Well, I am still away from the lake (although updated daily) after a Christmas that saw Lottie and I down with a chest virus and my grandson in hospital with the same and only let out late on Christmas Eve. All is well now and I am presently sitting in the cabin of my boat with a large glass of something refreshing and looking forward with no little excitement for the start of our 2017 season. We have had so little rain in the past couple of months that our region is currently on drought alert. In response we are starting to fill the lakes a month earlier than is usual and will be ensuring that the work on the swims is carried out in early February with all the cutting back being left to later in the month. Chatting with Jimmy earlier it seems that the mild spell has encouraged the carp to move around and show far more than we would expect in early January although the weather is forecast to get a good degree colder in the days ahead. We really could do with a very cold snap to kill off the bugs before too long and a decent helping of snow would be very welcome to top up the aquafors with a nice slow melt. We have been studying last years catch reports and all being well we can expect some great catches in the coming season with so many carp moving up to the next weight category. If you look back over the catch reports for 2016 it is really evident that we had a huge amount of upper 40’s that are ready to break the 50lb barrier this year and lets not forget the amount of 50’s that came out above the 55lb mark that are also likely to break the next weight group of 60lb+. Happy days indeed.
On a more sobering note it is worth reminding all our anglers that to have such a large stock of big carp also has a downside which can show itself in the lean weeks when the fishing can be very difficult indeed. We cannot guarantee that every angler will bag up, or even catch, however we can guarantee that when that alarm goes off the heart will be banging in expectation with a 40lb+ carp more likely to be the culprit than anything smaller. Our days as a runs water are now long past although more than one angler has waxed lyrical that we should still be producing 30 fish per angler with the only difference being that they are twice the size as before !! Oh, if only life was that simple.
One difference in fishing approach we see these days, especially from new anglers to LMDM, is the lack of any real bait application. ‘I am fishing for just one bite at a time’ is an expression that I hear regularly. I really think that it is imperative that logic is applied to a fishing approach and although a light baiting approach has its merit at certain times I would consider that more often than not too little bait is more of a problem that too much. Always remember that nature dictates that wild creatures need to feed regularily and the bigger they are the more food they require to survive. Let me give you some sobering facts that certainly should be considered when you fish. At Le Moulin du Mee the main lake hold over 300 carp (counted, not estimated) with an average weight of around 40lb. That gives us a biomass of carp of approx. 12000 lb’s with the roach and perch to be added to that. In good summer feeding conditions the experts tell us that a carp can consume 2% of its body weight daily ! For a 40lb carp that is almost 13 oz of food per fish giving a total for our carp of around 240lb of food……..in one day !!! Now, not for one minute do I believe that this either a regular occurrence of one that we can base our approach on however if you consider for one moment that each carp eats just one ounce of anglers bait in a day – that still amounts to nearly 19 pound of food when they are only feeding lightly. Also to be taken in account is that the lake is one big natural larder with bloodworm to be found just about everywhere. The carp can become very preoccupied on naturals at times with fry and bloodworm forming a large percentage of their diet. That being the case I consider that the approach to be considered is to ensure that there is sufficient bait in the lake to avoid naturals being the preferred option. Along with quite a few of our better anglers I also have formed the view that in some of the quiet periods it is not lack of feeding fish that is the problem but more that they can be quite ‘rig shy’ at times so close attention to efficient rigs and sticky sharp hooks is a must. I also am of the opinion that many of the lads this year fished wit far too heavy leads and also far bigger hooks than is necessary. I find it odd that some of our anglers (fellah’s that I respect immensely and who are far, far better carp anglers than I will ever be) arrive with idea’s and approach that they would never consider at home. Keep it simple is what I say and think about what is happening on that lake bed. If carp are feeding they need food so make sure your swim is attractive on that front. You have three rods so in times of strife fish three different methods. One rod on heavy bait, one on light bait and one with a sausage on the end if that rocks your boat, just keep working your swim with different methods, alternative baits and most importantly of all, keep thinking. Thankfully the tough weeks are outnumbered by easier ones but whenever you arrive at a fishery there are always the vagaries of weather as well as the cussedness of the carp for you to contend with so keep thinking, keep smiling and if the worst comes to the worst enjoy the sunsets, the birdsong and the gentleness of the surroundings and trust that all will be well.
Finally, a couple of things on the business front that I should mention. Firstly, final payments are due 8 weeks prior to the date of your visit so please ensure that you adhere to this. Deposits for 2018 are due on November 1st so once again, please plan for this as I really hate having to chase it up with lads that I regard as friends, not just clients.
As you will all see we have held our prices for 2017 and despite our income taking a real knock with the fall in the value of sterling we were hoping things would improve. Sadly that is not the case and as a consequence I reluctantly will be putting prices up a little in 2018. We will still be very competively priced compared with similar venues so I hope you will understand.
For the main lake in 2018 an exclusive booking will be £2200 for up to 6 anglers.
Individual anglers will be charged £375
Non fishing guests remain at £100
Poppy’s lake will remain unchanged.
Finally… A Happy New Year to you all.