Fox Lake, Abbey Lakes, France

Renowned holiday carp resort in France, Abbey lakes is the go-to of many anglers in UK and Europe looking for some incredible fish, facilities and enjoyment.

Fox Lake, Abbey Lakes, France

Day ticket, syndicate or holiday booking: Holiday complex
Realistic catch rate: 4/5 a week is average
How much: £330 for 7 days
Best swim(s): 1, 8, 12 and 18
How do I get a ticket: Book before you go
Skill level to catch: Intermediate
How busy is it: Usually room
Location: France
Can you drive to the swims: Yes
Best method: Solid bags or Ronnies
On site facilities: Cafe, tackle shop, toilets, showers, electricity and tackle hire
Best bait: Anything small
Average size: 35lb
Max realistic size: 70lb

Fox Lake, Abbey Lakes, France

Created in 1999 with the aim of being Europe’s first angling centre for carp and catfish.

Abbey lakes opened initially with 4 lakes in 2000, 2 carp lakes, a predator water and a mixed coarse lake but is most well known as being one of the top holiday carp resorts in France.

The fish are absolutely stunning

Lewis Sherwood

Finding the fish is really important.

It is important to fish where the fish are in your swim with a small boat load of bait.

Bait boats aren’t essential, but they do help a lot to amass a bigger hit.

If you would like to carry on catching throughout the week, you need to prepare to move.

This is because the fish tend to move from one end of the lake to the other and they will do that numerous times throughout the week.

In terms of bait, keep everything small. So you want to make sure you are crushing your boilies, using small particles, such as hemp & corn and keep your hookbaits small.

Don’t be afraid to put a 10mm pop up on because the bigger fish love a small hookbait.

If you are using a bait boat, don’t fill the boat up with bait because that prolong a take and the fish are very cautious of it.

So it seems that little is actually better in terms of getting a bite quicker. A little scoop of each bait is perfect amount to drop from a boy.

Dave (the fishery manager) will help you out if you need it and he is always around to offer support on spots, rigs and tactics.

Bait Choice

Make sure your baits are small and use plenty of different baits. The fish like a mixture of bait, so crushed boilie, hemp, corn or maize, pellets and maggots in the winter. Give your baits a good healthy glug of your chosen liquid.

I have done particular well fishing solid bags fishing on top of low lying silk weed. Having small baits in your mix helps ensures that your bait in lying on top of the silk weed where the fish prefer to feed.

Methods and Rigs

Ronnie rigs on top of low lying sick weed does particularly well and seems to pick out the bigger fish. However, you should do well fishing solid bags on top of low lying silk weed.

Short rigs tend to do better than long so around 4-6 inches is perfect.

If you are fishing a solid bag rig, your rig should be 3-5 inches depending on how you prefer to fish them and the size of your bags.

Beaked point hooks are probably your best bet at landing the fish due to the weed in Fox.

Hook pulls can occur if you’re fishing with a curve shanked hook. Make sure you are fishing a rig that drops the lead on the take.

The weed is quite severe in Fox and if you do not drop the lead, your chances of landing the fish decreases significantly.

So if you’re fishing a solid bag, make sure you’re fishing a drop off inline rig. If you are fishing a helicopter or lead clip set up, make sure the lead will eject on the take.

You will know that your rigs are fishing effectively if you are using a solid bag.

In addition, the fish seem to like the look of a solid bag on the bottom because they are using to feeding on small patches of bait.

Brakes point hooks give you that little bit more strength whilst playing the carp and will give you that peace of mind that the hook won’t let you down.

Top Tips

1) Fish the fish and fish where the fish are in your peg. Don’t be afraid to fish on top of low lying weed.

2) Keep your baits and hookbaits small. Chopped and whole boilie doesn’t seem to work very well.

3) Be prepared to stay mobile. Move around the lake throughout your session to ensure you always have fish in front of you.

Best Areas/Swims

The swims that seem to always have fish in them are pegs 1, 8, 12 and 18.

Anglers seem to do very well in these pegs. However, this does not mean that the fish will be here during your session, so do be prepared to fish another swim.

Also there may be anglers already in those pegs when you arrive, so don’t go with the idea that you will get these pegs. Be prepared to move during your session.

The fish may be in swim 1 or 18 when you arrive, but the next morning the fish could be up the other end of the lake in peg 12. In terms of spots, Dave will point you in the right direction of what spots are doing well at that time of year, but I would suggest finding a clear area as close to the showing fish as possible.

If you can’t find a clear area, don’t be afraid to fish on top of low lying weed. There are a lot of horizon markers for you to aim at, so pick the obvious ones that you think previous anglers would be fishing too. That would be a good starting point.

I wouldn’t say there isn’t anything that wouldn’t work, but baits boats and small baits seem to be the way to go on Fox.

Summer Tactics

Small hookbaits over the top of crushed boilie, hemp, corn, maize and pellet seems to do very well during the summer.

You won’t need a lot of bait to get a bite, so don’t think because it’s France you need to put in a whole bucket.

At Fox, it seems that the smaller amount of bait, the better.

Winter Tactics

I have spoken to anglers that have done very well on maggots and worms during the winter.

Some anglers do not take anything other than worms or maggots and they have landed fish up to 60lb+ during the winter.

Angling Community

You will see anglers from all over Europe fishing Fox.

A lot of anglers from Holland and Germany fish Fox because of the beautiful it has in there.

All anglers have all been polite and respectful. You may have some anglers from the other lakes on the complex drive around Fox to have a chat or to have a look at the lake.

Required Tackle/Equipment

1) Size 4 beaked point hooks. They give you added strength during the battle and less chance of hook pull especially if the fish finds a weed bed.

2) Ridgemonkey boilie crusher. You can crush all your boilies into crumb before you add your liquids. Also the crusher ensures you have all different shapes and sizes which is a plus in any carp fishing you will do.

3) Solid bags. You can cast a solid bag to a showing fish or drop them from a boat onto your spot. Small patch of bait around your hookbait is a great approach on Fox.

4) Strong mainline. I used 20lb fluorocarbon to ensure that my line sinks but it also ensures that I can play a carp without the worry that my line will snap from the weed.

Fox Lake Rules

Catch & release only?: Yes
Bait rules: No nuts, lures or. bait fishing
Hook pattern rules: Barbed only
Fish care rules: No flat unhooking mats
Rig rules: 15lb minimum mainline
Can I use spods/spombs?: Yes
Other rules: You can

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