Now France is the place where it all seems to be happening at the moment, and despite the fact that you may not want to eat their beef, you will certainly want to catch their carp. As winter draws in over here in England, our minds cast back to summer and recall those red letter days. In France, the red letter days can often result in something fairly big. A couple of weeks ago I went out to France to see a new complex of lakes that will soon be opening up to the public as a holiday and day ticket venue. Les Etangs de LíAbbaye is the name of the complex of lakes and, roughly translated, this means Abbey Lakes. Not surprisingly, the lakes are in the grounds of an old 15th century abbey, and whilst quite new themselves, they do hold a very impressive amount of fish.

Of interest to us are four lakes, two of which are going to be premier carp waters, another which is a catfish lake and the final one is a pleasure pool with roach, bream and other such horrible creatures. Being a reporter has itís advantages as well as disadvantages and fortunately, I was allowed a sneak preview of what the fishing on this complex is likely to produce. My trip was a combined business and pleasure visit with some of the marshals from the British Carp Angling Championships, in total six of us went over for a three night break. The first night was spent on the catfish lake but it was a little too cold for those beasts, so we moved over on to the carp lake called Fox. Despite cold weather, fish were crashing everywhere and it only took a couple of hours before I landed the first fish. On it went and in 48 hours on the lake, the six of us landed 37 fish, all taking twenty pound plus specimens. Interestingly, the lake has got so many fish in it at the moment that unlike most holiday venues in France, the owners of Abbey are actually removing carp. This will allow the bigger fish more of a chance to get through to the bait, and with the amount of 30 lb plus fish in the water there is every chance that the result will be a very pleasing one indeed.

Itís not just the fishing that is impressive at Abbey either. The facilities on offer are second to none. There are flush toilets with hot showers, a bar that will be having Sky TV fitted for those unmissable sporting occasions, a kitchen including washing machine, cooker, microwave and dish washer that the anglers can use, and also a boat and phone charging point. This winter, a tackle and food shop will be added, as will a handful of very large carp in the 44lb plus bracket. I am very excited about the future of this complex as I see it as one of the best holiday type venues available. The lakes are only an hour and a half away from Calais and, coupled with the fact that you can book for a week, a mid-week three day break, or a weekend session, I am certain that you will see more of this place in the angling press over next summer. Prices start from £65 for a weekend break and rise to £230 for a full week.

Contact Angling International on 01691 657699 or 07939 277801 for details but get in quick before the rush starts. It is always best to get in first on lakes of this nature so act quickly and reap the rewards and Iíll see you out there next year.