I know spawning is an issue that many of you get concerned about, especially if you are booked on the lake over the next several weeks.
A part of last weeks catch report concerned spawning and I promised an update this weekend if I could workout what the big carp are up to, well the news is not good I’m afraid.
Last week I reported that the fish were starting their chase-me-chase-me game which is always the lead-in to full spawning, I also reported that the weather was getting colder and a drop in water temperature would stop any spawning activity.
Well, true to form, the colder weather continued through the weekend, and cold mornings combined with a lack of sunshine during the day achieved the drop in water temperature required to make the change, no more chase-me-chase-me, not a single solitary sign of it !!
Monday and Tuesday saw a return to warmer weather but unfortunately the forecast was not good, it started to rain on Tuesday evening and it rained all week right through to Saturday afternoon when the Gaskill family arrived for their holiday. Nothing too serious but enough to add a continual drop of cold water to the lake thus keeping the temperature down.
I have managed to locate the fish on several occassions through the week and I can confirm that they have completely returned to normal habits, the lake water is still warm but at 18 degrees it isn’t quite warm enough.
On Tuesday afternoon I sat on swim 4 and I was watching a massive shoal of carp feeding away, they were all in the shallower water on the cabin side of the lake, directly in front of the cabin, some were off to the right as far as the over-hanging tree and some were off to the left, almost as far as swim 5, but they were there en-mass, I estimate that there was well over 100 big carp in that single shoal and they were all doing the same thing in the same place at the same time. Typical of all shoaling fish.
Had it not been for the sun shining and the lack of any ripple on the surface this shoal would have been impossible to locate and I would never have known they were there.
Remember that next time you see a big carp showing, they live in shoals, generally speaking that is.
Despite being there in huge numbers there was not a single sign of spawning activity, they were noses down, tails up, and they were scouring the lake bed for anything and everything that was edible. They were moving from right to left at a rate of about 1 meter per hour.
My search on Wednesday found nothing at all, not a single sign of a fish anywhere.
Thursday I found them again and they were ripping up the lake bed along the far bank opposite swims 2 and 3, once again they were shoaled up in large numbers and quite obviously feeding well.
On Friday I found them in the shallow water of swim 1, it looked like every fish in the lake had found a hole to dig-in and the water was like liquid chocolate.
In summary : there has been no spawning this week. I think!!!!!
When Ian and his gang arrived yesterday I briefed him on the situation and the concern was obvious, we went for a good walk around the lake but because it was windy and there was a large ripple on the water it was impossible to decide where they were and where best to start.
Ian has been here before, and had to do this before, and he knows that when the fish are on the move like this you really do have to study the water and watch for signs. Once you locate them you can sit on yours spots and pray or you can go to the fish.
I left Ian and the boys on swims 5 and 6 yesterday afternoon but after a carefull study and noting several fish boshing out on swim 2 Ian had already moved when Helen took The Boys out for their breakfast walk today.
So far, so good, and Ian’s tactics are paying off, everyone has caught and the best so far is over 47lb.
The drawback for Ian is that the sun has just come out from behind the clouds (10am) and the forecast for the whole week is; no rain, increasing amounts of sunshine, with lessening amounts of cloud.
Keep your eye out for next weeks catch report, I will let you know how Ian and his boys get on, and obviously I will keep you up to speed with the spawning situation.
If any of you are hoping that they all spawn this week thereby removing that problem for your week further in the season then please think again, my experience is that after the chase-me-chase-me stuff the real spawning can take at least 6 weeks from the first fish to the last.
If we are lucky it will all be finished by the end of June. But if you can’t catch many of these :
You can always try for a few of these :
or these :