Cretelakes is a stunning 5 lake carp fishing venue in France. Read my Cretelakes review.
The Cretelakes complex is set over 130 acres and the lakes are the result of gravel pits being dug in the 1970s and stocked with carp and coarse fish. The venue offers an all-inclusive package for those anglers wanting a relaxing trip, without the need for cooking their own food. The clubhouse on-site sells all essential amenities and there is a small tackle shop on site which also sells bait, you can pre-order your bait so it’s ready for your arrival.
I visited Cretelakes in August 2011 with 3 other friends. We opted for the all-inclusive package which offers a pickup service from Dover. The pick-up, ferry crossing and drive to the venue all went smoothly and I was impressed by the service we received. We arrive at the venue early on Saturday morning, bacon baguettes and a hot brew were waiting for us.
The Cretelakes review video below gives a good overview of the venue and what you can expect from a week’s fishing at this venue.
After speaking to some of the departing Anglers, it seemed the previous week’s fishing had been slow due to the extremely hot temperatures currently sweeping the region. You are allowed to walk around the complex prior to entering the draw for swims and I was keen on an unfavoured swim (peg 7 ) on Lake 1.
I came out of the draw fairly quickly and took my favoured swim. After a short trip from the clubhouse to my swim, I was quickly settled into my new home for the week. Peg 7 on Lake is not for the faint-hearted, you’re not going to get a relaxing week fishing in this little bay. It requires locked up fishing under over-hanging branches on the opposite bank. The fish love the little bay area and travel the tree line regularly. You need to be very quiet and be willing to sit close to your rods to ensure you are on them as soon as a take arrives.
Tactics for my week at Cretelakes were simple. 2 rods are better than 3 in this swim. I was fishing one rod under the overhanging bushes on the far bank, driving the Microcat bait boat directly under the trees. Pellet and crushed Activ-8 boilies were all that were needed, fished locked up to stop the fish from running into the snags in the bay.
The other rod was fished directly in front of the swim on a gravel bar which runs out from the bank and into open water. Again, pellets and boilies were the staple choice throughout the week.
During my week in that little bay, I landed 18 fish, 10 over 30lb and the biggest 38lb. I lost 5 fish over the course of the week. One of them was very close to the net which was £50lb+. For over half of the takes, I ended up in the water coaxing the fish out of the bay from a different angle than what you can achieve from the bank. It’s exciting fishing and I highly recommend it.
The other lads didn’t have spectacular weeks in terms of numbers. 2 of the lads fished lake 4 and struggled and one of the lads started on lake 3 and then moved to lake 2 where he caught a running upper 30.
Since my visit to Cretelakes, lake 5 has opened which is much bigger than the other four lakes. The owners have set about creating sixty swims (including 9 doubles) over the site. The carp are typically fast-growing and the complex record is now a little over the magical £75lb mark.
The Cretelakes complex is open all year round and boasts much quieter fishing in the winter months so you can just book and go when the weather suits you!
Below is a short review of the lakes at Cretelakes
- 9 acres in size
- 5-12 feet depth range
- 10 swims (3 doubles)
- Approx 400 carp
Cretelake One is a beautiful lake with many weed beds and bushes. In the centre of the lake is a large plateau and it is home to carp, large pike and other coarse fish. You may even hook a few trout!
Within the carp stock are lots of 40lbs and 50lb fish for you to catch and for the lucky anglers, there are also some 60lb and a few 70lb fish! You’ll find many fish around the margins and those with precise casting and baiting capabilities can make huge hauls.
- Just under 6 acres
- 7 swims
- 3-9 foot depth ranges
It may be the smallest lake but it packs in lots of features like reed beds, plateaus and snags. The carp are amazing in this lake as they have access to a lot of natural food from the amount of weed in the lake. Most fish in this lake are caught in between weed beds and the margins.
- 8 acres
- 8 swims
- 3-8 foot depth range
A peaceful and beautiful lake that holds all the typical gravel pit features; weed beds, bars, margin shelves and bushes. You will be in heaven fishing here!
There is a large stock of fish here, with the biggest being over 60lbs! You’ll enjoy the challenge of following in the footsteps of other anglers and aiming for multiple catches.
- 6 acres
- 6 swims (one double)
- 4-11 foot depth range
With fishing only allowed from one bank, you’ll be able to fish the far margins and go for one of the 60lb+ fish, multiple catches or large fish are not uncommon on Lake 4
The main features of this lake include gravel bars, reed beds, snags and weed beds. You’ll find bait boats are a huge plus when it comes to accurate far bank baiting!
- 30 acres
- 28 swims
- 20 anglers max
- 7-8 foot depth range
At 30 acres, Cretelakes 5 is the largest lake with the highest number of swims. This lake holds over 600 Carp and has all the features to match its size; from gravel bars, huge plateaus and reed beds to gullies, snags and silt pockets – it really has it all! You can even enjoy the use of rowing boats which can be found in the swims. You would be crazy to not visit Cretelake 5 when attempting the largest multiple hauls.
The facilities at Crekelakes
There is a myriad of facilities available onsite that include: a clubhouse, a fully equipped kitchen, Sky TV, a fully stocked shop, a shower block and toilets (including an accessible toilet). In addition to this, there are bailiffs available to cook all the meals and look after everything you need. If you would like a bit of advice they will be available to discuss tactics and help you to find the best area in your pegs.
Meals are served at 9am for breakfast and 5pm for dinner. The breakfast is a delicious full English and the evening meals are varied every evening.
The shop is stocked with a huge range of bait, as well as drinks and snacks. Cretelakes thinks of everything, including having lots of British plug sockets for charging phones and bait boats.
How to book your all-inclusive carp fishing trip at Cretelakes
The booking process is straightforward and a booking form can be downloaded directly from the Cretelakes website. You can use the online availability calendar or call Debbie on 02083 026 866 to check the dates are free for your trip, then complete the booking form and send it off with a £100 deposit per person. It’s that simple.
Cretelakes offer all-Inclusive holidays that start from Dover! You arrive at 1am on Saturday morning, load your luggage and jump on the luxury coach. The coach boasts air conditioning, DVD player, onboard toilets and reclining seats.
After the ferry crossing, you have around three hours to relax on the coach before arriving at Cretelakes for 8.30am ready to look around and get stuck in. It couldn’t be simpler and Cretelakes staff are on hand at all times to make your fishing break away the best it can possibly be.
There are some rules when at Cretelake but all are simple and put in place to ensure that everyone enjoys their visit. The rules, taken directly from the Cretelake website, include:
- No particles of any kind
- No mainline under 15lb breaking strain
- No lead core or shock leaders
- No sacking of fish
- Not exceeding the three-rod rule
- No barbed hooks
- Not leaving rods unattended
- No braided mainline
However, it is also important to note that bait boats are allowed.
Cretelakes boasts a 5/5 status on their Facebook page and has so many positive reviews from happy Cretelakes customers. Some of the highlights include people raving about the size and quality of the fish to the outstanding service provided by the Bailiffs, interestingly lots of the reviewers are repeat customers and intend on visiting again!
My personal Cretelakes review is a positive one. It was my first all-inclusive carp fishing holiday in France and I loved every second. The food was simply incredible and plentiful. The bailiffs were helpful and always around the complex to help out. The shower facilities and on-site shop are very good and they sell all the essential items you need for a week’s fishing. There are beer and wine on sale in the clubhouse and you can take a few hours away from the rods and chill out around the clubhouse area while taking in the views of Lake 1.
Cretelakes caters for a range of angling abilities and the bailiffs will point you in the right direction if you’re finding the fishing a little hard going. Simple tactics along with regular and precise baiting will ensure your catch a few lumps during your visit to Cretelakes. I highly recommend a trip.
A stunning carp fishing complex that caters for anglers of all abilities. Many fish are over 50lb with the lake record currently standing at 77lb. The on-site facilities are great and the all-inclusive packages offer everything you need for a relaxing trip. Highly recommended.