96 Big Carp to 64lb
If it followed the same trend as last year then this week should have been a session to end all sessions.
Garry and Dave set the bar a little higher than normal this time last season with their amazing catch, Garry set the 1 man catch at 72 fish, together they set the 2 man catch at 96 fish, and Pumba made one of his rare showings and set the new lake record at 64lb :
Pumba did not stop there as he re-set the lake record again later in the year at 66lb 06oz, but no-one managed to top those catch rates.
BUT, I reckon if we had anyone on the lake this last week they would have stood a good chance, the fish are going ballistic, they must be enjoying their lock-down as I have never seen so much fish activity spread across the whole lake.
The Naturals are in abundance this year with the weather being so consistently good, it continues to be warm and sunny with the occasional drop of rain to keep things fresh.
Despite the plentiful supply of naturals I continue to subsidise their food with 20kg per day of mixed mais/pellet, for anyone who cannot picture that volume of feed then basically it is 2 of these big buckets everyday.
Scrummy, and very healthy, plenty of carbs and vegetable protein from the mais, combined with loads of meat protein and minerals and vitamins from the pellet. The pellet is specifically designed for rearing carp and by itself it provides everything they need for a healthy diet.
I have been experimenting with the feed this week, just to once again prove a point. I often go on at anglers about feeding regularly and consistently, even when they are getting no action. The response that I get all the time is “the fish aren’t having it so I am not feeding”, as ever my reply to that is “well if you don’t give them something to have a go at, then they will never be having it, will they??”
Very annoying to hear from a lake owner I know as many anglers think that owners just want their fish to be fed for free. Well we do, because that is a part of the business model.
Enough of that. Back to the experiment. Despite the volume of naturals I am still convinced that anglers can get the big carp off the naturals if they give them a good enough reason to do so, would 20kg per day, spread over 2 feeds be enough?
I started last Sunday with a bucket full of lovely-tucker, directly in front of swim 5, spread over an area the width of the swim, 20ft, and between 3 feet but no more than 15 feet out from the bank. That is in around 6-7 feet of water. The intent was to replicate a typical spread of bait that most anglers aim for along their preferred spot on the far bank.
I then spent half an hour on Sunday evening just sitting there watching, I was waiting for any sign of feeding activity. Nothing, Rien, Nada !!!
Monday morning and evening, the same routine. Exactly the same spread at exactly the same times. Nothing.
I was going to persist though, because I know that from having had my own Koi ponds in previous gardens that if you feed your fish consistently then they will get in to a routine, and my big carp are no different to your Koi, or any fish for that matter, they all have the intelligence to find regular food supplies. That is, at the end of the day, what they live for.
A bit like us really, Helen goes to the Intermarche every Friday between 12 and 2pm because that is when she gets her supplies. A creature of habit.
Tuesday morning, Nothing. BUT on Tuesday evening, around 5 minutes after scattering my offerings I saw a fish, it was a beautiful fish, it was my big white Koi, and he stood out like a beacon.
No sooner had I seen the Koi I could see another big shape just under the surface, then another, and another, and another……………………………………….
Impossible to see without good sunglasses.
Within 10 minutes I had a shoal of around 50 big carp feeding in the same area, they would go down and fill their mouths with food and then float back up to around 1 foot below the surface and munch away for a few minutes before repeating the process.
Point to note : if I had not been able to stay close enough to see them I would never have known they were there, not a single sign on the surface.
Unfortunately the whole experience only lasted for about 30 minutes, and then, one by one, they began to move away, obviously my offerings were rapidly disappearing.
I decided to tweak my experiment; 20kg in one feed in the evening.
As I approached the swim on Wednesday evening I noticed that the white Koi was not far away, in the swim but about 3 quarters of the way across the lake. As the first couple of shovels of food hit the water the white Koi moved straight in and within minutes his mates were all joining in, and he has some big mates !!
20 Kgs, and this time I spread it a little wider and a little further afield, it kept them going for around about 1 hour before it was all gone, and as is usual, once the food has gone so has their loyalty. Straight back on to the naturals.
I reckon that in that hour I could have caught a couple at least, and if I had had the time to spread that 20kgs over 20 hours I might have held them there for ever !!
I will leave you to dwell on the possibilities.
I have continued with my experiment all week and as the 20kgs stays constant the shoal moving in to hoover it all up has got larger, the draw back with that is that I get to watch them for a shorter time, but what a treat.
The reality is that they now know what time I get there with their dinner and now they are there waiting for me every evening.
I have not spent the whole week feeding my fish though, I thought that while I was there playing around I would put myself to work, shed 5 has now been refurbished :
As for the ongoing coronavirus situation, there is little change I’m afraid.
We are still on strict lock-down until the 11th of May but the Government is due to announce it’s plan to ease the restrictions on Tuesday of this week. Leaked by the Press as usual it would appear that most businesses will be permitted to re-open and travel restrictions will be eased (not lifted), but face masks are likely to be made compulsory on all public transport.
All businesses must be able to retain the social distancing rule of 1 metre between groups and groups are to contain no more than 10 persons.
Sports are to be permitted and that includes golf and fishing as they are easy to apply social distancing. Schools will almost certainly be opened but the last businesses to open will be restaurants and cafes, although they are aiming for that to happen by the end of May.
If the plan goes ahead and is a success then things may revert to something approaching normal by sometime in June ? July ? August ?
We will just have to wait and see.
The border between the UK and France remains open as it has always been, we will just have to hope that the UK eases it’s movement restrictions and negotiates a plan with France to permit travel from the ports.
One thing I can be sure of is that the French are getting twitchy and they all expect their holidays to happen in August as normal.
Please be advised that I have acquired all of the above by translating French news articles and as like the UK version the media make it all up as they go along, so we will just have to wait to see how things develop.
Meanwhile, keep safe.