I recently took a holiday with family and some good friends where we wanted to mix looking after our families with some relaxing fishing. A converted barn with loads of space, a swimming pool for the kids and a private lake with carp weighing in at over fifty pounds seemed to be the perfect solution, so we booked the stunning Puyravaud Lakes deep in the French countryside.

We didn’t hammer the lake, fishing for around 4 or 5 hours a day was enough to ensure we caught plenty of good fish, with all three of the anglers getting PB’s on the trip. The lake is a typical French lake, shallow and relatively narrow at one end where the feeder stream enters getting progressively deeper and wider as it opens up into the dam wall.  Lake rules meant we needed to use the owner’s on-site bait as feed but I took along a selection of Sonu hookbaits and glugs to hopefully give me a little edge when fishing for such short sessions. I set up with Korum Neoteric 6000 reels loaded with Korum 15lb Xpert reel line, and my rods were the superbly actioned Avid Traction rods in 3lb tc. Avid Pindown was the hooklink of choice, coupled with a barbless size 6 Avid CRV hook.

It didn’t take long for the resident fish to home in on the highly-flavoured Sonubaits Indian Spice hookbaits, and despite catching on several different set ups, the bulk of the fish began to show a preference for these hookbaits fished over a couple of handfuls of pellets which had also been soaked in Code Red Oil.

I ended the holiday with a couple of forties (including a PB at 44lb) 6 fish of over 30lb and fifteen twenty pound plus fish, a great result considering the time I actually spent on the bank. It’s a venue I would thoroughly recommend as a family holiday or even a full on serious fishing trip, both the accommodation and lake were stunning and the surrounding French countryside was truly spectacular.

We even managed to break a lake record, the lakes friendly and knowledgeable owner Peter, informing me no previous party had managed to fill 5 wheelie bins with beer and wine bottles in a week…