Hi Tony, I've been fishing Cherpont since 2000, the fish have grown steadily since that time, just go to the website and read the letters etc.
There are few features in the lake, there is a very small island in the middle and there are snags at the top end. The lake is silty but there are hard patches, the silt doesn't appear to put the fish off. Most standard rigs work, you don't need anything too special. Bait - trigger rules the roost, I've also seen individuals catch using other brands, but the place sees Tonnes and I mean metric tonnes of trigger each year so the fish recognise it as a food source.
The depths range from approx 6ft at the dam, and 2.5ft at the top end - the shallows, you will catch from all areas. There are favoured areas, churchills, kermets, far&away, planet, personally I've caught all my larger fish from the grass area in front of the lodge, but I've also done well in Churchills (warning a long walk!!). If the lake is full then the fish spread out, if there are less than 16 on the lake then they will move away from pressure, so if you are on a week were there are only a few anglers, be prepared to move .... more than once.
You dont't have to fish long range, although having the ability/capability to cast 100-120yrds is an advantage, be mindful that there are no shock leaders. I've caught at 20 yrds from the bank and also at 115yrds. The island is 115yrds or 105yrds depending on which bank you are fishing; the snags from Churchills are 120-125yrds and if you can get the distance it will pay off. You just need to find the spots, listen to the bailiffs, they are there every day and are keen anglers themselves.
I use on average 10Kg of bollies in a week, but I have used as much as 15Kg along with 10Kg+ of pellets. You can prepurchase your bait and the prices are very reasonable. You need to be careful not to overfeed, treat the place like a pressured English lake. The fish are eating machines, but they will scare from large beds of bait, just like the UK, but if they get their heads down they will clear you out in minutes.
A good week I would suggest is 10 fish these days, bigger hits are common and there are many large fish. Most recent trips I've been on the group have shared at least 3+ 50s, the biggest last year on the trip was 58lbs, and I think there were 5 x 50s to 14 anglers, with many 40s and backup 30s, yes at Cherpont 30s are backup fish!!
The bailiffs are good fun, helpful and not bad cooks. Breakfasts are full english with unlimited tea/coffee to drink, and evening meals are also good, relatively plain but wholesome. As I say they are keen carp anglers themselves, so don't try any stunts, you will be found out, Mick and John are no mugs.
I must admit I love the place and I'm back there myself again later this year. Above all I would say enjoy the experience, from the moment you arrive at Folkstone, the overnight coach journey is a bit of a killer but when you arrive at the lake ...... well if you go you will see what I mean .... magical. I've seen many individuals realise PBs at Cherpont over the past 8 years, myself included. As I say, enjoy the experience as a holiday, chill out, enjoy other anglers successes, respect the other anglers, the baliffs, and above all Cherpont and its treasures ... the carp, and you too could could catch the fish of your dreams.
Finally, no I'm not on commission and I do not have any association with Cherpont other than a paying punter ........... my recommendation is go and enjoy what is probably one of the best holiday carp waters in France. If you choose to go, good luck and tight lines.
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