Four young lads on the lake this week looking for a very relaxed session, they don’t like to fish nights if they can help it, they do like to go out every evening to sample the local restaurants, and if they can pick up a couple of fish during the day then they are happy.
Left to right: Tony, Mark, Adam and Malcolm
Given all of the complications they encountered throughout the week then 23 carp to 49lb was a better result than I expected.
The boys were settled in to their respective swims by Saturday evening; Tony and Adam in swim 5, Mark in swim 4, and Malcolm in swim 2.
Once they had got themselves organised they were back up to the Gite, a quick shower and shampoo, glad rags on, and out to a local restaurant for “a bite to eat and a quick pint”. They got back just as it was getting dark but if that was a quick pint I would hate to go drinking with them when they are on a session.
What I do know is that while they were out we had the storm from hell, torrential rain, thunder, lightening, and hail stones as big as your thumb nail, everywhere was white with ice and I dreaded to think what that amount of ice going in to the lake was going to do to the fishing.
I took The Boys out for their lunchtime walk around the lake on Sunday and the very first thing I noticed was that my lake was in flood, I know we had a lot of rain but not that much, my lake does not flood !!
Once I arrived at the sluice gates it was evident what was causing the flooding and I was fascinated to watch it.
The increase in water had allowed a shoal of big carp to get right up to the steel barrier which forms the bottom section of the sluice gates and they were digging in to the build up of leaf fall and other debris that gathers there, taking the opportunity to find food. Naturals obviously.
As the flood water was trying to empty through the sluice grates all the debris that the fish were disturbing was blocking the grating. This in-turn allowed the water level to rise, that allowed the fish to get even more involved with the debris, blocking the grating even further, etc, etc, etc.
I continued my walk around the lake to find Adam and Tony doing a spot of roach bashing but they were having to sit a meter away from what is the normal edge of the lake because of the flood water. Mark had got the first fish of their session in the bag, a 41lb Common, and Malcolm was feeling slightly under the weather blaming the extended session from the evening before.
I decided to ease the problem at the sluice before I had lunch and that turned in to another fascinating experience, I was up to my elbows in water clearing the sluice grates and I was having to push the carp away as they were determined to get to the bottom of the debris pile and eat anything they could find, they were quite happy for me to be there so it does show that when they are on the feed, they are on the feed regardless !!
Job done and the sluice was in full flow and you only normally see that in the winter.
The problem was that the water level had come up a foot in 18 hours and it was about to go down a foot during the next 18 hours. What was this going to do for the fishing !!!
And to top it off we were forecast more storms to come, and come they did.
With all of this rain and ice I expected the big carp to head for deeper water but once again they surprised me and whole shoals of them were persisting in swims 1, 2 and 3, with the emphasis on swim 1, and they stayed there right through to Wednesday afternoon.
The guys spent the next couple of evenings at a local restaurant owned by a friend of theirs, the sessions got a bit later and every day when I went down the lake the only guy alive seemed to be Adam (the designated driver).
Poor old Malcolm was starting to feel the strain and was just not up for taking on the big carp that were showing all around him despite my every encouragement. However it turns out that Malcolm was not suffering the effects of too many nights out he was actually quite ill, god bless him, and by mid-week Mark (his son) had little option other than to take him to see our local doctor, the doctor sent him straight to hospital, the hospital admitted him there and then, and that was the end of Malcolm’s fishing.
It was pretty much the end of Mark’s session as well really as he was then having to do a lot of running around. All is well that ends well though and the hospital discharged Malcolm on Friday evening so at least he could travel home with the guys.
Unfortunately the lads were not the best at paper work and my catch sheets were filled in on Friday from notes they had been keeping in various forms throughout the week. They had fish weighed in but had forgotten to scan them, when Helen downloaded the scanners she found numbers that were not on the sheets at all. The scanners cannot register a tag number without the fish being present so someone caught them.
Helen and I have done our best and we figure that the guys caught 23 with the biggest being 49lb, their final tally was therefore:
Zero babies, Zero doubles, 1 @ 20lb, 3 @ 24lb, 3 @ 26lb, 1 @ 29lb, 1 @ 31lb, 1 @ 32lb, 3 @ 33lb, 1 @ 34lb, 2 @ 35lb, 1 @ 40lb, 2 @ 41lb, 1 @ 44lb, 1 @ 45lb, 1 @ 47lb, 1 @ 49lb.
You may also notice a lack of photographs, if you sent them guys they never arrived.
The guys are back again for a rematch in 2020, lets hope for a more consistent weather pattern.