Catch Report – 14 September 2019

Another fantastic session, 52 big carp to 58lb 10oz says it all.

Lee was here only 3 weeks ago with friends Ryan and James, they managed to catch 28 big carp to 50lb 10oz, they thought that was a great session, as it was.

Lee actually managed 8 of that catch with his best going to 50lb, so for this session he had set his sights a little higher and wanted to catch at least 10.

Supported by Chris and Martin the group target for the 3 of them was 30 fish, reasonably modest and quite achievable.

They have all been before so they knew the lay of the land and had already made the draw for swims;  Lee on 4,  Martin on 5, and Chris on 6.  Lee was maximising the use of his bait boat and at times was fishing as far to his right as swim 2 so there was pressure being applied to the whole lake.

The weather has been perfect, nice and hot by day, 25-30C, and reasonably cool by night, 10-15C.  We did have a couple of early morning blips when the temperature took a nose-dive because of the extremely clear sky, and we actually had a touch of frost one morning with a few light showers on another.

Other than that the hot summer continues unabated.

The Lads kept everything simple, no fancy rigs and no fancy baits, the fish were on it from the start and the only hiccup we had was Martin on swim 5, he struggled and by Tuesday afternoon he had only managed to find one fish.

On inquiry I found that he was fishing pop-ups as hook baits, the fish were obviously nose down in the silt and whichever natural they were on they were on the bottom and digging for it.  I suggested that he change to bottom baits and sure enough he was straight in to fish.

Several new PBs later and 13 big carp to 57lb made Martin a very happy chappy, and who wouldn’t be with a couple of these in the bag :


Chris had a great session on swim 6, the fish were feeding everywhere he looked so he decided to play it safe, he adopted a fish-by-night routine, leaving his swim alone for the best part of each day so as not to disturb the fish.

It obviously paid off because he managed 17 gorgeous carp with his best going over 51lb.  A lovely water shot :


Lee was having the session of a life-time on swim 4 and his new target of 10 fish was smashed not long after he started, he took the Top Rod award with 22 big carp and he also took the Big Fish award when he located Odin who weighed in at a very impressive 58lb 10oz.  Another nice water shot :


Martin now knows what happens when a water shot does not go according to plan :


Chris and Martin decided that they had achieved all of their targets, and then some, so on Friday afternoon they called things quits and packed their kit away.  30 fish between the 2 of them was amazing.

Lee on the other hand had decided to battle on for the final night session, they had already amassed a total of 47 fish but Lee was convinced that they could make it a nice round 50 if he could keep things ticking over for one last bash.

I went down to the lake to pick him up at 9am on Saturday and he had only gone and managed another 5, most guys would be happy with that for the whole week let alone a Fridy night session.

Well done Lee.

Their final tally was :

Zero Babies,   1 untagged double at 18lb,   1 @ 21lb,   1 @ 22lb,   4 @ 24lb,   2 @ 25lb,   3 @ 26lb,   1 @ 27lb,   2 @ 29lb,   6 @ 30lb,   3 @ 31lb,   1 @ 32lb,   3 @ 33lb,   2 @ 34lb,   1 @ 35lb,   2 @ 36lb,   4 @ 37lb,   2 @ 38lb,   3 @ 39lb,   2 @ 40lb,   1 @ 44lb,   1 @ 45lb,   1 @ 47lb,   1 @ 51lb,   1 @ 53lb,   1 @ 54lb,   1 @ 57lb and 1 at 58lb 10oz.

The Lads will have to wait a while before they can get back on but Helen and I look forward to hosting them again in 2022.


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Catch Report – 07 September 2019

45 big carp to 52lb 08oz is a fantastic catch report for Paul, Mick, Alan and Roger.

Paul, Mick and Alan were last here in October 2016 and unfortunately they all recorded dry-nets !!  These Lads certainly had some unfinished business to attend to.

Roger was last here in June this season when he had 19 big carp to 54lb which was just a small part of a combined catch of 70 big carp.  Roger was coming back for more of the same and as he is a friend of the other 3 he was quick to wangle his way on to their trip and claim the spare place.

The weather has been good for carping, it has been cooler than of late but still in the mid to high 20s, very pleasant.  We did have one or two micro showers but the real difference has been the early morning temperatures, quite nippy around the ankles, and on Saturday morning when I went down to the lake to collect the Lads and their kit I actually put some long trousers on for the first time since last April.

No socks yet though and still no jackets so it isn’t really that cold, just cooler when compared to what we have had to endure.

The Lads drew for swims before they arrived and ended up with Alan on swim 3 (swims 1 and 2 to his right were clear), Paul on swim 4, Mick on swim 5, and Roger on swim 6.

Having not been fished the previous week, and having been left undisturbed, the fish were showing everywhere with a fair spread across the whole lake, it was all to play for, and it appeared that no one angler was going to start with any particular advantage.

Roger soon gained an advantage though as he applied himself from the off and once he had got the fish feeding he managed to keep them feeding quite consistently over the week and eventually managed a total of 25 lovely carp to 47lb 10oz.


The Lads took a slightly more relaxed approach and didn’t really get fishing until after their shopping trip on Sunday, unfortunately by this time they were already playing catch-up.

Everyone had a bait boat so there was no advantage there either but I did have several conversations about bait boats being used as rig putting out boats rather than bait putting out boats.

I am an obsolute believer in the little and often method of bait delivery, I don’t care if I am fishing for 4oz roach or 40lb carp, those spots need to have a continual supply of small amounts of bait because all bait is being constantly cleared up by silver fish before a shoal of carp even gets a look-in.

Mick thankfully picked up on this and increased his feeding rate from Tuesday afternoon onwards, he went from not having had a single bite to ending up with the best catch of his life.  His total was 8 big carp to 49lb with some super new PBs.


Paul managed to find a total of 9 big carp from swim 4 with his best going over 40lb.

Unfortunately Alan had to settle for 3 fish out of swim 3, but what a Trio it was, a 36lb 04oz, a 41lb 8oz, and the best fish of the week at 52lb 8oz.

All in all a fantastic result and a marked improvement on their last visit, the final tally was :

Zero Babies, Zero Doubles,  2 @ 20lb,   1 @ 21lb,   1 @ 23lb,   1 @ 24lb,   2 @ 25lb,   2 @ 27lb,   5 @ 28lb,   2 @ 29lb,   4 @ 30lb,   2 @ 32lb,   1 @ 33lb,   1 @ 34lb,   1 @ 35lb,   3 @ 36lb,   1 @ 37lb,   2 @ 38lb,   2 @ 39lb,   3 @ 40lb,   3 @ 41lb,   2 @ 42lb,   2 @ 47lb,   1 @ 49lb and 1 at 52lb 08oz.

Not a lot in the way of photographs again this week so I only have Roger and Mick to show you, nice fish Guys.

Helen and I are already looking forward to their visit next season, well done Guys, see you soon.


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Catch Report – 24 August 2019

The Barnes family on the lake again this week and a great family holiday was had by all, not their best catch but they all enjoyed themselves, the swimming pool has been well used and 14 big carp to 47lb is still very respectable given how hot the weather continues to be.

My only missing element this week is photographs, I don’t have any.

This is an old one that I found showing their normal set-up on swim 4, and apart from the fact that the girls, Izzy and Anna, are 2 years older and considerably taller, this picture could have been taken this week, identical.


That is dad Chris doing the cooking and granddad Richard relaxing, the only one missing is mum Natasha, she was no doubt concentrating on catching fish as usual and this session she took the biggest fish award and also Top Rod with a total of 5 to 47lb :


Richard had a dabble in swim 3 and also swim 6 and managed to find 2 lovely fish.  Mum was in swim 4 with Anna, and Dad was in swim 5 with Izzy.

Interestingly Chris fished the centre of the lake mid-way between swims 5 and 6 in the deeper silt where hardly anyone fishes, and although he has allocated 5 of his 6 fish to his daughters’ skills between them they found 6 very nice 30s with their best going over 39lb.

The weather has been terrible really for carping, when they arrived on Saturday things were starting to cool down from previous weeks and the temperature was around 25C, “this will do” said Chris, “if it stays like this it will be perfect”.

Well the perfect conditions did not last 24 hours, the heat returned, the temperature rose by 3 or 4 degrees every day and by Fridy we were back in to the 40s, phew !!!!

It was nice weather for fish spotting though, on more than one ocassion every big carp in the lake could be seen sunbathing on the surface in swim 6, but catching them was a different matter all together.

The final tally was :

Zero Babies,  1 Double at 18lb 12oz,  1 @ 20lb,   1 @ 25lb,   1 @ 30lb,   1 @ 32lb,   2 @ 33lb,   1 @ 34lb,   1 @ 35lb,   1 @ 37lb,   1 @ 38lb,   1 @ 39lb,   1 @ 40lb, and 1 at 47lb.

Hopefully we will see the whole family again in 2021 when I am sure that the girls will be another 6 inches taller.

There will not be a catch report next weekend as we are closed this week, this was not part of our planned programme but we did have a very late cancellation which we have not been able to fill so Helen and I are going to take it as a bonus week of R&R.

The temperature this afternoon will no doubt hit 40C again and my BBQ is already warming up.



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Catch Report – 17 August 2019

Three Lads from Hull on the lake this week for a nice relaxing social, they were going to be happy with one fish per day, so 28 big carp to 50lb 10oz and a whole pile of new PBs was a fantastic result.

Lee (Johno), Ryan (Ry) and James (Jim).    Lee and Ryan have been here before but it was a first for James, they drew for swims and for who was going to be fishing with who, as it happened Lee was on swim 6 and Ryan and James shared swim 5.

James quite rightly wanted to share with one of the others who had a little more experience, but, most importantly, Lee and Ryan had baitboats whereas James did not.

I did mention to the Lads that the weakness with their plan was that they only had half the lake covered and that the big carp would no doubt move away and end up at the other end of the lake.

Guess what happened !!

The Lads were in to fish from the off and they had 5 in the bag and a few dropped within the first 24 hours, a fantastic start.  But, as sure as eggs are eggs, by Monday afternoon the fish were starting to move away and then they spent the rest of the week swimming around between swims 1 through to 4.

The Lads did have an ocassional dabble for them which produced an extra fish or 2 but generally they were content to stay where they were.

Fortunately for the Lads the fish continued with their nightly patrols and paid the Lads a visit every night which routinely produced 1 or 2 fish each.  James seemed to have the better slice of the action fishing the right hand side of swim 5 in the direction of swim 4 but unfortunately he dropped as many as he caught.

It was probably quite fortunate that they only caught a couple each per night as James and Ryan were permanently asleep, catching one or two fish per night interferred with their sleep patterns and proved to be exhausting !!!  God help them if they ever come back and have a bag-up week and end up with one fish per hour as can sometimes be the case.

In Ryan’s defence though he was quite poorly for a couple of days which no doubt put him off his normal stride.

As previously said the Lads were quite happy with one fish per day so aiming to catch 1 or 2 per night became their new target and they made a very conscious decision to enjoy the social side by day and only fish by night.

It obviously paid off because Lee managed to find 8 with his best going over 50lb :

Big Ben

Despite dropping a whole load James seemed to constantly improve on his PBs and ended the session with 9 fish to 45lb :


Despite being quite ill James still managed to pull it out of the bag and picked up Top Rod with 11 big carp to 49lb :


All-in-all a great social and a great week’s fishing, their final tally was :

Zero Babies,   1 Double at 17lb,   1 @ 20lb,   1 @ 23lb,   1 @ 28lb,   1 @ 29lb,   3 @ 30lb,   3 @ 31lb,   1 @ 32lb,   2 @ 33lb,   2 @ 35lb,   1 @ 36lb,   1 @ 37lb,   2 @ 38lb,   2 @ 39lb,   1 @ 41lb,   1 @ 43lb,   1 @ 45lb,   1 @ 46lb,   1 @ 49lb, and one at 50lb 10oz.

Ryan is booked to come back in a couple of years but Lee is returning with 2 different friends in 3 weeks time whereupon he should now prove to be the font of all knowledge.

On a slightly different note, the weather.  Although the days are continuing to be very warm we have had a couple of nippy mornings this week, only for an hour or two, but if you are booked to come over during the next couple of months don’t forget to pack a bit of warm gear.

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R&R Report – 11 August 2019

Our 2 weeks of R&R came to an end yesterday and as ever I now feel like I need a week off, absolutely cream-crackered.  At least the fish have had a hard earnt rest.

It has continued to be baking hot but thankfully the weather started to change this week, by the time I went to the airport yesterday to pick up Lee Johnson and his group it was a lot fresher, only 28C,  and today we actually have rain, proper rain not just showers.

I expect this drop of rain will be good for the fishing, it has certainly woken up my stockies in the front pond, I have seen more fish boshing out in the last 3 hours than I have seen in the last 3 months.

All the signs are positive for a good session, the 3 lads on this week did not get set up much before 9pm last night and by the time they came up for breakfast at 9am this morning they had their first 5 big carp recorded on their catch sheets.  I will give you their full catch report next weekend as usual.

The on-going good weather has meant that I could get plenty of works progressed and in particular I am trying to get the outside of the house painted before the winter sets in, I have already done the big bit which was the face of the house including the conservatory, now I have managed to finish one of the sides.

From this :


To this :


You have to look hard to see the difference but believe me the preparation and repair work was a daunting task, the painting was the easy bit.  That is 2 sides done, 2 sides to go.

The one job that I did not want to do but had little choice, was the Oak Tree, remember where I had got to :


It really was proving to be an inconvenience, it was bad enough that everyone was having to climb over it or walk around the back of it, but the worst problem was that I could not drive my quad and trailer straight through, I was having to make a U-turn at swim 6 in an area that was hardly wide enough.

It took me 2 full afternoons but at least it is out of the way, ish !!  I can now drive straight through :


But there is still work to do :


Each one of these lumps of wood is a 2 man roll, they are impossible to lift, but once it is all split and moved to my wood shed it will provide fire wood for the house for the better part of a whole winter.  I might just have to leave them where they are for a year so that they can dry out and become light enough to lift onto my log splitter.

It has not been all work and no play though, thankfully.  Helen has managed to get out and about riding her horses, we have had more friends around for BBQs, and we have managed a couple of very long lazy lunches at one of our favourite restaurants and also at a new one.

One of our guests, Mr Kevin Watts, recommended a place to us last time he was here and we have been promising ourselves a trip out ever since.  Well last Sunday we managed to find the time and we went out for lunch with friends of ours; Paul and Carmen Armfield.

What a superb lunch, the food was of the highest standard, Helen and Carmen loved the Gin and Tonic(s), the staff were great, but the ambience was perfect.  We sat outside looking out over the river which was great but the whole place is in a tremendous setting and from the moment we parked the car we all instantly agreed that it was a stunning venue.

It is 35 minutes south from us but if you are ever in the vicinity and you fancy a very nice luncheon experience, or an evening meal then I cannot recommend it highly enough.  Le Moulin de La Tardoire, take a look :


No lunches for the next few weeks as it is back to business as usual tomorrow, I am sat here watching this very welcome rain and the grass is slowly changing colour from brown back to green, I can hear it growing so I best go and warm up the ride-on !!!

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Availability Update – August 2019


Time does fly, it feels like it was only weeks ago that I posted an availability update but having checked my Blog I haven’t posted one since May.

A current list is obviously required as I am getting 3 to 4 inquiries per day at the moment, interest always peaks at this time of year as people are coming home from this year’s session and starting to put some thought to next year’s.

Unfortunately we are almost full for next year and I am having to disappoint just about everyone, sorry !

If anyone is able to take a week at very short notice then I still have a week coming up on the 24th of August this year which became vacant due to redundancy and as yet I have been unable to fill it.

If it remains unfilled then Helen and I will just have to take an extra week of R&R.

That week aside my availability at the moment is :


October the 31st only  (the last week of the 2020 season)


July the 10th and the 17th

August the 7th

October the 23rd and the 30th (the last week of the 2021 season)


As per our normal arrangements the 2022 calendar will be opened at midnight french time on the 30th of November/ 1st of December.

All weeks will be allocated on a first come first served basis, so if you are considering booking for the 2022 season please remember that the popular weeks go within hours, if not minutes.

If you have the flexibility to consider different weeks then please submit all of your dates in priority order and I will deal with all of your options at the same time.

As ever availability will be limited to 26 bookings for the entire year so please plan ahead.


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John Barter – June 2019

Six weeks ago we had one of our regular groups on the lake; Roger Bashford and friends, and this year Roger had invited a new friend :  John Barter.


I stop for a chat with all of the Guys every lunchtime, as I do, and bit by bit as the week progresses we end up swapping tales of fishing exploits and life experiences but John turned out to have a very unusual and fascinating tale to tell.

15 years ago John underwent surgery for bowel cancer and as if that was not unfortunate enough John then suffered a hypoxia attack of the brain, the result of which was a total and permanant loss of a massive part of his memory.

Prior to these events John was an accomplished angler but he could not remember any of it, and in 2015 after 30 operations and 10 years of recovery time John decided to start fishing again, the problem was that he could still not remember what to do so he had to start from scratch.

I am pleased to say that John had a great session and set himself 3 new PBs; a 34lb Common, a 40lb 02oz Grassie, and a 56lb 12oz Mirror.

To ensure he never forgets in future John now keeps a video blog of his fishing which includes a detailed diary of his time here at Le Moulin, if you wish to see it you can find his diary on the following link :

Whilst he was here he also wanted to record some of the detail that he had discussed with me about how we operate our fishery and you can find that interview on my youtube channel ;  youtube le moulin de graffeuil.  If you want to watch it just click on the following link, it is only 10 minutes long.  All BAFTA Award nominations to the usual address please :


John is now a member of, and a fundraiser for;  “Anglers Against Cancer”.  He organises an annual fishing event which in the last 5 years has helped to raise over £250,000 which goes towards funds for children with cancer.

If any of you are feeling generous you can donate directly through the Bruver John just giving page via the following link :

John’s story just goes to show that it is never too late to start fishing.


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