Just returned from photographing a delighted Mark Finch complete with the ‘Drop Scale’ mirror at a new best of 72lb 4oz. She was in stunning condition and gave a good account of herself before Malcolm slid the net under her. I think the beers are on Mark tonight !
The fishing has remained slowish although the carp that are being caught are of a very good average size. Up to breakfast this morning the lads have banked 26 carp including 6 x 50’s along with 11 good 40’s and 9 x 30’s. Eight of the 40’s have been over 45lb and all the 30’s over 35lb which tells the tale of the stamp of carp that we are seeing these days. In fairness many of the fish caught are at a false weight due to the amount of spawn they are carrying but by mid summer will be back to present weights but with extra muscle rather than spawn. The lake is looking stunning as I write with warm sunshine bathing the whole scene and the occasional disturbance to the lakes surface caused by a rolling carp. The fish are to be seen and heard, especially at dusk and during the night but remain rather fickle as far as feeding is concerned which we put down to the imminent spawning cycle. Pleasingly there are carp that appear to have already spawned so there is every chance that the lads on in the coming weeks will have a few fish to go for even if most of the carp are thrashing around in the shallows. The real bugbear is the cold nights where temperatures are falling to low single figures and which is just holding the water temperature down. A warm night or two and things will kick off I am sure. One rather strange thing this week is that the commons have remained unseen and uncaught up to now with mirrors making up the whole catch. With quite a few of our known big commons remaining uncaught this season it would be nice to see one or two showing up in the catches. The ‘Crinkle Tale’ common will be well into the 60’s this year as the last recorded capture of her was around 62lb last season so this is one particular fish that I would love to see grace the net. All in all it has been a good season for us so far and with the condition of the carp so good and the water quality remaining tip-top we are confident that come November we will be able to look back at our best ever season. Happy days ! A few more fish from this week.
The fishing is still slowish however last night saw Steve bag his third 50 of the trip, this one another mirror weighing in at 56lb. That’s 4 x 50’s so far this week and today we have had Steve land a stunning 48lb mirror, Darren a 48lb 8oz mirror and Mark a 45lb mirror so although quantity is lacking quality is certainly not ! The 11 carp landed so far are 56lb, 55lb 6oz, 54lb, 52lb, 48lb 8oz, 48lb, 45lb, 43lb, 38lb, 38lb, 36lb (all mirrors) plus a couple of sturgeon up to 52lb 8oz. Still plenty of time to go this week and with the arrival of cooler weather we could well see things pick up even more. Happy days indeed.
The last 24 hrs has been very quiet on the fishing front with the hot day and chilly night producing just a brace of good fish for the lads. Steve on Zippies added a nice 36lb mirror to his tally whilst Darren, fishing ‘Middle Ground’ got off the mark with a chunky mirror of 55lb 6oz, our third 50 of the week so far. With a change in the weather due tomorrow it will be interesting to see how the carp respond especially considering that spawning will certainly be off the agenda for another week or so. The temperatures are forecast to drop to below 18c during the day with night-time temperatures being much lower so I expect the water to cool off significantly which hopefully will encourage the carp to think more of their stomach’s than reproducing. As for today, well the sun is shining and with very little wind conditions remain warm and sultry with few signs of carp activity. Hopefully once the sun sets we will see the fishing pick up but with suntans being topped up and the birds singing merrily away the day is not at all a bad one.
Saturday was bright but with a cold wind to chill things somewhat. A few fish were to be seen moving but generally the lake was all quiet for much of the day. Overnight Steve, fishing Zippies Pit, had a great start to his week with mirror carp of 54lb, 52lb 43lb and 36lb whilst Mark got off the mark in fine style with a 38lb mirror. Today the hot weather has returned and the lake is flat calm with just the occasional fish to be seen moving. Steve (2) fish ‘Car Park’ reported seeing dark shapes cruising around just sub surface but generally the conditions are far from conducive to carping. Once the heat of the sun leaves the lake we could well see some more action however there also is the possibility that the next few days may see the fish commence spawning once more. A tricky time but I am sure some more good fish will be banked in the coming days.
A few pictures of Steve and his fish.
Nothing about fishing in this post fellah’s but instead a little bit of plugging !
Many of you that fished with us in the early years will remember our daughter, Sophie, who lived with us a few years ago along with our granddaughter Mya. Well, Sophie now lives in West Sussex and after ten years working in the Graphic Design business she has set up a new business offering her freelance design services, specializing in start-up companies and small businesses. If you, or anyone you know, is looking for quality design work please can you spread the word. Her website can be found here: www.featherededge.co.uk or you can find her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Feathered-Edge-Creative-Graphics/891330224241755 (she would appreciate your likes and shares!)
ps. Mention my name and you will get a 20% discount from Sophie ! Now that’s a winner ! lol
Well, the expected spawning activity that I anticipated would bless us this week has failed to materialise and with falling temperatures and a wind now blowing from the north I think that we can safely say that it will be a week or two before it is back on the agenda. This morning I walked the lake earlier than usual and was fortunate enough to see several good fish crash out. There was also a few trails of bubbles just off the dam so it would seem that the carp may be settling down to regular feeding once more. This afternoon Lottie and I made up more ‘sausages’ of barley straw that will be placed around the lake over the weekend. So far I am pleased to report that despite some really hot sunny conditions the lake remains in good condition with very little signs of algae. Obviously it is early days, with a long hot summer ahead, however first indications are that the barley straw is working well and accordingly we are not experiencing the dramatic swings in dissolved oxygen that played havoc with us last year. In fact oxygen levels have been fantastic in both lakes so far this season so we are quietly confident that all will be well on that front this year. In the little pool connected to the top of the main lake we have had our pair of turtles sunning themselves atop one of our barley straw bales and they seem to have taken up residence in that quite little corner. It will be interesting to see if we have any ‘turtlettes’ around this summer ! With the lake not being fished this week the lads arriving in the morning should have a good week. I say ‘should’ as nothing can be certain in this game however with spawning unlikely and the carp having remained undisturbed for some days there is every likelihood that another good weeks fishing will be on the cards. In Poppy’s Lake the carp how now finished spawning and today we saw quite a few fish crashing out in the shallow area’s indicating that they are now back on the feed. We will have a couple of lads fishing Poppy’s so I look forward to seeing how the fish have faired after their thrashing around this week. I will update you on developments throughout the week so fingers crossed that there will be some good news to report. Happy days !
This morning I took breakfast overlooking the lake, with the sun already warm by 8am, and the birds singing merrily away. I watched a kingfisher breaking the surface of the lake as he fished for his own breakfast and enjoyed listening to the myriad of wild birds that were so very active this morning. It is the best time of year for those of you that are bird lovers as the cuckoo and nightingales are still calling and the golden orioles are now with us in good numbers along with the usual thrushes, blackbirds, finches and the like. As for the carp, well to be honest the lake could be devoid of them at the moment as there is no bubbling, no swirling or topping and certainly no crashing out. The surface of the lake is mirror like with just the odd fry dimpling its surface and all our expectations of getting spawning out of the way this week seem to be scuppered. It is so very strange when all the conditions seem perfect and the carp just don’t follow the script ! Water temperatures are perfect, dissolved oxygen levels great and the carp on Poppy’s are now a spent force after several days of spawning but as far as the main lake is concerned – nothing ! This afternoon a strong, but warm, wind from the south west has sprung up piling the water down into the shallows and increasing the oxygen levels even more so everything is just about as good as it could be but a walk round the whole lake this evening produced neither feeding carp nor sexy carp so we must just wait and hope. Our weather is due to change somewhat in the coming days with cooler temperatures and the possibility of a storm or two so it if spawning fails to commence tonight the I think it will be a few weeks before conditions come together once more to be right for the carp. That being the case the lads next week could well do very nicely indeed. Weights will still be good and once all thoughts of procreation are forgotten the fish will be back on the feed in earnest. Interesting times ahead methinks !
Last week saw our old friends Phil, Dan,Steve and Kevin on the lake once again and after a hectic start the fishing gradually petered out as the week progressed. Both Dan and Kevin managed to bank a few bonus fish by stalking in the shallower area’s of the lake and in Kev’s case the capture of a 65lb common from no more than 2ft of water was very special indeed but for the most part the carp were obviously interested in things other than feeding. Plenty of fish were to be seen in the early mornings and afternoons, crashing and rolling, however we believe that it was just a prelude to spawning rather than anything else.
Total catch for the week was 25 carp up to 65lb and 4 sturgeon up to just over 50lb, a catch that does credit to the lads fishing as things were far from easy. As I write the carp are milling round in groups and are likely to commence spawning at any time now. Lottie and I watched a group of very large mirror carp just under the tree’s near Zippy’s Pit and there can be no doubt that they were getting ready to spawn as soon as conditions seemed perfect for them. Water temperature is now just under 20c and the carp in Poppy’s Lake have been busily thrashing around for 48 hrs now so things should kick off in the main lake very soon.
This is a strange week for us as it is the first time the lake has been devoid of anglers in the spring for a good many years. The reason is that a group of lads, who booked up a couple of years ago, made a mistake with the dates. We sat waiting for them to arrive whilst they sat at work looking forward to coming next week !!! Thankfully I was able to sort them out for later in the year but it may have been a blessing in disguise as I feel that this week would have been a real grueller with the carp off the feed and preparing to spawn. Hopefully the lads will have a great back end week to make up for their disappointment.
The week has been a strange one with the changeable weather seemingly making the carp more than a little unpredictable. Catches have slowed down although the tally is creeping up with the odd fish or two each day however all the plaudits must be Kevins today after stalking out three carp from the little bay at the end of the dam. Best of all he managed to bag the ‘Cut Tail’ common at a new best weight of 65lb. Great fishing that man !
Kevin and his big common..