Availability for 2020

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Just a reminder that the calendar for the 2020 season will be opened on the 1st of December this year.

2 years in advance may seem a long way in the future for some of you but judging by the number of enquiries that I am receiving it is obviously not for many.

The 2018 and 2019 seasons are already fully booked.  The 2020 season will commence on Saturday the 28th of March and the very last week will commence on Saturday the 24th of October with the season finishing completely on the 31st of October.

That is a 32 week season but as is normal we will only be accepting 26 bookings, the remaining six weeks will be reserved for the rest and recuperation of the fish.

In order to be fair to as many of you as possible I will be dealing with each inquiry in order that I receive them on the morning of the 1st of December, if you do have alternative dates please submit them all at the same time and in order of preference, I will deal with all of your dates at the same time.

For those of you who have already enquired about the 2021 season I would like to confirm that the calendar for that year will be opened on the 1st of December 2018.

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Catch Report – 05 November 2017

Last week was a struggle for James and Matt and the difficult conditions have persisted this week for 2 brothers from Liverpool, Joe and Ian.

Joe has fished here before and he knows what could have been, but considering the conditions He and Ian were happy with their 10 carp to 45lb 02oz.  Especially Ian as that sets him a new PB.

The warm afternoons have become less warm and the cold nights have got colder with some seriously sharp morning frosts.

The clear night skies have been illuminated by a very strange moon this week, twice the size as normal and exceptionally bright, hardly any need for torches through the early hours.  The winds have also been very variable with periods of total calm through to strong and persistent blows coming in from every point on the compass.

You really could not have made up any more testing conditions if you had tried.  Thankfully the boys were up for the challenge and were determined to make the best of it.

I do not have many photographs this week as the majority of them were on Ian’s phone and he only went and dropped it in the lake, he found it quite easily but if it ever works again only time will tell.  He left for home with his phone inside a bag of rice trying to soak up the moisture, who knows, he might be lucky.

Top Rod and the Big Carp award both go to Ian this session with his best going to 45lb 02oz:

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Joe might not have taken any of the trophies but he definitely caught the prettiest fish of the week at a tad under 20lb.  This is one of my home grown Mirrors and I am sure that you will all agree that it is going to grow up to be an absolutely stunning fish:

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I would have preferred to finish the season with a mega catch as I am sure that Joe and Ian would have done also but no one can control the weather and that is fishing for you.

The final tally for the last week of the season was:

Zero Babies,  1 Double @ 19lb,   1 @ 23lb,   1 @ 24lb,   1 @ 27lb,   2 @ 28lb,   1 @ 31lb,   1 @ 34lb,   1 @ 38lb,   and 1 at 45lb 02oz.

For their next visit the Lads will probably fly as the drive down from Liverpool proved to be more that they had expected.

This is my last catch report for this year but keep your eyes open for my monthly sitreps and I will keep you informed of events over the closed season.

 

 

 

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Catch Report – 29 October 2017

A more difficult week than normal for James and Matt but 12 big carp to 56lb 01oz is a very respectable result.

James and Matt have fished here several times, they know the water, and they have produced some superb catches, but this session was going to test them, both in terms of skill, and in terms of personality.

If you recall from last week I said that we had some very heavy and very cold rain which had a dramatic negative effect on the fishing toward the end of the previous session.

Well, that negative effect continued straight in to James’ and Matt’s session, and the situation got worse.  The guys did not get fishing until Sunday only then to find that their bait boat was out of commission, yes, another one, only this time the boat itself was OK but the controller had packed in.

Minimodels in Limoges came to the rescue once again but the guys had to wait until Tuesday morning before they could get their bait boat back in to action.

The weird weather also continued, not so much cold rain but very fluctuating temperatures.  The clearer skies resulted in cold mornings as low as 5-6 C, but the sun is still strong enough to push the afternoon highs up to 27-28C, if you were out of the breeze.

James and Matt never knew if it was summer or winter so lord alone knows what the fish were making of it.

Having said all of that the guys were not going to be beaten and they chipped away all week to find 12 lovely big carp.  Their best Mirror went to 42lb 10oz:

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Their best Common and the biggest carp of the session went to 56lb 01oz:

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It was very hard work but the guys pulled together as a team and deserved every ounce of their 12 big carp.  They needed every skill they possessed and thankfully their personalities shone through, it was another one of those weeks when lesser mortals would have just given in.

Their final tally was:

Zero Babies,   Zero Doubles,   1 @ 25lb,   2 @ 28lb,   1 @ 29lb,   1 @ 32lb,   2 @ 33lb,   1 @ 36lb,   1 @ 39lb,   1 @ 41lb,   1 @ 42lb,   and one at 56lb 01oz.

James and Matt are back for their next session in the Spring next year when I am sure they will be hunting down a couple of my 60s, and praying for some pleasant spring weather.

This week is the very last week of the season and Joe and Ian have just arrived,  the cold snap is set to continue and to get colder as their week goes on, this morning the mercury fell to + 2C and it is set to fall further yet.

I have just lit the log burner.  Winter is arriving!!

I will let you know how they get on next weekend.

 

 

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Catch Report – 22 October 2017

The season is rapidly coming to a close but the weather is holding fair and we have just had another fantastic week,  45 lovely big carp to 61lb 04oz.

Marcus Deakin was the lead member for this group, he normally comes as a member of Clive Bale’s group but he managed to pick up this week as a result of a cancellation and decided to make it more of a family affair.

He was accompanied by his son Thomas, his dad Allan, and his friend Mark.  Mark is a regular to France and a competent carper but Thomas and Allan were more in the novice class and both had matching PBs of just 24lb.  Could we improve on that for them??

Marcus is also a very competent carper and he has been here on several occasions and each and every time he has managed a superb catch.  I had this image in my mind of Marcus saying to his son and father “don’t worry, I will show you how to do it”

How far away from the truth did my image prove to be !!  Two to the novices and zero to the professionals.

First the professionals.

Mark fished all week on swim 4 and despite managing to find 9 big carp he ended the week in last place, it was still an above average catch though for my lake and it included three 40s.

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He would have been joint third with 10 fish but he left Marcus to man his rods one afternoon and Marcus picked up another fish which he added to his own total.

Marcus now has a new nickname “The Poacher” but that is another story for another day.  With the one that he sneaked out of Mark’s swim his total increased to 11 lovely big carp which nudged him in to 3rd place and that also included the biggest of the week at 61lb 04oz:

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Now we come to the novices.

Firstly, young Thomas.  With limited experience and a previous PB of 24lb he had everything to win and virtually nothing to lose, as long as he did not dry net he was almost certainly on to a winner, and win he did.

His first fish out was 35lb 04oz,  he went on to take 2nd place with 12 big carp and only caught one fish which was below his previous PB.

He smashed his PB with almost every fish and worked his way up to a PB Mirror at 46lb 04oz and a PB Common at 48lb.  Then with his very last fish of the week he almost took the Big Carp award from his dad when he landed his first 60 and increased his PB once again:

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Where does he go from here !!

Finally:  Dad.

The quiet ones are always the worse as the saying goes and Allan just kept quietly chipping away at swim 6 to produce 13 lovely big carp, despite “The Poacher” encroaching in to half of his swim.

His lack of experience did show as he dropped 7 fish but regardless of that the Top Rod Award quite rightly went to Allan with a total of 13 big carp.  PBs smashed over and over again as he worked his way up through the 30s and 40s and they now stand as a PB Common at 46lb and a PB Mirror at 47lb 04oz :

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Well done Allan.

The weather cooled considerably toward the end of the week and courtesy of Storm Brian we had a lot of cold, heavy rain, unfortunately the fishing slowed with it, who knows what the final tally could have been, but, hey, ho, that’s fishing for you.

The final tally was :

Zero Babies,  3 Doubles at 15lb,  16lb and 18lb,   1 @ 20lb,   3 @ 22lb,   2 @ 24lb,   1 @ 26lb,   3 @ 27lb,   3 @ 28lb,   2 @ 29lb,   2 @ 30lb,   1 @ 31lb,   3 @ 32lb,   5 @ 33lb,   1 @ 35lb,   1 @ 37lb,   1 @ 38lb,   4 @ 40lb,   1 @ 41lb,   2 @ 42lb,   2 @ 46lb,   1 @ 47lb,   1 @ 48lb,   1 @ 49lb,   1 @ 60lb  and 1 at 61lb 04oz.

Sorry for the poor pictures this week but this is always the result when people rely on mobile phones.  Hopefully when the Deakin Clan return in 2019 one of them will have invested a couple of quid in a small digital camera.

See you again in a couple of years boys and if in the interim period you manage to increase that PB Thomas you will have to let me know.

 

 

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Catch Report – 15 October 2017

Four lads on the lake this week and although their session started slowly it just kept on getting better as the week progressed.  41 lovely big carp to 57lb 14oz says it all.

The weather turned really cold during the last couple of days of the previous week and just as the lads were due to arrive on the Saturday we had a serious frost.  This was obviously going to have an affect on the fish, but what, only time would tell.

The other issue was that the fish had seen very little bait for 2 weeks and they were well and truly back on the naturals, whatever they were eating they were enjoying it because the signs could be seen everywhere one looked.

The weather warmed up again at the rate of 1 or 2 degrees per day and the fishing was warming up at a similar rate and it was all guns blazing by the Friday.

Terry White and his brother Richard elected to fish swim 4, they are experienced anglers and knew that they could be in for a bit of a battle to get the fish back on to anglers offerings.  They were only intending to fish days but if they had not caught much by the Wednesday they were going to put in a couple of night shifts.  As it happened the going did turn out to be very slow and night shifts it was.

The fishing was improving by the day and by Friday it really was starting to get exciting, unfortunately Terry and Richard had other issues to attend to in the UK and had to leave on the Friday.  But they did finish with a little flurry on Friday morning with 3 fish out and one dropped bringing their total to eight.

Richard does not do photographs but I do have a great shot of Terry cuddling this lovely lump:

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Bob and Jason had an equally strange week.  They started off fishing together on swim 5 with Bob on the left and Jason on the right.  Bob picked up 2 fish on Sunday, one on Monday and three on Tuesday, Jason, meanwhile, had not had so much as a touch.

I took Jason for a walk around the lake on Tuesday and showed him where a large shoal of carp were feeding in swims 1 and 2, I expected him to make a move down the lake but he did the complete opposite and moved up to swim 6.

As it was it turned out to be a good call and his first and only fish on Tuesday was a gorgeous Common at 47lb 08oz:

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He went on to catch one more on Wednesday, 2 more on Thursday, 6 more on Friday and finished off his session with a brace of 30s in the early hours of Saturday morning.

All awards this week though go to Bob on swim 5, despite a slow start he toughed it out and went from strength to strength.    3 on Tuesday,  7 on Wednesday,  4 on Thursday, and he finished his session on Friday tea time with another 4 beauties making his individual total 21.  A good session by any standard.

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The guys could have quite easily got demoralised with the slow start and given up but they soldiered on and got a great result.  Their final tally was:

Zero Babies,  one Double @ 18lb,   1 @ 22lb,   2 @ 23lb,   3 @ 24lb,   2 @ 25lb,   4 @ 26lb,   1 @ 28lb,   1 @ 29lb,   2 @ 30lb,   3 @ 31lb,   1 @ 32lb,   2 @ 33lb,   1 @ 34lb,   1 @ 35lb,   2 @ 36lb,   1 @ 38lb,   2 @ 39lb,   2 @ 43lb,   1 @ 44lb,   3 @ 47lb,   2 @ 48lb,   1 @ 49lb,  1 @ 55lb and 1 at 57lb 14oz.

Well done guys and we hope to see you all again soon.  We will be seeing Terry again in the Spring when he is planning to bring his good lady wife for a social call.

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Happy Holidays – 2017

Helen and I have enjoyed our 2 weeks of down time, Glen and Gill enjoyed their stay, and even Dave and Steve managed to take advantage of the situation and fit in a couple of short sessions.  Happy days all round.

The fishing is back on though now and we had a group of 4 gents arrive yesterday for their first visit to Le Moulin, and they already have their first couple of fish in the bag.

The weather today is cool and cloudy but the forecast is for it to stay generally dry with highs of no more than 20C and lows of around 10-12C, should be perfect for carp fishing !?  I will let you know how they got on next weekend.

Our holiday to Paris went exactly according to plan and this year I was not going to let Helen wear my feet down to blistered bloody stumps so I booked a hotel right in the city centre, a lovely spot and one I would recommend, La Villa Haussmann.  Named after the architect who designed the modern suburbs of Paris.

We had actually organised ourselves quite well for this trip, I had planned a route and a sequence of events to get us around all of the major sights of Paris in 3 days and Helen had pre-booked tickets on-line for those places that we thought would require it. Tuesday morning saw the start of our adventure with a visit to the Arc de Triomphe, a beautiful monument.

Unfortunately, once you are on the top of the monument there is a massive distraction, you are able to see the traffic chaos below, multiple major roads converging on to a very large roundabout with no lane markings and virtually no traffic control.  I have it on good authority that if you enter in to this section of traffic everyone’s car insurance is null and void !!!  If that is true then I can understand why !

From the Arc de Triomphe you can take a casual 3km stroll along the Champs Elysees, through the Place de la Concorde, through the lovely gardens of Jardin des Tuileries, and then on to another, smaller and lesser known,      Arc de Triomphe!!

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This is the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, just in front of the Musee du Louvre.

Apparently Napoleon told his armies that when they returned home they would enter Paris through Arcs of Triumph and that is why they were built.  The Champs Elysees would have been fields and formal gardens in those days, as the name suggests, and I am sure that it would have been a sight to behold watching thousands of colourful french soldiers marching from one Arc to the other.

They should have left it like that because now it is just a typical city centre mess of designer labels and over priced shopping.

Helen continued in her usual physical way and because we were not marching as far from one venue to another she insisted on using the stairs rather than any available lifts.  200 hundred steps here, and 200 hundred steps there was not a problem, but then we arrived here:

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To avoid the queues at the lifts you can opt to take the stairs, and guess which way we went?  It started off OK but as you climb the mountain the stairs get narrower and narrower, and steeper and steeper.  ALL 700 of them.

Thankfully that is only to the 2nd floor, there is only one way to the top and that is by lift.

A word of warning; if you take the stairs up to the second floor do not hold on to the hand rail !!

By the time I arrived at the top of the stairs I was dripping with sweat and my right hand was caked in rust from the hand rail.  I headed straight for the gents to wipe the sweat off and to wash my hands, 4 times!  The 2 little old ladies who were managing the toilets found my predicament quite hilarious.

Obviously there are not many idiots who Monter les Escaliers.   Not when there is a perfectly good lift available.

I must also mention the french railway, what superb service, and cheap.  2 return tickets to Paris, first class I might add, for less than £150.

Last year I travelled one way from Stansted to Andover, I had no seat and had to sit on the floor next to the toilets, and that pleasure cost me £49.

Glen and Gill enjoyed their stay, a change is as good as a rest as is often said, and looking after this place for a week is a massive change from their normal routine, so a big thank you to them both for putting themselves out and enabling us to take a break.

Glen managed to fit in some fishing and had a couple of very productive sessions and amongst his catch was the smaller of my 3 Koi looking very pretty:

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Dave and Steve managed to get over for a bit of a session and they both managed to get their nets wet:

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All in all a great 2 week break, I am blister free and fully refreshed, and looking forward to the last 4 weeks of the season, and I am expecting to see that the fish are packing on some weight ready for their winter rest.

Watch this space for the next catch report.

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Catch Report – 23 September 2017

I am a day early with my catch report this week because we are now closed for our 2 week summer holiday, we are going out for the day tomorrow and then on Monday we are off to see the sights of Paris for 5 days.

My brother Glen and his wife Gill arrive this afternoon and they are going to look after the place for us while we are away.  Their turn to live the dream again, for a short while at least.

It has been a session of 2 halves this week for Geoff and Maddie Benfell, in more ways than one, so 18 big carp to 48lb 08oz is a great result.

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The weather turned very cold for the start of the week but warmed up nicely again by mid-week, the cold snap certainly seemed to put the fish down but as the weather warmed up again the fish have been showing everywhere.

The main problem turned out to be Geoff’s bait boat, no sooner had he got going on Saturday the servo that controls the steering left and right decided that it did not want to play any more.  Sunday was pretty much taken up with trying to persuade the bait boat to go and also searching the internet for possible solutions.

We found the parts on various web-sites but getting them delivered in a timely manner proved to be impossible.  Eventually I found a model shop in the heart of Limoges which looked promising but as Geoff searched the web-site he quickly discovered that the shop did not open on Mondays.  That is actually quite common in France.

So far Geoff had managed the one fish on Saturday, zero fish on Sunday, and he managed one more on the Monday.  Needless to say Geoff and Maddie were heading for the model shop on Tuesday morning.  He did consider just staying put and toughing it out but it was pouring with rain on Tuesday morning so that helped him decide.

The model shop is called “Minimodels” and Geoff recommends it to anyone who has an issue with their boat.  They did not have the exact part but between them they got it going and he said that they were lovely people who could not do enough to help.

By Tuesday afternoon Geoff had is boat back on the water, and he had time to make up!

He had his spots picked out on swim 4 and he set about feeding them in his usual consistent manner, little and often.

He found  himself a very nice 30 pounder on Tuesday afternoon.  He went on to find 7 on Wednesday, 5 on Thursday, and then another 3 before he packed in on Friday.

What a difference a boat can make !!

Geoff gathers additional information on my fish, in particular he measures their girth and length as well as their weight and he keeps all of the data on a spread-sheet so that he can cross reference from previous catches.

There is too much data to go into in detail but it is all very interesting stuff.  As an example: the 48lb Mirror that he caught this trip is called Casper, Geoff caught Casper in April at 44lb, his best weight since was 46lb 04oz when he was pre-spawn in May, after spawning he reverted back to 44lb.

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What is interesting is that throughout the summer Casper has grown 2 inches in length and has recently put on over 4lb since his April weight.  Given that now is the time of year for them to start bulking up for the winter and filling their new, bigger, frames I will not be surprised if Casper is 50 plus by next spring.  I will let you know how he develops.

Despite the technical issues it has been a very good session and the final tally was:

Zero Babies, Zero Doubles, 1 @ 20lb,  3 @ 21lb,  2 @ 25lb,  1 @ 27lb,  1 @ 28lb,  1 @ 29lb,  1 @ 30lb,  1 @ 31lb,  1 @ 32lb,  2 @ 33lb,  1 @ 34lb,  1 @ 36lb,  1 @ 38lb and Casper at 48lb 08oz.

Geoff and Maddie are back for another session in October next year and we will be looking forward to seeing how some of our fish are growing on.

Don’t forget to pack some spare parts Geoff.

Note.  There will not be a catch report next weekend but if Glen and Gill manage to find the time to have a dabble I will let you know how it goes.

 

 

 

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