History : The Dream Lakes complex consists of five well established ex - gravel pits, which were dug out and have been allowed to mature naturally after filling. The more well known Dream Lakes 1 & 2 need no introduction and have been well documented on the fantastic results that have been achieved on them, but the new soon to be opened lakes 3, 4 & 5 which will be available to the self drive angler are not yet being advertised.
I was lucky enough to be able to sample the fishing on lake 4 recently while I was on holiday in France with my family, the results were excellent ( what dreams are made of ), as you can see from the photo of my two sons first fish from the lake. My lads had an excellent arm aching week on the lake, catching many large carp.
Route : If you are planning to fish lakes 1 or 2, you will be travelling first class on - board a luxury coach and the only route you will need to know, is to one of the various pick up points on route to the ferry. These consist of Tollgate centre, Boreham service area, Granada service area and the last pick up point is at Relyon secure car parking in Dover.
This is a 24 hour per day - 7 days a week, secure parking facility were you can leave your car for the duration of your trip to The Dream Lake Complex ( the price of parking at this facility is included in the price of your holiday when you book with Gone Fishing ). When you have been picked up by the coach at your chosen point, it will take you and your tackle to The Dream Lake Complex. You will need to be aware that when you are travelling by coach to the complex, there are some luggage restrictions, i.e. one large rucksack ( to include bait, sleeping bag, tackle etc.) one holder ( to include clothes, toiletries, towel etc.) one bedchair ( no bedchair bags or guest chairs ) one rod holdall and one bivvy, finally one item of hand luggage ( to include camera, video camera etc. )
For the self drive visitor when lakes 3 4 & 5 open next year, the amount of equipment you take is determined by the size of the vehicle you travel in to the lakes, or if you are like me, I tow a large trailer so I am not restricted on the equipment I take. The route to the complex is a fairly straight forward one and will be available when you book your holiday with Gone Fishing.
Description & features : All five Lakes are mature fisheries, they are very picturesque with lush vegetation enclosing most swims, the margins are lined with mature trees and bushes, which is perfect for the Carp. The lakes allow you quiet uninterrupted fishing and are not to large to put the fish out of casting range. The complex of lakes are rich in natural food and contain an even distribution of features which you must investigate if you wish to do well.
Carp Stocking : The complex is a very prolific Carp fishery, and all the lakes have been and are still being heavily stocked with many large fish, this is to give its visitors not only plenty of action, but also the chance of that whacker we are all after. The largest Carp reported from the complex at present weighed in at 62 lbs and came from Dream Lake 1, although there are carp over 50lbs in nearly all the lakes.
Other species : As well as the very large head of Carp that all the lake’s have to offer, there is also a wide variety of other species including, Cats to over 40 lbs, Pike to 40 lbs, and other species like Perch, Roach, Tench, Bream, and Rudd etc.
Facilities : At lakes 1 & 2 the facilities are excellent and include a purpose built lodge where you can eat, drink and be merry!( Please note; any items purchased from the lodge must be purchased in French francs) The lodge is situated between lakes 1 & 2, the facilities at the lodge are excellent and include satellite TV and video, toilets, showers and washrooms, onsite fridge where soft drinks and cold beers are stored, also an on-site telephone for you to use to call home and report on all the whackers you are catching ( a phone card can be purchased from the lodge ). There is also a power source for those of you who need to either charge up your video batteries, or like me your mobile phone.
During the duration of your stay at lakes 1 & 2, the lodge is where you will be served with a full English breakfast and evening meal each day. All the meals are cooked fresh each day by the bailiffs and are extremely enjoyable and filling. If you are a vegetarian then special meals can be arranged in advance at no extra charge.
As for the facilities on lakes 3,4 & 5, these are currently under construction and will include a toilet and shower block for the self drive visitor ( meals are not included in the price for lakes 3, 4 & 5 ) as it is planned for them to be a 'drive and survive' set up, this is for the angler who prefers not to go on an organised trip to France.
Permits : Your Fishing Permits and medical insurance are all covered in the price of your trip to the complex. Gone fishing have excellent insurance cover for all aspects that might be encountered by their clients, please be aware that some of their competitors do not have the extensive cover that Gone Fishing provide.
Tackle Requirements : My own personal preference is to tackle all my French fishing with a minimum of 15lb line, hooks size 1 or 2 of a strong pattern, a large unhooking mat and also a minimum size 42 inch landing net, rods that are capable of casting 3-4oz at least 100 yards in case you chose a swim that requires you to fish the centre of the lake.
If you do not have the correct sort of tackle to fish the lakes, there is a superb tackle hire service available at the lakes with all top brands of tackle at reasonable rates, i.e. buzzers £ 5.00 per week, rods £ 10.00 per week, reels £ 10.00 per week, bedchairs £15.00 per week, bivvies £ 25.00 per week, unhooking mat £ 5.00 per week and landing net £ 5.00 per week.
Swims : There are numerous comfortable well laid out swims around each of the 5 lakes, with the number of anglers on each lake restricted to allow several swims to be empty, as this allows you to move swim on the lakes, if you fancy a change or see fish showing in an empty swim.
Rigs & Baits : As with most heavily fished waters, the Carp in these lakes have seen most types of rigs and bait. So my advice is to just use a good quality bait which you have confidence in, teamed up with a barbless safety rig ( see insert ), locate the areas where the fish are feeding ( they show themselves very well at the complex ) and a combination of these will defiantly put fish on the bank for you. If you do not wish to take your own bait, then you can pre order the Dream lake specials. If you wish to use Dream lake specials supplied by the complex , simply order and pay for the bait you require on your trip in advance and it will be waiting for you ready to use on arrival at the lakes. While I was there recently with the Carp Talk’s kids in France week, we found that the combination of the Dream lake specials fished with salmon crumb ( method style ) was a killer on Dream lake 1.
Rules : There are several rules you must be aware of when fishing the complex, i.e. three rods only. Terminal tackle and rigs must be used with safety in mind ( fixed leads or tether rigs are not allowed ). Fish are not to be sacked for longer than 15 minutes. Large sized unhooking mats must be used, hooks must be sharp at all times. Particles, ground baits or ‘A’ mixes etc are not permitted, no remote control boats, minimum 15lb main line with hook lengths of 15-25 lb are recommended.
Conclusion : At the Dream lake complex, it is Gone Fishing’s intention to offer its visitors the highest quality French carp fishing holiday available. While you are there you can fish in the peace and tranquillity of the beautiful French countryside, fishing for carp in size and numbers you would not find in English waters. You will be fishing in well laid out and very professionally run lakes, with excellent facilities and easy access to the all of the swims ( there are a fleet of wheel barrows to help you transport your gear around the lake to the swim you have drawn to fish ). While you are there you will have every chance of achieving multiple catches of large fish, if your approach is correct. The fishery is suitable for all types of Carp angler, from the novice to the more experienced angler. There are three full time bailiffs on hand to offer advice to the less experienced angler, they will be only too happy to help you out, as they know the lakes like the back of their hands and also all the methods that are catching. Don’t ignore their advice if it is offered, all the bailiffs are very accomplished Carp anglers.
If you require more information on the Dream lake complex or there is a point that I have not covered in this article, then ring Graham on the booking hot line 01206 767576 or Fax him on 01206 564482.
Gone Fishing are constantly stocking their lakes with the introduction of more new fish to try to improve your catch rates, so if you are interested in booking a trip to the Dream lakes next year, the price for a weeks fishing on 1 or 2 will be £450.00. As for the self-drive lakes 3, 4 & 5 these prices are still to be decided. The price of fishing 1& 2 may be slightly higher than some of Gone Fishing’s competitors, but I can assure you, at the end of the day that you only get what you pay for, there are no hidden costs in this price and in my opinion it's an excellent holiday for a very competitive price
On Gone Fishing’s advertising you will see the quote "the Dream lake, where your dreams come true", well I would strongly agree with that statement as I have visited the lakes three times now with my sons and each time my lads have beaten their personal bests. My youngest son Ross 14 years of age, came away from his second visit to the lake with two new personal bests out of the twenty Carp he landed. They consisted of a 33lb Common and a 43.05 lb mirror, he also had his first ever Catfish on that trip - his dreams certainly came true! He had already had a 42.00 lb mirror on his first visit to Dream lake 4. I have just returned from my third visit to the lakes, where my oldest son broke two of his personal bests with a 48.00 lb mirror and a 41.00 lb common, his dreams certainly came true too! On that particular trip, there was a party of eleven of us, me, my son Lee 17 years of age and nine of my friends. Nearly everyone in our party broke their personal bests at least once, with over 15 forty-pound plus fish coming out that week. What a result!
We have already booked the complete lake for a week in September next year, 2001. . I have included pics of several of the bigger fish we caught on our last trip and I hope you do as well as we did if you are planning to visit the Dream lake complex for a weeks fishing.
Well that’s it for now, Good Luck - and I hope you catch that monster Carp we are all after.
Big Ron Woodward