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The Labyrinth fishery nestles amongst 100 acres of mature woodland in the famous Yonne valley. It comprises one beautiful, intriguingly – shaped lake of about 50 acres, another of 5 acres and one mile of the River Yonne.The property was purchased by Les Beaux Lacs in 2007 and represented an enormous amount of hard work to turn it into a fishery. The previous owners had never fished the property and had left it locked-up and unused for 15 years! Since then, one mile of fencing has been erected, over a mile of woodland track cleared, one mile of electric cable and water piping laid underground, several fridge/freezer centres constructed, plus showers, washroom, toilets and more than 25 swims made!
The Main Lake
The main body of water is known as The Labyrinth because of its intricate combination of points, bays, creeks and heavy tree-growth, in which it can be difficult to find one’s way! The Labyrinth is about 50 years old and was originally attached to the Yonne, so that barges could take away the sand and gravel. When completed, the river entrance was closed and the whole place left to go wild. The lake averages about 12 feet in depth, with numerous shallower bars and plateaux. Clean sand and gravel spots can be found at all depths as well as silty pockets. Weed-beds are present and these become more prominent later in the summer in the bays and smaller areas. The carp have been caught at all ranges from under the rod tips, to medium range and at distances exceeding 100 yards (bait boats are permitted).
There are about 650 carp in the main lake at present and this is made up of about 150 original fish and a further 500 that have been introduced (see our website for details and pictures of some of the stock fish). A photographic record is being kept of as many fish as possible and this shows more and more originals still being caught. The current Labyrinth lake record is a 74.2lb mirror caught by Steve Pearce from Goblins in October 2014. The lake record is not expected to stand very long, especially as there has been several reliable sightings of at least one huge, original common! In addition to the carp stock, there are a few catfish present and although these average only 50lbs, a huge fish of well over 100lb was seen, hooked and lost, and soon adopted the name of the Minotaur (the guardian of the Labyrinth!).
There are currently 22 swims on the main lake and this might be increased to a maximum of 25 in the future. If you look at the plan of the lake, you will see that great care has been taken to ensure that every swim has ample water in front of it and that no swims are ‘competing’ with each other. There are now six double swims; Dredger’s Point, The Redwood, La Plage, Meercat, Roe Deer Bay and The Stumps. (A draw for double swims takes place before the main draw). About a third have been dug out by machine and are dead-level and the remainder have been left natural, so some of them are sloping towards the water.
The River Yonne is certainly one of the best carp rivers in Europe and has produced a former world record of 81 pounds, only a short way downstream from our stretch. There is a reasonable head of carp up to 40 pounds with a sprinkling of much larger fish. Our stretch is nearly a mile long and has been fished very little. Several swims have been cleared in strategic positions and these offer exciting fishing for many previously uncaught fish. All our seven swims are registered as private with the navigation authorities. For most of the year, normal carp gear and leads up to 4oz is adequate – only in times of high rainfall are heavier leads required. A good ploy is to keep a river swim baited whilst fishing the lake and then drop onto the river for a night or two if you fancy a change. Several large fish, including 55, 59 and 62 pounders, have been caught from our privately-registered swims.
Mains water and electricity have been laid on at the fishery. There are toilets situated at three places, as shown on the main plan. The main toilet and shower block is situated between the Tennis Court Swim and La Plage and this features three electric showers, two toilets and two large sinks with hot water 24/7. There are several drinking water taps around the fishery and these are also shown on the plan. There are currently three fridge and freezer centres. These contain large fridges and freezers, mains charging points (UK and continental sockets) and a worktop to support radio-controlled boats, etc.
There are two entrance gates on the fishery and a perimeter track going around the complete complex. Once inside, you have vehicular access to every swim on the river and lakes except for one; The Hideaway.
Unlike most commercial fisheries, a week at the Labyrinth runs from Sunday to Sunday, so there’s no need to take time off work and rush around without a minute to spare! Just leave home casually in your own time on the Saturday.
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