Here's our lake and swim map, plus tactics guide, to Tony Hibbert's French holiday carp fishing venue Lac de Premiere...
Lac de Premiere, Rue du Routy, 02160 Villers-en-Prayères, France | Web: www.lacdepremiere.com
Premiere by name and premier league by nature, this 33 acre venue two and a half hours south of Calais boasts some of the finest fish and facilities you could wish for, including decked-out pegs, plus an 80-seater restaurant, sports bar, and shower block.
There are two lakes on site with the Main Lake home to the biggest fish. A current lake record of over 67lb leads around fifteen, 60lb-plus fish (including three commons), approximately thirty-five ‘fifties’, and a massive head of forties.
The average weight is over 40lb now and these carefully selected fish are growing rapidly so you’re guaranteed some action from some special fish. Owners reckon it won’t be long before they have at least three fish over 70lb.
This old gravel pit lake is from 5ft to 8ft deep (depending on water levels) with the deeper end nearer to the restaurant.
There’s generally clean bottom with small patches of weed and silt in places and it’s important to spend time finding the gravel areas and any slight variations in depth in your swim.
Baits of choice here are Mainline Cell and Essential IB and it can pay to feed and fish a mix of 15mm and 18mm baits. Tip your boilie hookbait off with a sliver of pink or yellow pop up to give the fish something to home in on. KD rigs work well here.
The old trout lake is great for a bit of action during the day and is home to some big carp, sturgeon, and catfish.
Fish here and you may bump into Everton FC legend Tony Hibbert who owns the fishery, while Brighton & Hove Albion goalkeeper David Stockdale is a venue regular too.
Run by Keith and Lorraine Gladden, there’s no shortage of brilliant advice for all levels of carp angler looking to catch that special fish.
Lac de Premiere fishery manager Keith Gladden takes us through the tactics for each swim…
The most consistent swim for big fish on the complex. Most fish are caught between 15 and 22 wraps (12ft rods = 60 to 88 yards) and the swim responds best to a throwing stick approach to create a line of bait. Don’t’ ignore the shaded, right hand margins during the day.
This is the ‘numbers’ swim. You’ll find a slightly deeper channel snaking from the middle of swim 3 over to swim 16 and this is a fish-holding hotspot. It’s around 80 to 90 yards out if you’re fishing the right hand side of this spacious, double swim. On the left side of the swim target the point of the reedbed and halfway along the reeds where you’ll find a hard gravel spot amongst patchy weed. Don’t ignore the margins near to the inlet on the left as it can produce a lot of fish too.
Put your left and middle rods out to around 23 wraps towards the middle of swims 15 and 16 as there’s a patch here which always holds big fish. Use you right hand rod to explore the rushes with small PVA bags into the shallow water (3ft). At night aim for swim 16 and find the back of the bar in around 5ft of water.
Swims 6, 8, and 10
These swims are all about playing the patience game, but they can produce the biggest of fish, including a 57lb mirror recently. There’s a long gravel bar which snakes along the lake from in front of the restaurant right up to swim 6 and best results have come by fishing on top of the bar at around 70 yards with a scattering of 50 or so baits over each rod. These swims also produce in the margins and in swim 10 the left margins, just two or three rods lengths out, can be the place for a real giant. In full water levels you need to get as close to the trees as possible as the fish like to sit underneath. For more bites then go further out to around 110 yards.
There’s a lot of water to go at in this double swim! Early season the left margin is worth a try – fish a boilie soup if the water is high and coloured and get as tight to the trees as you dare. In low water come away from the trees and fish down the shelf.
On the right of the swim target the factory towers and fish 80 to 90 yards range with all three rods but be prepared to explore the fountain area as this holds a lot of natural food – fish three rod lengths away from it. The point of the restaurant is also worth a chuck with a PVA bag of goodies later in the season.
A lot of fish move through this area and you need to keep the feed going in to be able to intercept them. If you can hit 110 yards on the cast there’s a hard-bottomed hotspot in line with the middle of pegs 6 and 7 and it can pay to put all three rods out to this range. In colder weather the fish can be 60 yards out and the same rules apply. Margins are good but they’re not for the feint hearted – lock your kit down and react quickly.
The swim which produced the lake record of 67lb 3oz in May 2017, it’s one of the favourite swims on the complex. There’s a hard gravel patch at 45 yards which can be fed by catapult and it can really pay to fish short here if the anglers in neighbouring swims have all gone long.
One popular tactic is to feed a spot at 80 to 90 yards and not fish it for the first couple of days to give the fish a safe area to hold up in.
Probably the most consistent swim on the lake, the best hits come from fishing around 76 to 92 yards and it’s important to get a lot of bait in. Don’t be put off by the gulls, keep using the throwing stick to get a decent spread of boilies in as you can get the fish to park up here if you get the grub out – ring that dinner bell!
PRICES AND FACILITIES
£480 per week (Saturday to Saturday), including food package
See www.lacdepremiere.com for up-to-date rules