April 1st, 2010

Our trip to Oakwood

A typical English estate lake located in Brittany just south of Rennes, Oakwood Lake is a picturesque mature venue to fish. With an easy drive from the ferry port through the French countryside you could be there and have your rods out in a matter of hours.

Oakwood is a five acre mature tree lined lake originally created over 150 years ago for the local chateau. It is set in the grounds of the woods and offers plenty of character with a great selection of wildlife to be seen. The lake has an interesting shape to it, providing numerous features and areas to fish to.

The lake has an average depth of six feet and plenty of features to locate. The bottom consists mainly of hard silt with large gravel beds and clear spots to be found. There are two islands in the lake with many channels through both of them. There are many overhanging trees and maintained beds of lily pads providing feeding spots for even the most wary of carp. Float fishing is a must on this lake we couldn’t resist giving it a go after seeing the fish rolling in the pads.

Upon arrival at the lake we were met by the Dan, the owner of the lake, and showed around. He knew the lake well and was keen to offer us hints and tips which are well worth listening to especially as he fishes the lake himself. Within a short space of time we had chosen our swims and were eager to get our rods out into the lake. The car park is close to the lake making it easy to get gear to any of the swims; in a short space of time without too much effort.

In no time at all we were all set up and ready to get the rods in the water. It was a well thought about decision as to which features to bait up in the lake and which areas to fish to from the start. We started off near the car park facing the smaller of the two islands with numerous pads to fish to and a long gravel bar to bait up under a large over hanging tree. It was only a matter of hours, just as evening was approaching, that the first of the rods bleeped and we were into our first fish. Unfortunately we lost it in the pads and used it as a learning curve, meaning we were always on our rods after that and knew where to play the fish. Following that a couple of hours later our first fish was in the net, looking previously uncaught, making us desperate to see what else this lake had to offer us. Over the next couple of days we kept to the same areas and enjoyed landing numerous other carp up to 25lb with an equal amount of commons and mirrors caught.

The lake seemed to then quieten down and the bleeps were becoming further apart, making us feel that our best option was to move to another location on the lake and aim for some un-expecting carp. The middle of the lake between the two islands becomes narrower and is lined with over hanging branches. There is a more secluded area of the lake with where any angler would enjoy bivvying up. For the rest of the week this seemed the perfect location and on average the larger of the carp seemed to be coming out with weights now hitting the 30lb mark. This is the type of lake where you should be prepared to move and locate the fish. Each swim has been carefully set up in order for the anglers to each have space and features of their own.

Over the week we found the most productive bait to be dans secret boilie which was a very highgrade fishmeal which we fished on its own or as snowman set up. We found that chopped up boillies worked well with heavily baiting areas.

The newly built toilet and shower block is a feature we wish all lakes had, especially after enjoying the hydrostatic shower. There are electric points available for charging equipment and freezer space for bait. The option to have meals cooked for you onsite is a definite must for those that would rather just get on and fish. There is also a local town just 5 minutes down the road with supermarkets, bars, shops and restaurants, making the ideal place to get out and about for a couple of hours during the week.

Oakwood Lake is perfect for getting away from everything, a place to enjoy catching carp and taking in the surroundings.

Scott and Samantha Collins-Ratcliffe Rig Morole Field Testers

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