Our week at Chef De Ville
Chef de Ville or Jurassic Park as I call it as everything runs big especially the hospitality. Chef de Ville is a beautiful 27 acre lake totally tree lined on the far bank, one of a huge complex of lakes next to the River Marne on the outskirts of Paris. Carp here have been seen 60+ and it would be no surprise to me if a 70 comes out in the near future.
The Grass Carp are huge and Tench go well into double figures, Neil the bailiff has already had a Tench of 14lb. Roach to 4lb and those pristine golden Rudd which I was catching one a chuck on float fished sweetcorn between 1lb – 2lb plus, so anyone going should take a float rod with you as well.
It was however, the carp we came for, we knew it was a ‘hard’ water and a challenge not for the faint hearted. If you like easy commercial ‘runs waters’ this is not the venue for you. My friend and I however, are ‘Old School’ and although we are both pensioners we like a challenge. We used a new bait for us the Chef Special boilies which I understand the fish have been fed on throughout this whole season. We used strong flouro links fished over particle, chopped and whole boilies.
We went 3 days and nights without a take then late Wednesday pm we both broke our PB’s with mirrors of 51lb and 44lb – can’t really ask for more than that! We also went on to get fish of 17lb, 28lb, 30lb and 35lb. All were caught near the far bank (range of 190 yards) in a channel and on a plateau. Although we had weed clear water in front of us no fish were caught there except for my 17lb common. The carp tend to feed on a clear bottom, near weed clumps or beds where they feel safe bolting to. It would be advisable to have a prod around in the boat. So the game was to go out by boat, place rigs and then bait up using the boat.
The weather was against us as very unsettled and we lost as many as we caught as they have ability to get rid of barbed hooks and even break links so try if you can to hit early, all of our fish we had to go out in the boat to land. The bailiff Neil was a ‘star’ there was nothing he wouldn’t do for us – even dashing out of the shower at 3am with a toothbrush in his mouth to take us out to net a fish, his skills in a boat were matched by his excellent cooking learnt from his parents who ran hotel in Blackpool.
The venue also had advantage of Kevin being based at Kings Lynn Norfolk for us or anyone in Norfolk or possibly Suffolk as he picked us up (from my house) on route. The team Roy, Kevin and Neil have taken on Chef and there is no denying how much work needs to be done to turn it into a successful fishery. The weed to me seems the biggest problem and is more suited for the ‘younger angler’ as at times for us it was hard work, but as more fish are introduced which they intend doing and more anglers arrive I think (and hope) the weed situation will improve. We have fished in France before many times but have never been treated so well. Micky and I wish them every success in their new venture for the future.
After returning home from this trip and settling back into everyday life, I learned that Neil had lost an extremely large fish, estimated well over 70lb after being out in the boat for 20 minutes the hook pulled. This didn’t come as a surprise, the future is big and bright for Chef de Ville.