Etangs de la Croix Blanche

An editor's job is never easy, especially when he is as lucky as me and has people contacting him to offer articles. That's why I haven't written anything yet...honest! Barry Teague contacted me to tell me what a great time he'd had in France recently. When he told me where, the cogs in my miniscule brain started to whirr into action...I've heard of that place, I thought. Then I remembered, I'd been speaking to the owner a while back via email and he came across as a really nice bloke. "How about a review then, Barry", I asked, "That Gareth bloke deserve a bit of free publicity."

And here it is, a report from a very happy fisherman.

Tight Lines,


After searching the web for new lakes in France I came across this:

Etangs de la Croix Blanche, a complex of 3 lakes opening January 2000 after a restocking in November 1999.

After some friendly banter on the net with Gareth Watkins the owner, I was invited to fish it prior to the official opening. On my arrival at the main gate, after a pleasant 2hrs 20min journey, from Calais straight off the boat and onto the A26 to jct 14 and then a 10 minute drive to the gate I was met by Gareth, who put the kettle on and showed me the excellent facilities available; showers/toilets/drying area and a lovely kitchen with a full size cooker…home from home.

Then a tour of the 3 lakes - the first is the 5 acre stock pond, at present full of all fresh water fish.

The next Lake (7 acres) has, at present, an unknown quantity of big carp, pike and lots of rudd, perch and tench, the biggest carp so far says Gareth is about 39Ib.

The last lake is about 8 acres with a few carp and catfish up to about 50lb.


All the lakes had almost crystal clear water, the weed beds and sand bars clearly visible. Gareth put me in the know on what swim and where to fish, so up went the bivvie and out went the rods.

Barry Teague with his 43lb 8oz carpThe weather was extremely hot, in the high 20s. The carp could be seen near the surface just cruising. The first two days, quite a few Carp were seen jumping as the evening approached and the temperature dropped. At 2am the third day I had a screaming run and, 20 minutes later, a 25-30lb mirror in the net.

Nothing now for 4 days - the weather was hot and humid and the eclipse didn't help much. Only the pike were having their fill on the small fish. Then just has the sun was coming up on my last day at the lake, another screamer. I struck into it and it was just like pulling on a brick wall, which when I tried to raise the rod the clutch just opened up and run, For forty five minutes that fish pulled and pulled. All things go through your mind - will the line break? Will the hook link hold? They all did hold.

Well, after weighing in at 43lb 8ozs, I was a very happy chappy and when I informed Gareth, he shouted a new lake record and produced a bottle of the bubbly.

In conclusion I can only say the this a fine water and will be even better when it is restocked in November. Gareth Watkins is an English gent who knows what carp fishermen want and has supplied it.