Catch Report – 17 June 2018

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.


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Catch Report – 09 June 2019

Simon and Robin on the lake this week, due to work commitments they could only fit in 5 days but they managed to locate 36 big carp up to 56lb 08oz.

Considering we were closed and it was supposed to be my week off it was not a bad result.

Simon drove down on Saturday with all of the kit and we spent a couple of hours on Saturday evening putting the world to rights over a couple of beers and a nice big bowl of hot chilli.

Robin flew down to Limoges where Simon picked him up from the airport on Sunday.  Simon had prepared swim 5 to be their spot for the week and the Lads were fishing proper by Sunday tea-time.

Simon was struggling with a shoal of 20s and didn’t think he was ever going to see a 30, he even caught the smallest fish of the week, albeit a very pretty one :


He did persist though and eventually got into the 30s with a very nice Common at 31lb 04oz :


Could he make it 40 ?  Well not quite but he did manage to get close with his best of the session going to 38lb 04oz:


He would have loved to have caught Pumba which is his named fish, but alas, it was not to be this time around.

Robin on the other hand started with a Mirror at 27lb 15oz and he was over the moon because for him that was a big carp:


His PB just kept on getting better and better.  He was soon into the 30s with this Common at 34lb 14oz:


Then the 40s with this Mirror at 48lb:


And he was absolutely thrilled to end the session with a PB of 56lb 08oz:


It truly was an amazing session for Robin and I could understand his excitement but I just knew it was time for him to call it quits when he started snogging the fish:


Poor fish, its life may never be the same again after such a traumatic experience !!

The Boys packed in on Thursday for an early get away on Friday morning, it may have only been a 5 day session but it was a great 5 days, the final tally was :

Zero Babies,  one double and that was our small Koi at 17lb,  1 @ 22lb,   1 @ 23lb,   1 @ 24lb,   2 @ 25lb,   5 @ 26lb,   4 @ 27lb,   2 @ 28lb,   1 @ 29lb,   1 @ 30lb,   2 @ 31lb,   3 @ 32lb,   3 @ 33lb,   1 @ 34lb,   3 @ 35lb,   1 @ 38lb,   1 @ 40lb,   1 @ 42lb,   1 @ 48lb,   and one at 56lb 08oz.

Simon managed to get some decent drone footage while he was here so if he can edit it he might just publish some snippets on the Blog.

Hopefully we will see Simon on the lake again next year as he usually does a pre-season session for me just to confirm that things are ready for the start of the season in April, I have a suspicious feeling that Robin might want to come back as well !!!

See you soon guys.


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Catch Report – 03 June 2018

Dad’s Army back on the lake this week and boy did they have to do battle with the weather, it has been atrocious.  Unfortunately they were not fully armed either as Martin had forgotten the cover from their tent and they were having to cover things over with plastic bags

As with all military units the personalities have varied over the years and this year there was only the 2 brothers; Martin and Barry.   This the original force from way back in 2014:


Unfortunately Arthur is a little too mature to cope with the trip nowadays but I am sure that the lads were giving him regular SITREPs.

On their last visit Barry had a great session on swim 3, so, swim 3 was where they set up camp, and with the exception of the occasional mobile reconnaissance in to enemy territory swim 3 was where they made their main assault.

Doing battle with the weather is a bit of an under-statement, it has rained, and rained and then rained, and then, just to make life interesting, it has chucked in a whole pile of lightening every afternoon and evening, with even heavier rain.  The resulting light shows have been mesmerising, but not fun.

It has been so wet that at times you good have probably caught a couple of carp out of what should be my meadow.

On the plus side it has been very warm, the wind has been warm, and the rain has been warm, so it has had very little impact on the fish.  Strangely they have been shoaled up in swims one and two all week ripping up the blood worm beds.

The guys coped with it all though and chipped away at things to put together a fine bag of 18 carp to 50lb.

Martin had some stonkers including the big carp of the week:


Barry was over the moon as he started off with 3 x 40s:


Which included this Grassie at 43lb:


We could all feel the weather changing on Thursday evening as it actually stopped raining.  Friday morning the sun came out and suddenly the world felt like a much happier place, the boys could come out of the cabin to concentrate on their fishing and I could get back on my lawnmower, yippie!!

But then, as ever, SOD’s Law kicked in,  Martin had been dealing with a problem at work and he was left with no alternative other than to get home quickly and to be on-site for early hours on Saturday morning.

Barry had one last dabble in swim one and found the last fish of the week and Martin tidied up the camp and got everything packed and ready for the return trip.  The only consolation was that the sun was shining so all of their kit could be packed away dry.

All-in-all it has been a challenging week for fishing, all down to the weather, it really can take the edge of things.

I did not get catch sheets this week but Martin sent me a photograph of their records, unfortunately I cannot make it all out and I am sure that Barry had a couple on his recces that were not recorded.  I am sure that the Boys will correct me if this final tally is slightly incorrect:

Zero babies,   zero doubles,  1 or 2 unrecorded,   1 @ 24lb,   1 @ 27lb,   1 @ 28lb,   2 @ 29lb,   1 @ 31lb,   1 @ 32lb,   2 @ 34lb,   1 @ 37lb,   1 @ 42lb,   1 @ 43lb,   1 @ 45lb,   1 @ 48lb,   1 @ 49lb and one at 50lb.

The sun continued to shine for the whole day on Friday, and then all day on Saturday, and it is still shining as I am writing this, but, there is always a but, the forecast is for more rain and storms as the week continues so I had best get the lawnmower going again this afternoon.

There should be no catch report next week as officially we are closed, Helen has gone home for a week and I am up to my kneecaps in horse muck, but hey, hoe, I’m sure I will survive.

You will note that I said should not be a catch report next week.  Simon has managed to get a few days of work so he and his mate Rob will be trying their best to find a couple of Big Carp, at the moment they are all sunbathing up in the deeper water of swim 6 which ordinarily makes them very difficult to catch.

Simon and Rob will be heading home on Friday morning so I might just drop in a short catch report next Friday.  Watch this space.



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Catch Report – 27 May 2018

A very casual approach to fishing this week but they still managed 20 nice big carp between them, with their best going to 51lb.

All is well that ends well, but as ever there is more to it than meets the eye.

Kevin and Ben have been before and always fish as a team,  Doug has also been before and this time he bought his Dad along, Tony, to make up team 2.

None of these lads do much fishing but this year Ben arrived with a newly broken arm so he had already decided that he was not doing much other than catching up with his eating, drinking, and sleeping.  I might add that these are all activities that Ben enjoys !!

He spent most of the week watching the TV or sleeping on the sofa pretending to watch TV.

It was a rare day that we found him down on the lake and when we did this was his standard position:



He did earn a bravery award though while he was here for being the first person of the season to venture in to the pool:


Ben’s non-availability resulted in Kevin having to fish by himself and as a result he just could not settle in to a routine nor a swim.  He started in swim 5 on Saturday, he moved to swim 3 on Sunday, swim 1 on Monday, and by Tuesday afternoon he was in swim 6.

He was only fishing days anyway so he was spending as much time moving from swim to swim as he was fishing in them.

Eventually I persuaded him to make a stand in swim 6 and concentrate his efforts on the area in front of the sluice gates, always a productive spot.  It paid off and by Thursday he had found a total of 4 nice carp:


Ben and Kevin were winding down on Friday ready for a very early departure on Saturday.  The main thing was that they left happy, they had got in some fishing and had a very relaxing time doing so.

Doug and Tony adopted the alternative method of Carp Fishing:  pick your spots, bait them up, and wait it out.

Doug is happy to be regarded as a complete novice but it was down to him to teach his Dad what Carping is all about.  So, we had the novice teaching the novice’s apprentice, doesn’t sound like the best recipe for success but between them they knew the basics and they chipped away at swim 4 all week resulting in a very impressive catch of 16 nice big carp.

It has been difficult this week to decide who came out on top but I have decided to give that award to Tony, the apprentice to the novice.  They both caught 8 big carp each with Doug pushing his PB up to 49lb


But Tony matched the 8 big carp and set himself a PB of 51lb, not a bad start for a beginner:


Well done DAD!!

Who says that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks ?

The final tally was:

Zero babies,  zero doubles,  1 @ 24lb,   1 @ 25lb,   1 @ 27lb,   1 @ 28lb,   1 @ 30lb,   4 @ 31lb,   2 @ 32lb,   1 @ 33lb,   1 @ 34lb,   1 @ 36lb,   2 @ 37lb,   1 @ 40lb,   1 @ 41lb,   1 @ 49lb and one at 51lb.

All-in-all it has been a very relaxing and enjoyable week and with the exception of a few thunder storms the weather has been very pleasant also.  Kevin has booked to return next season so lets hope that Ben’s arm is in one piece and that he is looking forward to a bend in his rod.


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Catch Report – 20 May 2018

A great family holiday for The Gaskills this week, 32 big carp to 60lb, over 20 Perch to 2lb, and over 20 Pike to 14lb.

Everyone got what they wanted;  apart from Liam !!

Tracy just wanted some peace and quiet, she got plenty but probably not enough.

Ian wanted a 60, TICK, got that.

Shaun wanted a 50, TICK, got that.

Liam only wanted a Black Bass, he would have been happy with just the one, he found a shed full of Pike, and a shed full of Perch, but the Black Bass were not playing this week.

They even had the weather for a family holiday, it was a touch damp here and there but generally it has been a very pleasant week and it is set to continue.  All I can say to that is :  About time too.

It truly has been the wettest year that we have experienced so far, and although that is very good for the lake and everything in it, it is not necessarily good for the swims.

In truth we have come out of it quite well, the only exception is swim 4, there it so much water in the ground that Mother Nature has decided to allow a spring to erupt smack bang in the middle of swim 4, right were everyone sets up their rods and walks around.

Several new springs have appeared in different places, and how long they will flow for is anyone’s guess, so, if you have intentions of fishing swim 4 over the next weeks or months then check with me before you come for a status report or make sure you pack some appropriate footwear.

Ian and The Boys had a dabble in almost every swim and caught from everywhere,  but Liam could be found absolutely everywhere and anywhere during daylight hours on his quest for the elusive Black Bass.  With only 1 hour remaining of their week he was on the lake spinning near the sluice gate because that area had been reserved for carping all week.

He was determined to give it a go before he left, just in case !  No Black Bass but he found another couple of Perch:


Shaun did sound a little down by mid-week because he wanted that 50 PB.  I did try to warn him off the awful path of chasing PBs as it can ruin the pleasure of simply fishing.  I have seen many an angler have a fantastic weeks fishing and they still go home feeling down just because they did not add a pound to a PB.  A fish is a fish and each one should be enjoyed, today’s 30 pounder is tomorrow’s 50.

He held out hopes though and eventually got his wish when he recorded his best fish of the week, it was Odin weighing in at a very healthy 53lb 04oz:


Despite not actually fishing for them he also managed the biggest Pike of the week at 14lb.  There is a bit of a story behind this one but I will save that for another day:


Ian just enjoys being here, relaxing and fishing is Ian’s attitude, which is the way to be, and if the circumstances are right you take home the Big Carp award and a PB of 60lb, well done Ian:


The final tally was:

20 plus Perch,   20 plus Pike,  Zero Black Bass,  Zero baby carp,  Zero doubles,   1 @ 22lb,   1 @ 23lb,   1 @ 25lb,   2 @ 26lb,   2 @ 27lb,   2 @ 28lb,   2 @ 29lb,   1 @ 31lb,   4 @ 34lb,   1 @ 36lb,   2 @ 37lb,   2 @ 38lb,   1 @ 40lb,   2 @ 42lb,   1 @ 44lb,   3 @ 48lb,   1 @ 49lb,   1 @ 50lb,   1 @ 53lb and 1 at 60lb

We will see them all again next year when hopefully the Black Bass may come out to play.


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Catch Report – 13 May 2018

Was the Angus Clan going to make their target of 100 Big Carp ?

I don’t know about you but I was keen to see that number on the catch sheets, it would certainly have been a first at my venue.  Unfortunately all of the odds were stacked against it happening.

Firstly the weather, their session started off a bit chilly but once the sun came out the temperatures soared, the fish were spending a lot of time down in the shallow swims where they were feasting on blood worm.

The rise in temperature also had some of the big carp spawning so there was that to contend with.

But the big challenge was that The Clan was about to diminish in size bit by bit so there would be less hands on rods to do the catching.

Katie had to return to the UK on Monday and only managed 6 days on the bank, horse riding is Katie’s thing, definitely not fishing, but she did contribute to the family target with 3 lovely fish:


Gemma, James and Robbie all managed an extra day, but effectively their session was finished on Tuesday afternoon, they all had an early start on Wednesday for the long haul back to New Zealand.  They had left John and Jennifer needing 13 more big carp to hit the target.

I don’t think that Gemma had ever caught a fish before but she contributed 4 to the plan:


James managed to find 20:


Robbie found 27 and took the Big Carp Award with the biggest of the session at 57lb 08oz


They had left John and Jennifer needing 13 more over the next 3 days, Jennifer had contributed 2 earlier in the session and that was where her catch finished.  If John was going to do it he would need to amass a personal total of 44 big carp, that would be a massive challenge for any angler under normal conditions.

He (John) did have a little excitement last weekend when he witnessed my one and only Catfish taking a Pike from the very shallow stretch between swims 3 and 4, literally in 1 foot of water.

The Catfish had crept up on the Pike as the Pike lay in wait for its lunch to swim by.  The commotion that followed left the Catfish disappearing back to deeper water, minus its lunch, and the poor old Pike floating to the surface as dead as a dead Pike.

I consider myself privileged to live in such a great place and I see many unusual things around the lake as I go about my day to day activities,  I always say that it truly is a case of being in exactly the right place at exactly the right time and looking in exactly the right direction.  You could never plan a sighting like this, and you could wait at the side of the lake for the next 100 years and you will never see it again, I would have loved to have witnessed this little tussle though.

Shame about the Pike but that is Mother Nature doing her thing.

What about the 100 big carp ?  Well despite a massive effort by John over the last few days he missed it by 3 and had to settle for a personal total of 41 and a grand total of 97 big carp to 57lb 08oz.

It is going to be a special session and a special group that tops that !!

The final Tally :

1 dead Pike,  zero babies,  1 double at 17lb,  2 @ 22lb,   2 @ 23lb,   5 @ 24lb,   7 @ 25lb,   3 @ 26lb,  5 @ 27lb,   4 @ 28lb,   6 @ 29lb,   6 @ 30lb,   1 @ 31lb,   4 @ 32lb,   8 @ 33lb,   5 @ 34lb,   1 @ 35lb,   4 @ 36lb,   3 @ 37lb,   7 @ 38lb,   1 @ 39lb,   3 @ 40lb,   1 @ 41lb,   2 @ 42lb,   2 @ 43lb,   2 @ 44lb,   1 @ 45lb,   1 @ 46lb,   3 @ 48lb,   1 @ 49lb,   3 @ 50lb,   2 @ 51lb, and one at 57lb 08oz.

A great family group, a great session and a great holiday.  We will see you again in July John and Jennie, and maybe Robbie if he gets back in time



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Interim Catch Report – 06 May 2018

66 big carp to 57lb and the tally is growing by the hour.

I have got the whole of the Angus clan on the lake this week, normally it is just John and Jennifer by themselves or with one of the boys but for this session they have booked the place for 2 weeks to have a full family holiday.


Left to right:  Katie, Gemma, Jennifer, John, Robbie and James.

John and Jennifer arrived on Sunday afternoon as the Advance Party and John was determined to get everything in place and ready to go for when the Main Party arrived.

Katie flew in from Bristol on Monday afternoon, while James, Gemma and Robbie flew in from New Zealand and also arrived Monday afternoon.

John and the Boys in particular, are always up for a bit of a challenge and they want to set a new catch record of 100 big carp.  Will they do it ?  It is a big ask on any water but the carp seem to be up for it as well and I currently have 66 on the catch sheets, and that was as at yesterday tea time.

John had the first honour and started the challenge off at 1530 hours on Monday afternoon when he located one of my prime Commons, “Brunel”, who weighed in at a tad over 50lb.

James is finding plenty and has already broken the 40 mark,  Robbie is on for the big carp award at the moment with “Mr T” coming out at 57 lb 08oz.

Even the Girls are lending a hand towards the big target;  Gemma has contributed a couple of 50s,  Katie has had a few and has gone over 45lb, and even Mum has had a crack and found a nice little Mirror going over 25lb.

The size of the Clan starts to dwindle tomorrow afternoon when Katie goes home, and Gemma and the Boys are heading home on Wednesday.

At the rate they are catching they still have plenty of time, but will it be enough to make the magic figure:   100 nice big carp.

I will let you know how they get on next weekend, watch this space !!

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