight of a blue water lagoon, this lake is stunning in every sense!

As we pulled in the car park, we were greeted with a formula 1 style lodge that looked very impressive, shower blocks, fridge freezer come as standard at this lake, all mod-cons catered for.

After quick introductions and pleasantries all the boys were itching to get fishing and soon!  At this point it’s worth mentioning that when we pulled into the complex Keith was holding up a thirty for the cameras that he had just caught, this was looking good for us!


After a quick draw for swims, (me being first out of the hat) we made our way around the lake to our chosen plots and planned what we were going to do.  Now I may have come out first in the draw but to be honest it wouldn’t have mattered which swim we were in because they all looked stunning and feature laden.  After some exploratory work with the marker I settled on a gully about 90 yards range just in front of an island in about 15ft of water.  My bait for the trip was going to be the Berkley Gulp! Squid and Liver in 20mm ideal for the throwing stick at range and perfect for keeping the smaller fish at bay, I didn’t fancy being on pest control for the trip.

Solid PVA bags were the order of the day, short braided rigs and 2.5oz leads, rods cast, line marked and we were angling.  After the long day that we had endured we all crashed out early with a head full of big carp.  

Some time in the night I awoke to the sound of carp crashing close to the island and remember thinking that at any moment one of the rods could peel off, back to sleep and about an hour later the inevitable happened and the middle rod roared off.  Out of the bag no time for shoes and straight into a hard fighting carp, after what seemed like an age the carp was soon gulping for air and drifting over the spreader block.  Quick look in the net confirmed it was a good fish, net and fish secured I went about the task of zeroing scales and wetting mats etc.  Looking up I could see a head torch bobbing around in Rob Nunn’s swim so I shouted over to him for a hand, the reply came back that he would be over shortly, so I waited for 5 minutes for him to come over and give me a hand with a fish that was getting bigger every time I checked on it.

As Rob came into the swim it was obvious that he had also been doing battle with a fish or so it transpires 3 fish all at once, the story unfolded that he had had the first take and netted it (34lb) then the next rod had gone immediately after it (29lb) and just as he slipped the net under that his final rod had gone and he netted that (24lb) all 3 fish in one net, Rob was in a mess and had had to get Vinnie to give him a hand (note to Rob and anybody else fishing these types of water 2 nets! Or 3 in his case)

Anyway back to the fish that was lying in the net in the margins, we gently lifted her out and could immediately realise it was a good fish, the scales confirmed this when a chunk of a mirror spun the needle round to 43lb.4oz.  What a result on the first night and was quite understandably over the moon and well impressed with the bait.  We set about with the cameras as the sun came up!

After we slipped her back to the water, I was still knackered from the trip and decided that 20 winks was in order again, rod back out on the spot, bait topped up with the throwing stick and head back down on the pillow, all in that order.  I had only been asleep for 20 minutes when the same rod was off again, now this one didn’t want to come in from the off, and as it headed towards the island it broke the surface and slapped the water with it’s tail, fight on!

10 minutes later a big golden common slid over the spreader and once again it was a good fish.  Net secure and a quick phone call to Drafty who came motoring around in the company buggy!  This fish looked as big as the last one and the scales confirmed a new PB common at 39lb12oz!

This really was a great start to a trip and as far as I was concerned it was job done, fish on camera and bait was working a treat!

The other guys were catching as well and as the pictures show the stamp of fish that inhabit the waters of

are stunning.  Unfortunately for me it was work for the rest of the week with the camera and making sure the guys were catching fish which was done admirably.

For those wishing to visit Crystal Lakes, on behalf of the JRC team we couldn’t recommend it more, it’s probably one of the best run fisheries in France for drive and survive or full package holidays.  For more information please visit:




a link to a document 

Categories : Various

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

  • Categories

    • 362 visits since the beginning of the month
    • 35 991 since the creation of the blog