I hate to say this but I went to Domains with three friends and we felt we were stitched up.Everyone was let in before the allotted time and when we arrived we were told to fish a swim that was only big enough for two people not four.We did not catch anything(i Lost two in the bad snags that we didn't know were there)
Bernard Caron is a nice guy and offered us a free weekend but I couldn't justify the exspence of returning.
We didn't know you could book swims and was it just coincidence that the english agent Paul wheeler was sitting in the corner of the lake and there was no way you could get anywhere near this area and alot of the fish were there.There was no way we could move to new swims because there were only a few available and we were told we could not move into them.
Very disappointing holiday never been back to France after that.There were lots of disapointed people there that week and I have to say the advert was very misleading.Almost to the point of being unlawfull I should think.
Neil, I've been to Domaine five times and just once before fished from the Lodge (the big chalet as you call it). For the last two, maybe three years, the opposite bank has produced by far the most fish.
I fished there last late September and had one of the smaller chalets. I had one 20-pounder and my mate had one 30. The two lads who had the big lodge blanked. The anglers on the other bank had three 40's and a number of smaller fish. It was the same the following two weeks. No fish from the lodge side and several 40's and two 50's from the other side.
You can't book swims other than the ones by the two small chalets or the big lodge. At ?360 a week for the big lodge and ?180 for a small chalet the swims immediately outside these places, as you would expect, are reserved for them.
I've booked the lodge again later this year. Not because I think it has the best chance of producing the best fish, but now I'm getting on a bit I like my home comforts.
I shall suggest that the remainder of my party draw for swims, draw No 1 having the first choice of swim and so on.
If it does work out that I'm onto fish and any one of my party are struggling I'll invite them to come and fish my swim or fish at the side of me.
I've always found Domaine to be a wonderful place to fish. Not easy, but giving you a genuine chance of a very big carp in picturesqe, comfortable, safe and secure surroundings, owned and run by a man who I have always found to be firm (with rule breakers) but very fair otherwise.
It has to be said that anyone who goes there and expects the fish to give themselves up is likely to be disappointed. The big fish in there are no different to big fish anywhere.
The party I've organised for later this year are made up of a party of friends who I want to fish with when we return from Domaine. I wouldn't risk losing their friendship by taking them somewhere where the set-up is unfair or not genuine.
I wouldn't have fished there five times myself if it wasn't worth it.
And I can honestly say that my main concern that week will be that my friends who are going with me all have a really good time and hopefully catch a fish of their dreams.
I don't know what the circumstances were when you went, but they have never been like that on the occasions I've been there. If they had, like you, I would never have gone back.
Domaine is booked solid year after year, mainly with anglers returning year after year. I think that says more than anything you or I can say.
Sorry to say that their original advert was misleading both myself and Ron Buss took it up with Chris Ball who said that even he was dubious about it but Bernard paid for a year up front and no Ad man is going to turn that down.As I said Bernard is a nice guy and we spoke at the NEC some year or so later and he even asked why we had not returned for our free trip.We both told him how we felt.As you say it's alovely lake and they have removed alot of the snags and opened up the back lake.When we fished there were 17 people on the main lake so you can see that there was no room to move.We were under no illusions about it when we booked but we were disappointed.Maybe Bernard has learnt since then.
I'm sure who ever wins will enjoy their holiday.
Any way it's late and I've an appointment with a big Hants Avon carp in the morning after a long drive.