Click on the link below to read the article published in Carpworld magazine.
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Imagine wandering through an untouched forest surrounded by big oaks and beautiful beech trees with natural trails leading you around undiscovered corners, with the bird chorus above your head and the sound of deer disappearing back deep into the woods and then that magical sound of a big carp heaving itself out of the water. No roads or railway lines, just you and the nature, as it should be…
History and development
The 8 lakes were originally created back in the early 1970’s for fish farming carp and course fish and over 35 years later three of the lakes have been opened to the public and to carp fishing. In France the fishery is known as Les 8 etangs but it’s better known to the outside of France as Freedom Lakes
The fishery is privately owned by Mark Beldom and Jean Noel Retailleau, the latter is a highly respected fish farmer handling around 100 tonnes of fish and emptying many lakes every winter and some special fish will arrive here each winter ensuring the constant improvement to what has become a must visit fishery for many carp anglers across Europe.
What will you find at Freedom Lakes?
6 acre lake ( Sacha )
The 6 acre lake is nestling in the western edge of our property, it is bordered on all sides by dense woodland. There are lots of interesting features in the lake to fish to, there are several small islands, plenty of sand and gravel spots some lily pads and a densely reed lined far margin. The lake is stocked with around 150 carp and 8 big catfish. The lake is very shallow with depths ranging from 2ft to 7ft which means the lake fishes very well all year around, it warms up very early so the spring period can be very productive as well as being a good winter water with the fish reacting to any small change in conditions.
19 acre lake ( Angele )
The 19acre lake is in the centre of the fishery nearest to the clubhouse; it holds a truly fantastic stock of around 500 fish. The average has gone from 21lb to 30lb and now that the fish have begun to wise up properly it has become very interesting indeed! Some of the fish in this lake are worth walking to France for and many of them avoid capture for long periods of time which has been creating a strong feeling that anything is currently possible. Some of the missing fish we know of in 2010 are probably well over 40lb and possibly bigger. We now estimate the stock at around 200×20’s and 200×30’s and 20×40’s. The lake also holds a number of big grass carp from 30lb to 45lb and a few catfish most of which are between 40lb and 100lb+. The lake bed is a mix of sand silt and stone with some small weed beds and lily pads, there are several sunken islands plus lots of overhanging trees around the lake, depths range from 2ft to 7ft and every swim is capable of producing a result.
29 acre lake ( Louane )
The 27acre lake is on the eastern side of the complex and is home to some very special fish, it is the biggest and deepest lake on the complex and is more suited to experienced anglers due to a lower stocking density and snaggy lake bed, it is not a runs water but with many of the carp being over 35lb it is a lake that has the potential to produce a once in a lifetime catch. With depths from 2ft to 12ft and a hard flat bottom, a good baiting strategy combined with watercraft can pay dividends. There are two islands, one of these has 5 swims cut into it and is a fantastic location to spend a week or two with a few mates.
The lake is already producing a good growth rate and currently holds over 200 different 30lb+ carp with mirrors commons and leathers above 40lb, the biggest fish is a mirror weighing 57lb in May 2010.
Our carp lakes are now entering into their 3rd season as a fishery and as such, the fish are not stupid! Anglers that use good quality bait and think about their angling rather than just expect to catch just because you’ve paid for a carp fishing holiday will always do better, and we wouldn’t want it any other way!