Catch Report – 22 April 2018

Another great week at Le Moulin for 2 lovely couples from the West Country; Paul and Kath, and Keith and Jane.

29 big carp to 61lb sounds like a great headline statistic but it turned out to be a story of 2 different tales for Paul and Keith.

I seem to be making a lot of excuses for the weather this season and ordinarily I would now be saying how cold and wet it has been, but not this week.  The weather has gone from being the tail-end of Winter to High Summer in what felt like hours and we have missed out Spring altogether.

The temperature in the lake rose by 10 Degrees and poor old Mother Nature doesn’t know if she is coming or going, everything is suddenly having to play catch-up.  The big carp have gone from being shoaled up in the deep water because it has been so cold, all the way through to spawning by start of play on Friday.

You couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried !!!!

Paul and Keith had decided where they were going to fish before they had arrived, obviously they have both been before and had decent results from swims 4 and 5, so that is where they headed, Paul to 4 and Keith to 5.

Keith had it all his own way all week, it quickly became apparent that the big carp were shoaled up in the deep water opposite swims 5 and 6, he managed to pick up 2 or 3 each day and slowly and steadily he built up quite an impressive catch of 23 lovely fish with his best going over 61lb.

His last and final fish of the session was this absolutely stunning Common which weighed in at several ounces over 40lb:

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Paul headed straight for swim 4 and applied the same tactics as during his last visit, unfortunately the lake changes hour by hour let alone year by year, and this session was going to turn out to be so different.

Paul had bought along his Go-Pro camera and unfortunately all that confirmed was that there were no fish in front of him, I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to find the fish, and if they move then you best be prepared to move with them.

Paul eventually got in to his first fish during the early hours of Monday morning, and it was his first 60 and new PB but it proved to be a lone fish roaming around and the action never continued.

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He persisted with swim 4 until Wednesday when he decided that he was going to get some of the action up in the deep water so he moved up to swim 6 and picked out a couple of spots along the dam wall.

SOD’s LAW came in to play !!  The sun had been baking hot all week and Paul and the fish must have crossed paths because as he was settling down in to swim 6 the big carp had decided to move on down to what was now the very warm shallow water in front of swims 2 and 3.  They were enjoying the warmth and they were feeding heavily, swims 2 and 3 were looking like a big bowl of dairy milk chocolate, the silt plumes they were throwing up were enormous.

Paul stuck it out in swim 6 and did manage to find himself a very nice 41 pounder but once again that was it.

 

The big carp were taking the mickey at this point and even Keith’s catch rate had dropped off, they were boshing around like dolphins in swim 3 and Paul could not resist a move back to swim 4.  Simple enough plan, fish from 4 and target the fish in swim 3.

Thankfully it worked out and Paul managed to persuade 4 of them to take his bait over the course of the very early hours of Saturday, in fact they showed at 2 am, 2.15 am,  5 am and 5.30 am.  Good job he was fishing nights.

 

I did mention spawning, by Friday the carp in my front stock pond were playing the chase-me, chase-me game, and by Saturday morning they were at it full on.

As I am writing this the main lake is alive with some very happy male carp and some rather exhausted females.  It is not having the effect that some people fear though and despite the spawning James and Matt who arrived on Saturday are already hunting their fourth carp of their session.

And just to rub a bit of salt in to Paul’s wounds they are catching them on the far bank directly opposite swim 4.  Told you that you could not make this up.

Paul’s and Keith’s final tally was:

Zero Babies, Zero Doubles,  1 @ 22lb,   1 @ 23lb,   1 @ 25lb,   2 @ 26lb,   2 @ 27lb,   1 @ 28lb,   2 @ 30lb,   1 @ 31lb,   3 @ 32lb,   1 @ 35lb,   1 @ 36lb,   2 @ 37lb,   2 @ 40lb,   4 @ 41lb,   1 @ 44lb,   1 @ 47lb,   1 @ 53lb,  and 2 at 61lb.

A challenging session but all-in-all, not a bad one.

The lads and lasses will all be back again next year when no doubt we will have a totally different tale to tell.

 

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Catch Report – 15 April 2018

15 big carp up to 62lb made for a great session this week for 3 very pleasant guys from Holland, on the left is Robin and to the right is father and son team; Hennie and Hennie Junior (AKA Big Hennie and Little Hennie).  The final tally should have been at least 18 but the guys did not record 3 fish as the weather was just too bad at the time.  More very heavy rain.

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The guys dropped a few and only had 15 fish recorded on their catch sheets but for all the right reasons it was still a fantastic session, the real surprise was who caught all the Big Carp !!

Robin is a novice to carping but he gave it his best shot and I am sure that he learnt a lot, he ended up with 3 very nice fish.  He did not have a PB when he arrived so leaving with a PB of 31lb was a great achievement.  At the end of the week he was a very happy man and he now has some targets to chase:

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Big Hennie elected to fish swim 4 along with Little Hennie and for some reason he kept dropping fish, he had several on before he managed to get his first one on the scales.  His best pushed the scales round to 46lb:

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Now for the man of the match:  Little Hennie.

Little Hennie is just 13 years old and I was talking to him shortly after they arrived and discovered that his PB was 20KG, that is 44lb in real money.  Was I surprised or what ?  Most young lads are only just setting off on their carping adventure at that age.  And he sounded so confident.

He started off with a 27 pounder and over the next couple of days he found a couple of 30s and then he landed a 48 and a new PB

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At this point I was very pleased for him but I was quite shocked to find out on Thursday morning that he had gone and caught Leviathon weighing in at a staggering 61lb:

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At 61lb the strain was starting to show but he got there in the end:

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I don’t know who I was more pleased for; Leviathon for breaching the 60lb marker or for Little Hennie who caught him.

I have never had 1 angler do 2 sixties in the one session before, in fact it is quite a rare day when we see one at all so you could have knocked me over with a feather when the very next evening he went and did it again !!!

This time with a 62 pounder in the shape of Pumba:

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There is not a lot of Little Hennie to be seen in this shot !

28.18 Kilo or 62lb, whichever way you prefer it that is some PB to take home.

All in all a great session and their final tally was:

3 fish not recorded,  zero babies,  zero doubles,  1 @ 23lb,   1 @ 26lb,   2 @ 27lb,   1 @ 29lb,   1 @ 30lb,   2 @ 31lb,   1 @ 34lb,   1 @ 38lb,   1 @ 40lb,   1 @ 46lb,   1 @ 48lb,   1 @ 61lb  and 1 @ 62lb.

Very nice lads and they were a pleasure to host, hopefully we will see them again soon.

I am not sure where Hennie is going to take Hennie Junior for his next session but they better have some big carp.

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New Stock – 2018

Helen and I have been raiding the front stock pond today to find some new Commons to put in to the main lake, our good friends and neighbours Paul and Carmen Armfield and Tim Payne popped over to lend a hand and together with Helen’s sister Angela we had the job done and dusted in just over 2 hours.

I selected eight and put 35 back in to bring on for another year, together with the 36 fish I have in my other stock ponds I have plenty of exciting new fish to add in future years.

The 8 selected Commons were weighed, photographed and micro-chipped before being introduced in to the main lake in order that we can continue the detailed management of our stock, and I must say that they are all absolute stunners.  Here are a few just to give you a taster.

2 like this at 28lb:

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2 like this at 38lb:

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But only one of these at 45lb

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A total of 8 nice big common carp with a total weight of 272 lbs.  Before you rush for your calculators that’s an average of 34lb.

I am convinced that once these fish are given a bit of extra space in the main lake and some good food they will all fatten up by a pound or 3.  As at today they weighed in as:

2 @ 28lb,  1 @ 29lb,  1 @ 33lb,  1 @ 34lb,  2 @ 38lb and 1 @ 45lb.

Young, healthy fish that have never been caught before, some of you are in for a treat.

Be lucky.

 

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Catch Report – 08 April 2018

A good solid session for Steve and Elaine this week, 12 big carp to 41lb 04oz.

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The weather continued to be miserable all week, but, as is typical, when Steve and Elaine were packing their kit away and getting ready to fly home the sun started to shine and it has been very nice ever since.

Steve is quite relaxed about his fishing and generally only fishes days, he has had better sessions here and he has also had worse ones so he was quite happy with the end result of 12 lovely carp.

The lake water is still quite cold and the fish are still shoaled up tight together, combine that with a heavy ripple on the surface, if not at times large waves, and the fish were almost impossible to locate.

Steve spent his first day on swim 4 and only had the one fish, but that meant that any  possibility of a dry-net was out of the way and he could now relax.

Day 2 and he had a go on swim 5 and once again only caught the one fish so for day 3 he moved down to some shallower water and set up shop in swim 3.  Sure enough he had his 1 fish, by now he was calling them his lunchtime special as his first 3 fish came in at; 1250 hrs, 1230 hrs and 1240 hrs.

Unfortunately for Steve his lunchtime special did not appear on day 4 but he decided to persist with swim 3.  You could not make it up if you tried, at 1230 hrs on day 5 his lunchtime special was back, this time in the form of a lovely little Mirror at 31lb 8oz.

Fortunately for Steve this one had arrived with a few of its mates and Steve was in to a run of 7 fish over the following 8 hours.

The shoal had moved on by the next morning and Steve only had 2 more for the remainder of his session, his final tally was:

Zero babies,  zero doubles,  2 @ 24lb,  1 @ 25lb,  1 @ 28lb,  1 @ 30lb,  1 @ 31lb,  1 @ 32lb,  1 @ 33lb,  1 @ 34lb,  1 @ 36lb,  1 @ 38lb and 1 at 41lb 04oz.

Steve and Elaine will be back for another session in August when the day shifts will be longer and hopefully the weather should be considerably better, 2 of them will be sleeping down on the lake so there should be some good night fishing sessions which should help to boost the final tally.  A few more of these will be nice:

wed 17.15

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Catch Report – 01 April

I do not normally use inappropriate language on my blog but sometimes you just need a word for effect and I must say that the weather has continued to be BLOODY AWFUL.

Very wet and very cold, the fishing was always going to be difficult, and Maddie was going to get little or no chance to sit out and enjoy some sunshine, but Geoff was not going to be deterred by some bad weather and he approached things in his usual meticulous manner.

And what a reward for his efforts;  23 lovely big carp, total weight of over 876lb, with an average weight of a tad over 38lb.

The big carp are definitely waking from their winter slumber and looking around for a feed, but the water is still very cold and they are still shoaled up very tight together.  Every time Geoff found them he would catch a couple and then they would move away en-mass and he would have to start hunting for them again, often going 12 hours at a time between takes.

Geoff is a regular visitor to Le Moulin and he knows the place very well, given the conditions he had decided on his tactics before he had even arrived but he would take himself off for a regular walk around the lake to study the signs and he was prepared to move if it was necessary.

As it turned out he managed to stay in his preferred swim all week and let his bait boat take the strain.  He elected to fish swim 5 from where he could cover all of the deep water from as far to his right as swim 4 and beyond and all the way up to the dam wall on his left and swim 6.

Geoff takes measurements of the fish as well as weighing them and they have all grown on an inch or two which is great news, and between now and May/June they will pack on some weight and fill their new sized frames.

Generally the fish are in immaculate condition and here is Geoff with a sample of what he was treated to:

Fury at 40lb

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Ace at 41lb

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Big Ben at 47lb

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Treena at 48lb

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Uncle Harry at 49lb

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Brunell at 50lb

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Casper at 50lb

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and last but not least, Odin looking magnificent at 55lb 10oz

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Geoff’s final tally was:

Zero babies,  Zero doubles,  1 @ 26lb,  2 @ 27lb,  1 @ 29lb,  3 @ 30lb,  1 @ 32lb,  2 @ 35lb,  2 @ 36lb,  3 @ 38lb,  1 @ 40lb,  1 @ 41lb,  1 @ 47lb,  1 @ 48lb,  1 @ 49lb,  2 @ 50lb and one at 55lb 10oz.

We will see Geoff and Maddie again in October when I am sure that Geoff will find a few, lets just hope for a long Summer so that Maddie can get a bit of sunshine.

A great start to the season lets hope that it continues.

 

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Availability Update

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I have been moaned at again today for not posting an availability update which I keep promising to do.  There is not a lot left I’m afraid, this is the state of play as at this morning :

2018

Fully booked

2019

Fully booked

2020

April :  Fully booked.

May :  Fully booked.

June :  the 20th and the 27th.

July :  the 11th, the 18th and the 25th.

August :  the 8th and the 22nd.

September :  Fully booked.

October :  the 10th, the 17th and the 24th.

2021

Despite requests we are restricting bookings up to the end of the 2020 season, as per our usual arrangements  the calendar for 2021 will be opened on the 1st of December 2018.

If you are not able to take advantage of the above availability but you are aware of someone who might want to then please pass this information on and share it with all interested parties.

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Catch Report – Simon

As you will know Simon and Donna were over last week to give the place a trial run before the season starts, the weather conditions were perfect prior to their arrival, warm and sunny, the lake was coming alive, and there was fish activity everywhere I looked, was it going to last ?

The short answer is;   NO !

When they got out of their car on Monday afternoon one of my first questions to them was :

Why have you bought this British weather with you ?

It had just started to rain and unbeknown to us at the time it was going to be downhill all the way from that point on.  On the plus side we have learnt a lot about weather pressure areas, something I have never attributed much credence in the past but will do in the future.

There was a massive low pressure building out in the Atlantic to the west, and there was a massive high pressure building in-land to the east,  Cussac had been squashed in between the 2 for several days which explains why the weather was holding very fair and the barometer was holding at just below 1000 milibars/hPa.

As Simon was setting up his stall on swim 4 the barometer was on the way down and by Tuesday morning it was around 988, quite low, and that explained the now wet and very windy weather, with severe winds blowing in from the south west, the lake was doing a good impression of Calais beach.

Obviously the low had nudged the high out of the way, a falling barometer, a mix of wind, rain and sunshine, nothing too serious and Simon was in to his 3rd fish of his session, another lovely Mirror at 36lb 06oz:

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So far so good, but we were not prepared for what happened next; everything just stopped.

The fishing stopped, the wind stopped, the rain stopped.

The pressure areas were fighting for position and the high was winning.  Over the next 24 hours the pressure went from quite low at 988 to quite high at 1020, the sun was out, the temperature was trying to rise but the wind was now very strong and howling out of the north east with icicles for teeth.

By Wednesday, despite the sun, the weather was not pleasant and poor old Simon was freezing to death in the shady swim which is swim 4, he was having to find sunny sheltered spots to stand-in in an attempt to thaw out.

Despite both of us hunting for any sign of where the fish may be there was not a sign to be had.  Occasionally the wind would drop and the lake would look stunning, as calm as a mill pond with the sun shining on it, but not a sign, not even so much as a Roach.

The barometer was on its way back down on Thursday as the pressure areas once again jockeyed for position but it was all too late as Simon was packing up during the afternoon with a view to travelling home on Friday morning.

We all went out for a couple of beers and a pizza on Thursday evening but I couldn’t decide whether I was celebrating a great start to the season with 3 stunning fish in around 6 hours fishing, or, was I commiserating over a poor start with nothing caught during the following 2 days.

Either way the pizza was great, and Simon’s catch included the 36 pounder above, a chubby little Mirror at 34lb:

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and of course Junior at 50lb:

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As Simon and Donna drove away on Friday morning the wind was gone, the sun was shining and by lunchtime the carp in my front pond were boshing around, life was returning to normal.

I took The Boys out for a walk around the lake on Saturday, the barometer had returned to its normal reading of around 1000 mbars and the sun was lovely and warm, there was a breeze from the south but nothing nasty.

I was taking my normal route up along the far bank and as I approached my wooden bridge by the sluice I looked in to the deep bay and the place was being smashed to pieces, I could not see the fish but the silt plumes were massive.

I walked around to stand on my Monk System hoping to get a better view but alas the breeze was creating quite a ripple and I couldn’t see anything.  At that exact moment the wind dropped, the mill pond effect returned and there they all were, my babies, there must have been around 200 of them basking in the sun just below the surface, if only I had had my camera.

I had sight of them for a whole 10 seconds but as soon as the ripple returned they disappeared, and despite standing there for 10 minutes doing a bit of wishful thinking I was not going to see them again.

They were shoaled together as tight as tight and they were all in an area no bigger than 50m x 30m, if that is where they were on Wed/Thursday it is no wonder that Simon was not getting so much as a nibble on swim 4 or 5.

Geoff and Maddie arrive on Friday so lets hope the pressure holds fair.

PS.  If any of you has an opinion or an experience of air pressure affecting carp fishing I would love to hear about it, this last week has certainly sparked my interest in the subject.

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