It was way back in 2009 and by chance my wife was on her way to do some shopping when she came across a house with a trailer parked on the drive with Crystal Waters France on the side of it.

Now, knowing that we were looking for somewhere to fish in France she went and knocked on the front door, it was answered by Tom one of the owners who invited her in, he told her all about the lake and how they came to owning it, telling her they had only just started to run there first trips out there after doing extensive work on the lake. He gave her a flyer and told her to have a look at the web site for more info.

Crystal Waters is set in the Burgundy region of France in the village of St Denis, approximately a four and a half hour drive from Calais. The lake itself is 25 acres of crystal clear water (hence the name)  has two islands and 16 well placed swims, I would say that each swim has a feature that you can fish to whether this be one of the two islands or one each swim has a feature that you can fish to whether this be one of the two islands or one of the many bars, plateaus and lily beds that the lake holds.

You do not have to spend a fortune and up grade your fishing gear for this fishery, I have found over the years that a lot of my carp have come out around the fifty to sixty yard range and do not forget the margins as these can be very productive.

Crystal have some of the best facilities I have ever seen at a carp fishery – the site boasts two English style toilet and showers blocks that are kept very clean, these also contain plug sockets so you can charge your phones etc, there is a shed that contains two freezers so you can store all your frozen bait and a fridge to keep any food and drinks in.

If you book an all inclusive or a drive and tucker package you get full use of the F1 style lodge.

In here is where you will have a full English breakfast and a two course evening meal, the lodge also has Sky T.V and another fridge containing beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks. Just behind the lodge you will find another shed that contains a bank of plug sockets again for charging your phones, boat batteries etc.

As the title suggests I have been fishing at Crystal waters for the past six years and on each occasion I have gone on the All Inclusive package, here you leave your car at the secure Raylon car park in Dover on the Friday night, the gear is loaded into the trailer we are then driven to the lake by mini bus, arriving at the lake on the Saturday morning, stopping a couple of times along the way to stretch our legs have a coffee etc.

When we arrive the gear is unloaded and a nice cup of tea is waiting at the lodge, while we are having our cuppa our bailiffs Keith (AKA Backdraft) and Ginger Mick run through the previous weeks catch report and any other news about the fishery.

We then have a walk around the lake this is still a great buzz after six years as the team at Crystal do so much work on the lake over the winter period, swims are redesigned and rebuilt, trees are trimmed back, the roadways are kept clear, pathways around the lodge and toilet blocks improved, lighting added, CCTV installed, the list goes on… this is all done to make our stay at the fishery as pleasant as possible. You will also find in each swim a post that contains a list of fishery rules, emergency telephone numbers and a bottle opener, a bucket in each swim with sand for your cigarette buts and you are also provided with a bin bag for your rubbish.

After the walk around, the draw for a swim is made, there is no need to worry about getting that mountain of gear that us carp anglers take with us as it is dropped at your swim for you. Large unhooking mats and chairs are provided free of charge so there’s no need to bring them with you.

Due to the fact there are only ten anglers allowed at the fishery and sixteen swims, if you wish to move you can, again the bailiffs are more than happy to help you with your move. As I have said I have been going to Crystal for six years now and have made many friends that I have met over this time, these friends now come with me each year. It has become an annual trip for us all. This year at the BBQ night we all decided to have a little fun and make it a ‘onesie’ night, not knowing until that night what we were all coming as.