Sky Lake is a big fish mecca in the heart of the Marne Valley in France. Read our detailed review here.
Over the last few years, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting many venues across France. Sky Lake is one of the better known French carp fisheries, run by Andy, Bernie and Rob Morton. Situated in the Marne Valley, a well-known region to seasoned French carp hunters, Sky Lake is a serious player in the big fish arena. There are carp to over 70lb with several 60lb fish and lots of backup 50lb, 40lb and 30lb + carp present.
Getting to Sky Lake, the all-inclusive option
By far the easiest way of travelling to Sky Lake is to book one of their all-inclusive packages. They pick you up from Dover (where you leave your car in a secure car park) and drive you in the Sky Lake minibus over to the lake with all your gear in a trailer. The ferry crossing is included as part of the overall cost you pay along with breakfast and an evening meal. Its good value for money and operates in the same way as many all-inclusive French carp fishing venues. The all-inclusive package runs from Saturday to Saturday and the pick up is on a Friday night from Dover. The cost per week used to be £495 for the all-inclusive package, but please check with the venue to see if the price has changed in recent years.
Prefer to drive and survive? No problem, Sky Lake offer a drive and survive option for anglers to wish to take care of themselves. Please contact the venue for further information and information on pre-booking swims. You can also order several food packages as part of your drive and survive holiday.
Facilities at Sky Lake
There is a log cabin on-site along with toilets and wash facilities. There is a covered BBQ area and meet-up point behind the main cabin. You meet here for food and a general catch up. They have a limited supply of beer, water and some food items available along with end-tackle items which you may need during your trip. Andy and Rob will happily go to the shop during your stay if you require more beer, wine or other essential items.
They sell bait, such as particles and boilies (Sky Lake Specials) on-site and you are advised to use their bait. I typically go against the grain and decided to take my own boilies with me on my trip. I really struggled until I caved in and order a few KG of their own bait and I started to reap the rewards. Don’t make the mistake I did. Leave your bait at home, pre-order your bait with Andy and you won’t spend days scratching your head wondering why you are blanking.
The swims on Sky Lake are well maintained and very comfortable, with lots of room. There are a couple of double swims on the lake so best to pre-book these if you’re desperate to fish with a partner. The woods also offers a good option if you wish to fish with a partner.
There are limited phone charging facilities at Sky Lake but you will get a few hours to try and charge your phones.
Top tip! – Take a heavy-duty power pack
Charging your phone or tablet can be difficult at Sky Lake due to the limited power supply. It’s advisable to take a battery pack with you to keep your phones and tablets charged. I used the Fax Halo power pack which is perfect for charging phones and tablets.
What’s the fishing like at Sky Lake?
Don’t think for one minute you will turn up and empty the place. This is not a runs water. Multiple catches of very large carp are certainly possible in the right conditions, be advised, this is a not a “run a chuck” type of venue.
During our trip, there were 7 of us fishing, with 3 of the group fairly inexperienced anglers. Around 15 fish were caught during the week, with a couple of those grass carp. We went in the middle of August and the conditions were tough. Several of the fish were over 40lb.
You are not guaranteed to catch at Sky, and a few of the group did blank. The best advice is to listen to Andy and Rob, they know the place inside out and are happy to offer advice (don’t be afraid to ask). Use their bait, ask about hot spots for each swim and don’t try and empty the place by going opposite to everyone else. I tried that approach and it simply didn’t work until I changed mid-week.
When I fished Sky you had to use a certain lead-clip style setup which Andy would come round and check before you started fishing. I’m not sure if this rule is still in place, so please check with the venue. The lead-clips were sold on-site so no problem if you can’t find them in your local tackle shop.
Rowing boats are available to use at the venue. Although not needed for all swims, The weed can get heavy so rowing boats are sometimes needed to land fish and are ideal for baiting up in bulk.
The advised way to fish Sky Lake is boilies over a bed of particles. Many people buy particles from the venue and row out, spread 10KG over an area and then drop their baits over the top from the boat, topping the area up with more particles after every fish. I started this way and by the end of the week, I was just fishing boilies, using a throwing stick to distribute the bait over a larger area and casting from the bank. I struggled at the start of the week fishing over the larger beds of the particle but faired much better when I started casting and using a throwing stick to create larger baited areas. The particle approach certainly does work though and I would certainly start your approach this way and see how you get on.
Top tip…be patient!
Once you have created a baited area, leave your rods on it until a run comes. It will come… The fish seemed to move onto bait after 2-3 days. In many cases, you would have reeled in and tried another area. (I even moved swims!). When I came back to the original swim after a few days I started to see results. This was true for many of the guys on our trip. Simply leave the rod on the spot for 2-3 days at a time and the fish will move onto it.
I landed one of the named fish “The Mermaid” after moving back to my original swim after 2 days and fishing boilie only over the previously heavily baited particle areas.
My overall Sky Lake Review
Sky Lake in France is a decent venue, a lovely lake set within a stunning backdrop. The facilities are good and the food on the all-inclusive package will keep you well fed. Sky Lake is not an easy venue, but the rewards are there for those that are willing to listen to the advice of the owners. It’s newbie-friendly, although it is suited to the more experienced angler. The fish are BIG and Andy & Rob are very passionate about how they are handled. Any fish over 40lb must be left in the water until Rob or Andy arrive to help with the unhooking and handling of the fish.
If you’re after a new PB, which doesn’t look like an oversized football with a head and tail then Sky Lake is worth a visit. The fish here are lookers, some of the best in France! It’s not easy, but the rewards are certainly there to be had.
- There are some seriously big carp to be caught
- Stunning venue
- The all-inclusive option is great
- Good facilities
- Bait, tackle, and supplies are available at the venue
- It’s not easy, but don’t let that put you off
- Their bait is competitively priced and you will get through a lot of it if your catching
How do I book a trip to Sky Lake?
There are several ways to book a carp fishing holiday at Sky Lake. The website is not updated much but they do have an active Facebook group where you can keep up to date with the latest news and capture reports. All the information you need is below.
Andy: 07509102469 / 07590473760
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/130083643681058/
Sky Lake Videos
Here are a few videos from the Korda team tackling Sky Lake as part of the Thinking Tackle series.
- Thinking Tackle Season 4 show 5 – Penning, Fairbrass & Clarkey Tackle Sky Lakes France
- Thinking Tackle Season 4 Show 4 – Penning, Fairbrass & Clarkey Tackle Sky Lakes France
- Korda Thinking Tackle Season 2 – Part 4 – Sky Lake, France
Essential tackle needed for Sky Lake
The carp in Sky Lake are BIG. Don’t go unprepared. The fish fight hard and there is weed present depending on the time of year you visit. Here is a list of essentials.
- Strong carp rods, 12 ft, 3lb+ test curve are recommended for this venue
- A powerpack which will give you ample power for a whole week.
- A comfortable bivvy and bedchair along with a day chair are all essential for a comfortable week’s fishing at Sky Lake.
- Bite alarms with a receiver are essential. The woodland around Sky can make hearing your alarms difficult when popping to your neighbour’s swim for a chat.
Where is Sky Lake and how long does it take to get there?
Sky Lake is located in The Marne Valley in central France. You can get directions using the Google Map below. It takes approximately 3.5 hours to drive to Sky Lake from Calais.