In the stunning forests of d'Autrey in France are the well stocked lakes of Carp Runs.
We have tonnes of big carp here, and our cat fishing is second to none in France.
The Lakes - Etang du Moulin de Bley
There are three different Lakes on the Moulin de Bley Estate.
The Main Lake (Etang du Moulin de Bley )
Bley Cat Lake ( The Catfish only lake)
The Horse Shoe lake ( Bley's small one)
Etang du Moulin de Bley is a stunning lake of around 10 acres and is set in the heart of the unspoilt countryside and beautiful forests of d’ Aurtrey. A short drive of less than ten minutes from the lake is the mighty River Saone, which apart from its coarse fish, is home to some very large catfish and carp.
The lakes are very secluded and completely surrounded by trees and are situated on a private estate owned by the Engel family, farmers here for generations. The image below will cycle through views from each swim on this picturesque well stocked water.
The Bley Main lake is divided into 8 pegs, each one giving the angler plenty of room to fish, with some pegs having room for 2 anglers to fish side-by-side.
All of the pegs offer features to fish to and each angler has more than enough water to fish in total comfort. There is a good depth of water in the lake at around 6 ft at the dam end, to about 2ft at the cabin end, where the carp are often seen cruising in the shallows. It is peaceful, very secluded, and a totally private estate.
The tall electric gates are closed each night to make it completely safe, and it is fenced on all sides.
Its tree lined banks are surrounded with lush vegetation and an abundance of wild life, which all add to its tranquil magic.
With regards to the climate, although it does rain sometimes, this part of France enjoys hot dry weather for most of the time. Even early spring and late autumn can be very warm, making April and October very productive for fishing.
On site there is a toilet and shower room along with a well equipped and decent sized kitchen. Fridges and freezers are also located in the kitchen, and there is a good sized indoor eating area which also has an indoor built in very large bar b q for all weather conditions. There is a small bait and end - tackle shop on site and bait can be also ordered before you arrive. Just a short 10 minute drive from the lakes you will find the local amenities which include supermarkets, shops, bars, restaurants, tobacconists and petrol stations.
The fish stocks are well managed by the Carp Runs team, and periodically the lakes are drained down to remove unwanted coarse fish.
The last drain down took place in October 2009.
The carp in the lake are nearly all 30s and big 30s for the most of them, but there are a few 20s many of which are uppers from 27lbs upwards. There are about 6 to 8 high doubles in the lake also.
On average your general wieghts should be well into the 30s as there is a good head of 40s to well over 50lb. The lake contains mostly mirrors and about 50 commons to just under the 50lb mark, and one or two grass carp to 40lb plus. In 2009 almost all of the carp caught were over the 30lb mark, and so far we've seen plenty of 40lb to 50lb fish on the bank every week, with lots of anglers achieving personal bests. Big hits too are common here as well, with some anglers taking as many as 60 carp each in a week averaging well over 30lb overall.
In 2009 many more carp over 30lb were caught than 20lb fish by a long, long way, and one of our regulars informed us that he had caught, weighed and photographed 33 totally different carp over 40lb in the 4 years that he has been coming to the lake. (THATS 33 "TOTALLY DIFFERENT" 40+ CARP. )
The most carp out in 2009 in one week to one party was 171 fish, but about 100 fish per week is more the average catch.
The Lake was well stocked with big catfish in 2004,but in October of 2009 all the catfish were relocated to the bley catfish only lake, due to their size, some of which were in excess of 120lb making them far too big for general carp gear.
Like most waters, anglers who put in the most effort here will reap the best rewards and this lake, although not a difficult water certainly responds to the thinking angler, and a quite one.
The Carp Runs team continue to feed the carp in the closed season and as a result the fish are putting on weight at an incredible rate. The new season will see the fish fitter, fatter and fighting even harder than ever, if that's possible! The fish at Bley are some of the hardest fighting fish that you are ever likely to find in France and this water is well suited to the angler looking to put a few good bends in the rod, with the chance of some big fish as well.