24 big carp and a new lake record of 65lb does not tell the whole story this week.
James and Matt, one of our regular Father and Son teams, have not been able to carry on with the big catches of previous weeks, in fact at times it has been an absolute struggle, but, as usual, they manned up to it and made the best job they could.
And 24 big carp to 65lb is not a bad session by any measure.
The weather started to get nice and warm during the latter stages of last week and it continued for the first few days of this week, the water temperature was rising to bring the big carp to the point of spawning. But, unfortunately, not quite.
The Guys decided to fish together from swim 5 and share the expanse of water from swim 4 through to swim 6, I would have expected them to have carried on from where Garry left off the previous session but that did not prove to be the case. There was something different going on.
Saturday and Sunday came and went with not so much as a liner let alone a take, the fish were showing down in the shallower swims, but James and Matt had picked their spots and they stuck to them, thankfully at 3am on Monday morning Matt got the ball rolling with this lovely little Common at 38lb:
The last time this particular fish was out was a full year ago, in May 2018, when it weighed in at 32lb, it might not make a showing very often but if it packs on 6lb in between each catch it will be a fish to hunt for in future years.
Monday carried on well with 6 nice fish. Tuesday saw 10 on the bank so we all assumed that the fishing was back on, but how wrong we can all be.
I first noticed the strange fish behaviour when watching the carp in my front stock pond on Tuesday afternoon, the sun was blazing and they should have all been sunbathing as normal but there was not a fish in sight. On closer inspection they were a foot under the surface and swimming quite quickly, they were starting to play the chase-me-chase-me game.
I call it this for want of a proper name for it but basically it is like pre-nuptual courting for carp. They do it every year just before spawning.
I knew I had got it right when I was walking The Boys on Wednesday lunchtime, I was walking along the far bank opposite swims 3-4 when the sun reflected off a shoal of about 50 big carp, all in a single long line playing chase-me-chase-me. Absolute typical pre-spawn behaviour.
I mentioned it to the guys and they said that they had caught a couple of males that were silting in the cradle.
It all coincided with the reduction in the catch rate, the fish had something else on their minds.
Wednesday saw 4 on the bank, Thursday saw 2, Friday only 1, and Matt ended the session the way he started with the last one at 6am this morning, a lovely Common which tipped the scales to 49lb:
Unfortunately the weather has been on the change again for the last couple of days and today it is decidedly cooler and raining, if it drops the water temperature too much then it will put an end to spawning until it warms up again.
If I can figure out what they are up to over the next few days I shall let you all know, we are closed this week for the first week of R and R for the fish so there will not be a catch report next weekend.
Despite the spawning activity though the guys have had some very nice fish, they may not have set a new catch record but they have added a pound to the Lake Record :
The final tally was :
A few Pike and Black Bass, zero babies, 4 Doubles; 2 at 18lb and 2 at 19lb, 1 @ 23lb, 1 @ 25lb, 1 @ 26lb, 1 @ 28lb, 2 @ 29lb, 3 @ 31lb, 1 @ 33lb, 1 @ 34lb, 1 @ 36lb, 1 @ 37lb, 1 @ 38lb, 1 @ 41lb, 1 @ 42lb, 1 @ 48lb, 1 @ 49ln, 1 @ 50lb and 1 at 65lb
James and Matt will be back again next year, same time, lets hope the conditions are slightly different.