Nash Lac Chateau Cavagnac August 2009
I had decided earlier in 2009 that I would treat myself and my 12 year old son James to a trip to France, but I was looking for somewhere that meant I didn’t need to go out and buy two sets of rods, bedchairs, bivvies etc and also I did not particularly want to drive there either.
So hunting around on the web I found Nash Lac Cavagnac situated in the South West of France and only an hour and a half flight from Stansted Airport. I phoned up and booked us in for the week beginning 7th August to coincide with James’s school summer holidays and work commitments. Flights were also booked via Ryan Air for about ¬£200 including checking in two bags for all our clothes and fishing bits.
Eventually the time arrived and it was holiday time, we decided as we live in the South West of England to drive up the day before and stay at The Radisson hotel next to the airport to avoid any unpleasantaries that the M25 can turn up on a Friday morning.
All checked in at the airport we waited for our flights which although slightly delayed wasn’t a real problem and soon we were on our way down to Rodez airport. We got the bags off the plane, and Lee from Nash resorts was there to welcome us and drove us the 25 minutes to the lake.
The lake is awesome; it looks like a large English estate lake with lots of trees and lily pads all over and is set in some lovely countryside.
View from the Lodge out across the lake
Davide the Head Bailiff (who speaks great English and is a fantastic guy) took us all out on the boat for a tour around the lake pointing out all the swims, which were hot and those that hadn’t fished well. After this a draw was held and James who pulled first out of the hat drew number 5 and there were only 5 numbers in the hat, so therefore we got last choice. The Boards was chosen by a couple of Dutch lads, Gordon a regular at the Lake took the Channel, Ross and Jonathan chose the Field and Johan who had come from South Africa took the Springs.¬† This left us with the swim that we both wanted which was the Steps.
The Steps in the prior week had done two forties, one mirror and one grassie as well as the junior PB common at 35lbs so we were hopeful of getting some action.
View from the Steps Back to the Lodge
When you get there the staff have already put in a rowing boat for each swim, 3 x Nash Hooligan Rods each, landing net, weigh sling, scales, carp sacks, H blocks gas stove, tea kit as well as on your chosen swim is a Nash bivvy, bedchair and chair. All you need to take is your reels, alarms, hangars and end tackle.
Before I start talking about the fishing, at the lodge you can get breakfast and dinner everyday (which is included if you take the full package) or you can have it delivered to your swim. ¬†They also sell water, snacks, soft drinks and beer there also so there is no need to leave the complex.¬† Bait is also available too and this is ¬£6 per kilo for boilies which including Scopex Squid Liver, B2, Bling and Cavagnac Special. You can also get pellet, dips, pop ups to match as well as they sell buckets of mixed particles.
During dinner the first evening Davide pointed out to us the best place to put one set of our rods which was a set of lily pads about 110 yards out to the front and right of our swim.¬† I rowed out and deposited 3 buckets of particles and a couple of kilos of boilies.¬† He told us to fish one rod about a foot to the right of the lilies away by about 6 feet from the particles and the other rod on the other side of the baited spot.¬† My third rod went down the margins by another set of lily pads, see below.
View to where two rods were fished, lily pads are on the left
Right hand side Margin from Steps Swim
As I was fishing the right hand side we then placed James rods one to the lily pads on the left hand margin and one in open water and the third about a rod length out from a small set of lily pads again 100 yards out.¬† We did this using a bait boat which you can hire for ¬£90 the week as persons under 18 and over 65 are not allowed in the rowing boats due to insurance restrictions. Also with 6 rods to get out the bait boat is the easiest way to go.
After setting up on the first night we were both very tired but excited about what was to come.
We didn’t have to wait long at 5am the next morning I had a stuttery take on the rod fished just next to the lily pads. Fortunately the fish ran back towards us rather than making for the lily bed.¬† After getting back into contact with it I could tell it was a carp rather than a tench.¬† I was shouting at James to wake up because we decided to take it in turns to hit the rods as I have found in the past it is normally one or two rods that will produce and it was his turn first.¬† However by the time he woke up the fish was almost ready for netting so it was my fish. It was a 28lb Mirror, so not a bad start for the first fish and within less than 12 hours of casting out.
Our first fish 28lb Mirror
During the next day we had a couple of tench from James rods but it was pretty warm and quiet. The next night Davide advised us to top up the heavily baited spot again, which he kindly did for us as he took us back to our swim in the boat.¬† Rods were put out again on the same spots and we were very confident after the early success. The mission for the rest of the holiday was to get a big ‘un for James.
At 6am the next morning I wasn’t overly surprised that the same rod was once again away, again it ran back towards us and this time I was more successful at waking James up so he took over playing the fish. This fish was clearly bigger than the last one and it gave James the run around going up and down the front of the pontoon and trying to go under the boat which was moored at the front of the staging. We eventually netted it and it looked a decent fish in the net, on the scales it went round to 32lb, a new PB for James by 23lb. To say he was happy would be an understatement.
James with his new PB a lovely long mint 32lb common
By now we were both happy and relieved as we had both caught so anything else would be a bonus. Again the day was quiet, but this is not unusual for the lake. Again after dinner we topped up the same spot again and put the rods out. Being semi awake again at dawn I was eager for the alarm to go off again, but unfortunately it didn’t and we were both a little deflated but probably shouldn’t have been as we had been lucky to catch two early in the week.
As we had no action from the spots and discussing with Davide he advised not to rebait and just fish to the spots.¬† Still confident we chilled out and by now had got pretty slick at getting the baits out after dinner.
The next morning as was anxious again at dawn as I was hoping the first two days would repeat itself, 5am went past, then 6am I dozed off again to be woken up at 7.00am by a take on the middle rod. Again like the other two fish it ran back towards us and after getting in contact with the fish this one felt a lot heavier and slower. The fish came in close relatively easily but then spent ten minutes or so again going up and down the front of the pontoon.¬† This fish being a lot more powerful managed to take out all of James lines on the left hand side and one of my rods also.
Fortunately Johan who was fishing in the Flowers had heard the commotion and came over and helped us undo the knitting pattern of our other rods. He eventually managed to net this for me and in the net it didn’t look that large.¬† We left it in the net whilst we got the camera, weigh sling etc ready. Carefully checking its pecks were flat in the net I broke the net down and lifted it up.¬† It really felt a lot heavier and I estimated an upper thirty. However the scales settled on 40lb 8oz, my first forty and beating my PB by 17lb’s.
New PB 40lb 8oz Mirror
Return Shot of my new PB
Unfortunately for us and most others on the lake it seemed to shut up shop for the rest of the week and we had no further carp, quite a few more tench and James also had his first Pike which picked up a boilie¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ‘.
James and one of his Tench
For rigs we were using 12 inch long 30lb Nash armorbraid, size 4 Gamakatsu G Hard hooks, with shrink tubing to extend the shank, pinned down with two small blobs of rig putty. We also used Nash Camofusion leaders with ESP bolt clips, 3 oz dumpy pears (which they sell in the Lodge so no need to take loads on the plane) and backleads.
Bait was single 20mm Scopex Squid with a 3 bait stringer.
Because the lake is pretty silty on the bottom all baits were either rowed or taken out in the bait boat rather than casting and whilst on the website it says you also get a marker and spod rod, we didn’t get these and to be honest you don’t need them so leave your maker and spod reels at home if you go.
James and I had a great weeks fishing even though it was a bit patchy, the service you get from the guys at the Lake is second to none.¬† They really can’t do enough to help you and with a passion they want everyone to catch whilst they are there.
The facilities’ are top notch, the food that Mark (the Chef) provided was fantastic and lots of it, all English style food, roast dinner on Sunday, Spaghetti Bolognaise, Lasagne, Curry and a full fried breakfast every morning, you certainly won’t go home any thinner than you arrived.
If like me you haven’t been to France fishing before and want to reduce the hassle factor or want to take one of your children then I can completely recommend a trip to Nash Resort, you won’t be disappointed.¬† James and I are looking forward to getting back there and I had to drag him away as he didn’t want to go home.
View from Steps Swim at Dawn
View from Steps to Dead Tree Swim
Davide’s Dog Vittef
Marks Dog Eta