Charlie Halliday reflects on an enjoyable French trip chasing some of the residents of Clearwater lakes.

I've been fortunate to have fished in France a number of times in the past few years at a couple of different venues, my favourite of which being Clearwater Lakes situated in rural Brittany. July, 2015 my best friend Louis and I enjoyed week at this wonderful venue. We had a great trip landing a number of fish including new personal bests of 46.6lbs and 47.8lbs respectively. We agreed to return in August of 2017 hoping for success similar to that of our first visit.

Leaving sunny Norfolk accompanied by Louis and angling pal Toby, spirits were high in anticipation for the week ahead! Tunes on and after a dozen hours of travelling we were greeted by bailiff Tom and the picturesque Spring Lake which was to be our home for the next week. Tom explained angling licence changes meant we couldn't cast out until midnight and from then we had 7 days of fishing, as a result we decided to fish just the essentials that night then sort out where we would make camp for the rest of our trip the following morning. Louis and Toby flicked rods along the tree line of Peg 10 that night while I fished an overlooked bay off the main body of the lake, much to the bailiff's surprise! A few brew's later midnight was upon us, time to cast out! I lowered two rigs half a wrap from the bank into the deep margins, a Citruz pop up and the other a tipped off Candy Nut Crunch bottom bait and scattering a few handfuls of Key Cray and Candy Nut Crunch over the top, I settled into the SS3 with confidence. A quiet night but a stunning morning, with mist covering the lake the sun rose and with it the liners started, soon after the R3 signalled a savage take and after a powerful battle the first fish was in the net! A mint common of 32.10lbs!

Mid morning we packed up and decided that setting up in the central section of the lake gave us the best chance of a number of fish as they moved from either end, we were on the intercept! We also agreed that resting the swims and fishing a snaggy corner at the far end of the lake for a few hours each day would be beneficial, we had a plan! We set about baiting, the boys used a spread of Key Cray and Pineapple Crush whereas chose Candy Nut Crush and Key Cray with solid bags of Key Cray Flake, Scopex Squid pellet and a Citruz Wafter hookbait over the top. The more bait we applied during the trip, the more takes we had! I finished on 36 fish including 4 40's, one being a new pb of 48.1lbs. The boys also did well each landing over 20 fish to 45.6lbs, a new pb for Toby! I love my UK angling but equally holidays like this can be incredibly rewarding! Bring on 2018...