Tough times.

This week we have the pleasure of having old friends back once more and at the moment are very thankful that they have experienced some good times here in past years. As it is the week has been incredibly tough with the week starting hot and sunny then temperatures have plummeted with our water temperature dropping from 21c through to 17c yesterday and 15c today. Carp are to be seen and heard,especially at night and early mornings however the lads are finding things pretty frustrating with lots of bleeps and phantom runs resulting in nothing more than a broken nights sleep. When they have made contact with a carp it has eventually been lost ! In fact we have now had five very strong fish lost after protracted fights and the lads are left shaking their heads and wondering just how big the departing carp were. The high pressure system we are experiencing is coming to an end today so although it will be staying cold a drop in air pressure is always a positive sign. This morning Jimmy went out in the boat and found a lot of carp feeding happily away in the area between the island and ‘Sanctuary’ swim, water that had remained unfished all week. Charlie decided to move down and fish ‘Sanctuary’ for the day and what a great decision that was as this afternoon he managed to bank a cracking 53lb mirror. Of the five regulars in the group every one has now had a fifty from LMDM so it was fitting that Charlie (now Champagne Charlie) finally managed his to catch his ‘big girl’.

Gavin is on his first trip to France and took my advice to spend a day on Poppy’s Lake and had a great time banking carp of 25lb, 24lb and 22lb along with a handful of doubles. The two larger fish both bettered his pb so it was a worthwhile little escape from the toils of the main lake. We have our fingers crossed that the change in air pressure may encourage more of the carp to start feeding in earnest – time will tell !!

Champagne Charlie and his mirror carp of 53lb 4oz.

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Another week of rain dampens the fishing – But……..Cut Tail common out at 62lb.

The lads have had to contend with some pretty unpleasant weather once again and the tail end of the week produced enough rain to raise the lake level by several inches !! It is fair to say that the fishing was challenging say the least and only ‘Team Symons’ (Frans and Koen) managed to get among the carp in any numbers with 10 carp and a trio of sturgeon between them. Frans started well with mirrors of 49lb 8oz and 47lb 6oz and then Koen stepped in with a nice brace of 40’s himself. The remainder of the carp were high 30’s with a solitary smaller fish of 24lb. The best sturgeon was a 40lb specimen to Frans. By using just 10mm boilies on small hooks the two Dutchmen did well in torrid conditions. Gavin started slowly but still managed 7 fish but not before losing a couple to a knot break and a line break. After a trio of smaller carp (up to 34lb) and another trio, this time sturgeon up to 48lb, Gaving had a real result on Friday night with the fabulous ‘Cut Tail’ common at 62lb. As with all the carp she was in stunning condition and slightly up in weight since last caught. The other lads struggled with Rob blanking and Dennis and Martin catching only from Poppy’s Lake. In fact Dennis had fish up to 32lb and Martin to 27lb from Poppy’s which serves to illustrate just how fast they are growing. I fished Poppy’s for a few hours this afternoon and had commons of 17lb and 18lb and mirrors of 23lb and 25lb plus one smaller fish so we should be seeing some really good fish being banked here next year. The weather this week continues to be unsettled with yesterday and today being hot and sunny, Monday and Tuesday due to be wet with a possible storm and Thursday and Friday seeing a change to clear sunny weather again but with vastly reduced temperatures only forecast to be reaching 14c.

All in all the week was most enjoyable with the lads staying in great spirits even when the rain was pouring and clothes were soaking wet. Hopefully when they return next year things will be a tad more comfortable !!

I have talked a lot this year about the ‘problem’ all the lakes in this area have had with naturals being around in such abundance that the carp have been reluctant to take a bait. Well, we have now managed to establish ‘Crispus’ weed in some area’s of the lake and when a strand or so is pulled in by anglers it is found to be covered in water snails. What with that, our huge beds of bloodworm and the fry it is no wonder the carp have proven to be such a tough proposition this summer. I think that the draindown in December, that will see the lake bed exposed for a couple of weeks, will go a long way to reducing the naturals for next year. Best of all would be a nice hard winter !!!

Gavin and Cut Tail.

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Frans and Koen and few more of their fish.

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IMG_9348 (1280x960)And finally a rather lovely picture of a kingfisher that Rob took from hi bivvy.


More rain and a few good fish.

The week started with sunshine on Saturday and has gone downhill since then. Heavy rain, showers and the odd glimpse of sunshine together with an ever changing wind has kept the carp unsettled and once again it is careful attention to detail that is producing fish. Frans and Koen have been fishing very small baits and hooks and have taken three 40’s so far with fish of 49.8lb’s and 47.7lb’s to Frans and another mirror of 43lb to Keon. Interestingly the lads are fishing ‘Sams’ and ‘Middle Ground’ swims but have taken two of the fish from in front of ‘Steps’, no more than of rod lengths out. Good fishing ! Gavin has had his first sturgeon of 48lb but other than that no other carp have been banked. It is early days yet and the sun is shining today so things will likely pick up once more. As you can see from the pictures the carp are all in stunning condition and back to their best weights so we can expect some of the real biggies to show up soon !! And at what weights – that is the question.

Frans and Koen with their 40’s.

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Deposits for 2015.

I am usually very relaxed about not asking our regulars for deposits until November for the following years booking(s) and that time is rapidly approaching. In recent years I ask for balance payments 6 weeks prior to the date of the trip. By taking this rather casual approach I have been let down several times on bookings that were made (and taken) in good faith only to find that the anglers could not fulfil their commitment. The end result was that we at Le Moulin du Mee were forced to accept a financial loss when the places could not be re-let. Throughout the year I am turning away potential bookings in the belief that I am unable to offer any places to the said anglers only to find that I am being let down at the last moment by people that I have put my trust in. With that in mind I would like to remind all our anglers (and in most cases friends) that the deposits for next year should be paid before the end of November. Any reservations that are not confirmed by a deposit will be regarded as available for other anglers. Balance payments will be required no later than 8 weeks prior to the trip. This gives me the chance to re-let the places if the booking falls through. For our part we have always refunded payments (less deposit) where we have been able to fill the places.

We have always regarded our anglers as more than just clients and with our great many regulars we have built a great relationship that makes our weeks together such a pleasure. I fully understand that the period between initial booking and the date of the trip can throw up all sorts of obstacles and totally appreciate there are times when a booking cannot be fulfilled. All I ask is that in that situation you let me know asap so that I can fill the places and avoid a financial loss to us both.

Your business is valued a great deal by the LMDM team and your friendship and company makes the fishing season a real pleasure for the most part. Please help us but sticking with the payment schedules…please !!!

A real deluge.

Early evening and the sky had cleared leaving a near full moon to illuminate the landscape. I could see Tim’s light on, up at the ‘Sanctuary’ swim,so walked along the Home bank to find out what was going on. It turned out to be a stunning, scale perfect common of 40lb that was quickly dealt with and returned to the water. All looked good for a productive night with carp to be heard crashing all over the lake. It was not to be as within 15 mins of leaving Tim the heavens opened up and the rain just poured down accompanied by storm force winds. The wind quickly died away but the rain just continued for much of the night. Jimmy had set up in ‘Zippies Pit’ and has baited up his area, clipped his rods up and was all set for a nights fishing. Unfortunately he had not reckoned on the strong wind arriving so suddenly and he found his bivvy upside down and his sleeping bag/bedchair sopping wet. Not a night to be roughing it was his decision ! By morning (still raining) the lake had risen a couple of inches and the carp had taking to sulking due to the rapid drop in water temperature. As I write the rain has eased somewhat and after an extended breakfast the lads are squelching their way back the their swims for a wet days fishing. Tonight the rain is due to stop with tomorrow forecast dry and the following week sunny and warmer. Such is autumn !!

Tim and his cracking common.

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Rain, rain and more rain !

Well, my wish of a change to wetter weather has been granted in no uncertain terms and we have had steady rain for much of the last three days. Today was a little drier for several hours but tonight has seen a return of the heavy rain accompanied by the odd rumble of thunder. As in recent weeks there are lots of carp moving, especially during the hours of darkness, and I am pleased to say the fishing is slowly improving as well. Terry has bagged a trio of upper 30’s and a 42lb mirror, Keith is now off the mark in grand style with a stunning mirror of 54lb and Tim has just moved to the shallows where he has bagged a brace of nice 40’s at 43lb 8oz and 43lb. Phil (Topetamer) who once held the sea tope record has had to make do with four of our very own ‘freshwater tope’ in the form of sturgeon. The lads have been tinkering with baits/rigs, etc as with so many fish active over the bait it is strange that takes have remained quite elusive. A change to maize has resulted in Keith bagging his 50 and using very small boilies has helped Tim start catching so it would seem that smaller baits are the way forward at the moment. Anyway, some pictures.

Keith and his 54lb mirror.

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And our very own Gentle Giant Tim with a brace of 40’s.

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Great fish but not many of them !!

We have enjoyed a week in the company of a great group of lads from Wolverhampton who, despite the slow fishing, ensured that the week was a great success. With a great attitude born out of experience of many weeks of French carping the lads fished hard in conditions that were just about as poor as it gets. The days were still, hot and sunny with barely a whisper of wind to ruffle the lakes surface and the nights saw temperatures plummet to low single figures. Carp could be seen and heard crashing out leaving everyone feeling that the big girls were active and likely to be on the feed but hooked carp were at a premium and despite plenty of ghost runs, fish hooked and lost and lines that slowly tightened and then dropping back we were left with a feeling of ‘what could have been’ if conditions had been more favourable. On plus we did have 4 x 50’s banked during the week plus a handful of sturgeon. Actually that is not quite right as one of the fish actually weighed in at 49lb 13oz with the others between 51lb and 53lb. Top rod was Shaun who had three of the big girls (a brace of commons and a mirror) whilst Matt (Ian Beale to us all) moved to the shallows at my suggestion and immediately banked a stunning mirror of 51lb. The other lads shared the sturgeon but unfortunately failed to land any carp. It is always good when a group of anglers see’s more than just numbers of fish as being the be all and end all of a weeks fishing and these fellah’s smiled all week, loved their holiday and have booked up for another crack at the fish in the coming years. Thanks lads.

At night we had the ‘battle of the owls’ taking place along the Home Bank where it would seem that several barn owls were ‘hooting their hearts out’ in an attempt to establish hunting rights in the area. We also had a strange occurrence one night when I decided to stroll along to ‘Zippies’ to see how Tim (Mr Fussy) was getting on. It was very, very dark so I was wearing my head torch to light the way and as I approached the bamboo tunnel I saw a pair of bright eye’s (about 3ft off the ground) staring at me. Thinking it was our big Estrella dog Kai I muttered ‘what the hell are you doing out at this time’ and walked towards the eyes. With a blink they disappeared and I failed to pick up any sign of the culprit with my head torch. When I mentioned it to Tim he mentioned there had been loads of loud crashings in the bamboo including sound loud enough to have been a tree falling !!! Anyway on the way back I shone my torch into the bamboo thicket and lo and behold there were the eye’s again. Just eye’s I may add because I could not see anything other than a largIe pair of large, unblinking eye’s looking at me !! I really had just two choices in front of me. The first was to enter the bamboo thicket and find out what sort of animal was there and the second was to skulk home with my tail between my legs and give it best. I arrived home in record time !

Anyway some pictures, firstly Shaun and his fish and then matt with his 50.

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This week has seen a complete change in the weather with lots of rain and temperatures struggling into double figures. So far we have had 4 x upper 30’s banked along with a trio of sturgeon. Once again plenty of fish have been showing themselves and nights continue to be a time when the lads are serenaded by big carp crashing out. With 4 regulars fishing this week it will be interesting to see how they approach the fishing.

A couple of scenic’s I took this morning.

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A slight improvement.

Rain storms earlier in the week certainly saw the carp feeding with more enthusiasm and some good fish were banked before things slowed down again with the return of the hot, sunny conditions. The total catch for the week was 1x 60 (68lb), 3 x 50’s (two of them commons), 14 x 40’s, 6 x 30’s, 3 x 20’s and 5 x sturgeon. As usual the lads reported lots of carp activity during the hours of darkness with big fish crashing all over the lake but once the heat of the day set in all activity ceased and it was a time for suntans rather than fishing ! Anyway, it was another most enjoyable week with a great bunch of lads and once again a good few new pb’s were set. Top rod was Martin who had a wonderful weeks fishing with carp of 68lb, 50lb, 45lb, 45lb, 44lb, 42lb, 40lb, 40lb, 38lb, 38lb, 37lb, 32lb plus a brace of sturgeon. Aaron banked commons of 50lb, 40lb and 32lb plus a sturgeon whilst Ian had 6 fish including a 51lb common. Paul had a brace of nice mirrors early in the week (46lb and 44lb) but thereafter just managed a solitary sturgeon whilst our old mate ‘Jonah’ (Adrian or course) had just a 41lb 6oz mirror plus a sturgeon.

The carp are in stunning condition and now seem to be getting back to their best weights after the heavy spawning earlier in the summer and I am expecting the final weeks of the season to throw up some good weights and perhaps one or two of the big girls that have remained elusive for most of the summer. Lake levels remain good but we could do with a sustained spell of rain to freshen things up. It is at this late summer period when water quality is likely to be a bit ‘stale’ that we look to the weather forecasts in the hope that a good wet spell, or at least a storm or two, will arrive to liven things up a tad.

For those of you that enjoy the wildlife I am pleased to report that red squirrels can be seen all round the lakes and kingfishers are now around in numbers that we haven’t seen for a year or so. We have had several ospreys passing through and although they hovered around the lakes for a while they soon moved on without helping themselves to a fish or two. Lots of signs of pine martins are to be seen which will mean that they are around in good numbers and we actually saw one hunting in the wood stack near Poppy’s lake yesterday. The coming weeks will see the swallows gathering for their return to Africa for the winter and the final fling of the autumn we can expect great skeins of cranes to be flying over on their way back from Scandinavia. The autumn days are some of my favourite of the year with the lakes looking freshened from the rains and the tree’s glowing golden in the evening sun and (If all goes according to plan) then the fishing will pick up also as the carp begin their pre-winter feeding spell. Once the last of the anglers depart and the temperatures begin to drop we will start lowering the lake levels and getting under way with our winter tasks. In early December both lakes will be netted and unwanted fish removed and, if necessary, extra fish stocked with exact numbers of fish, sizes of fish and photographs posted on the blog. Happy days indeed !

Some more pictures from the week.

Martin and a few more of his carp.

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IMG_1348 (1024x683)Aaron and his 50lb common.

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Paul and a nice mirror.

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Ian and his 50lb common.


And finally our old mate Adrian and his 41lb mirror.

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Drop Scale out at 68lb.

Martin White is still shaking after banking the ‘Drop Scale’ mirror at 68lb exactly. She is gradually getting back to her best weight after the rigours of a heavy spawning earlier in the summer and should be turning the scales to 70lb once again by autumn time. It is good to see her in such wonderful condition and a big well done to Martin on the capture of this stunning carp.

A few pictures.

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