Work party week.

After a very wet Saturday and Sunday the weather has changed to very cold with clear starry nights and murky morning with mist rising from the lake at dawn and staying with us until mid morning when the sunshine burns its way through. Terrible fishing weather but wonderful for working so the lads have been very busy. We have had our tree surgeon friend felling poplars from behind the cottage whilst Ian, Leee, John and Simon assist Jimmy in clearing, burning and splitting the trunks and branches. Earlier in the week we had several tons of limestone chippings taken by boat and used to build up the area’s in front of Zippies and Gingers swims to facilitate easy handling of big carp. These were the only swims with margin depths that made photographing fish in the water pretty much a no go when water levels are at their highest. With the work that the lads have carried out it should be possible to both handle fish and photograph fish in the water on all swims in 2018. This afternoon we finished early enough for the chaps to spend an hour fishing Poppy’s lake before dinner and a good session it turned out to be with 5 fish banked in a very short time. Best of the bunch was a 30lb mirror to Lee.

Find below some pictures of the lads working plus a bonus of several pictures taken by Jason, the tree surgeon from the top of the poplars. Certainly a different view of the lake and surroundings.

I will be writing a review of the 2017 season in the next few days to keep and eye out for it.

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Seasons End.

Our final two weeks at Le Moulin du Mee have been pretty tough for the anglers with carp being quite actively feeding but not on the anglers offerings. A week ago the lads left after a torrid week resulting in just a few fish, our worst ever week with the best being a 49lb mirror to ‘Roy Rodgers’. In fairness the lads fished hard in rapidly cooling conditions and although there were a few fish banked and a good few fish lost it was evident that the carp were unlikely to be caught in any great numbers. This week was one that saw regulars Will and Tim fish hard in damp and cold conditions where fish showed but once again proved hard to tempt. Will fished really well and imaginatively for his 4 carp leaving it until his last night to catch one of the big girls. A a tad over 59lb it was another stunning common which fought very hard before eventually being banked. Tim also fished hard and well without success until the Friday when he moved to the shallows for the day and winkled out a 36lb mirror that he cast to after seeing it show near the island. Good fishing lads.

The third member of the party was LMDM newbie Ian Jeavons who had a stunning brace of carp comprised of a 59lb mirror and a 67lb 4oz common. A great result and considering the dreadful wet and cold conditions a real bonus to break your pb for both mirror and common carp in one session.

This week we have 4 regulars here on a work party so there may be something to report from their night time fishing. I will write a season round up post in the next week or so after I have had time to reflect on a season that was very good in parts and bloody awful in others. Should be interesting.

Find below a few pictures from the last two weeks.

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The French doldrums !

I have just returned to Le Moulin du Mee to find that the last couple of weeks have followed the recent pattern of lots of showing fish but tough fishing. This malaise that is featuring at lakes all over France is very difficult to understand as from an angling point of view conditions have at times seemed just about perfect for fishing. Chatting to other lake owners the general concensus is the carp are feeding on naturals for the most part and the constant high air pressure coupled with extremely dry conditions have been the major cause of this problem. Whether that is so I don’t suppose we will ever really know however it seems as good an explanation as any so it is one that I will happily subscribe to.

On the plus side the carp that are being caught are in superb condition and for the most part fighting hard which would indicate that they are very healthy and quite happily going about their lives and ignoring the tempting offers that anglers are putting in front of them……….cussed so and so’s !!!

Well, on to the catch reports and with both weeks seeing a total catch of 17 carp apiece we can safely say that the fishing is ‘steady’ if not great. The first of the weeks saw Mark bag 8 carp including fish of 53lb, 51lb 8oz and 51lb as well as a trio of nice 40’s whilst Chris had just three carp which included fish of 67lb (common) and 54lb. Steve had six fish including mirrors of 44lb and 45lb and commons of 46lb and 47lb and we had one unlucky lad fail to catch at all. That’s fishing.

Total for the week was 1 x 60 at 67lb, 4 x 50’s, 7 x 40’s, 3 x 30’s and 2 x 20’s.

Well done to the lads, a good result in tough conditions.

The second week to report was much the same story as the previous one with once again 17 carp banked however the average size was somewhat lower. Caddy was top rod with 8 carp including fish of 51lb 8oz, 49lb 6oz and 48lb 6oz whilst Bobby had just the 3 carp topped by a cracking 51lb mirror. Graham had just a brace of fish including a best of 41lb 5oz whilst Mark managed a trio up to 48lb 4oz. Poor old Crocodile Dundee had to settle for just one smaller fish. Well, all the lads have met up with plenty of lumps here at LMDM in past years so a poorer week was perhaps due !! Well done anyway chaps.

Total for the week was 2 x 50’s, 5 x 40’s, 4 x 30’s and 6 x 20’s.

This week there has been a notable change in the weather with this morning seeing a cold north wind ruffling the surface of the lakes. Just a couple of fish banked so far but several other lost and the lads are feeling confident that the fishing will pick up. Reports from those that have hooked fish is that they are really pulling hard which means that oxygen levels must be sky high which in turn may encourage some serious feeding !!! Here’s hoping.

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2018 bookings.

Gentlemen, deposits for 2018 are due to be paid within the next week. If a deposit remains unpaid by November 1st I will assume that the booking is no longer required and will open it up to anglers on the waiting list. Please contact me if you are having trouble getting money in from members of your group and would like me to sort it out direct.

Still slow, but steady…..

With no change in the weather, this dry Autumn continues on from a dry summer, a dry spring, a dry winter, another dry autumn and another dry summer! Yet despite any significant turnover of water for around 18 months the fish are still looking in fantastic condition despite their continued reluctance to get hard on the feed.

The lads managed 14 fish between 5 anglers and although Neil in Gingers sadly blanked everyone else managed a pb of some sort in the week. Dave on steps kicked off the week with a pb 54 in the first couple of hours of fishing. John on Deliverance managed a pb mirror at 61 in a 3 fish catch – a fish that is still well down in weight from spawning but is looking fit as a fiddle. Graham on Island was top rod for the week and caught his first two 50’s in his 5 fish catch – a 57.12 common and a 51.12 mirror and most of his fish came to putting a bait over bubbles at a shorter range, great angling. Finally Liam on Zippies managed 4 fish for the week including a stunning pb common at 45lb.

14 carp caught

1 x 60, 3 x 50, 4 x 40, 4 x 30, 2 x 20

 

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Despite unseasonably hot, dry conditions this week the fishing has been a little better but still absolutely no ‘rhythm’ to the fishing. Last week, most fish were out during the day, this week it has been almost entirely nights. Quite a few fish out one night, nothing the next, then back to catching again.

Highlight for me so far has been Chris on Island catching cut tail at 67lb and then winkling a mid 50 out on worm fishing to a bubbler. Both pbs and have come after blanking on another lake last week.

Jimmy

A little improvement but still slow.

This week has continued in the same vein as the past couple of weeks with lots of carp crashing out at night and obviously feeding however runs were hard to come by. When carp were caught it was impossible to work out any pattern to the catches and it becomes most frustrating to see evidence of feeding fish without the runs you would normally expect. I have been chatting to many other lake owners this week as well as hearing from lads fishing other lakes and it is apparent that the malaise is quite widespread here in France so it must have something to do with the unusual weather this year. The hot dry summer seems to have contributed to an explosion of naturals and from reports from many lakes it is believed that this is perhaps the main reason that feeding carp have been so reluctant to take an anglers bait. This week we have seen the warm sunny weather continue for the most part although the last couple days have been a lot cooler with the wind turning to blow from the North. Nights have become notably colder with temperatures of 4 or 5c being experienced the last couple of nights. Mornings have become very misty with low visibility until the sun burns through leaving us with another sunny day to enjoy. As mentioned earlier we have experienced plenty of carp activity with last night, when just one fish was caught, being perhaps the busiest with plenty of the big girls crashing out. We did have some rain earlier in the week resulting in the water level rising by a couple of inches which was a help although on the downside the rain will have given a rapid drop in water temperatures which is never helpful. Having said all that I am pleased to report that the fishing, although remaining slow, has picked up a little with 16 carp banked and a good few more lost during the week. Karl broke his pb each time he caught each of his 3 carp with a best of 50lb, a cracking common whilst Howard had remained fishless until late Wednesday when he started catching. He finished up with 6 carp up to 51lb whilst Simon in the next swim had a couple of fish with a best of 46lb. Martin banked a blank busting 44lb mirror and Darren had 4 carp from the shallows, smaller than we are used to but with a best of 37lb 8oz. Dear old ‘sick note’ Mark failed to get among the fish which is always a shame.

The lads did have the pleasure of watching an osprey feeding over the lake for much of the week, a sight that is rather a special treat. The big bird seemed to be struggling as much as the anglers and had to work hard for its fish. Such is fishing !

We had our old friend Paul and Mark from Holland fishing Poppy’s this week and even there the fishing was a lot tougher than usual. They finished up with a respectable catch though with a good helping of 30’s up to 38lb. Pictures will be posted on the Poppy’s page.

Finally, a reminder to all your lovely chaps that deposits for 2018 are due and must be paid by the end of the month to secure your week. Anyone struggling to fill an exclusive should contact me as I always have lads looking for places. Anyone with a change of heart and wanting to cancel should let me know asap please.

Anyway, a couple of pictures of some of this weeks fish.

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A dismal couple of weeks.

I held back this blog post in the forlorn hope that a last call improvement would have taken place. Not so I am afraid and we have just experienced a most frustrating couple of weeks fishing here at Le Moulin du Mee. With so many fish apparently feeding and showing hopes were always raised in the expectation that each new dawn would be graced by bent rods and wet nets however the truth was far more mundane. Dry nets for the most part and with both weeks producing no more than a handful of carp it is no surprise that we were all left a little disappointed and rather bemused as to what was going on. We were not alone and several other lake owners who I am friends with experienced much the same degree of frustration with their observations mirroring mine exactly. The only explanation can be is that the fish have been preoccupied on naturals and very occasionally succumbing to the temptation of an anglers bait. It is possible that the very hot summer has somehow produced an explosion in the population of bloodworm or some other tasty natural food source and certainly there is evidence of that. The swallows were very busy feeding on hatching naturals during the daylight hours and at night the air was full of bats doing likewise. The carp will undoubtedly have shared in this feast hatching insects. We also experienced the strange event of having three carp hooked in the pectoral fin indication that they were nose down feeding in the silt when their fin disturbed an anglers pop up. Certainly, we can be sure that the carp were feeding during this period and equally certainly we can surmise that they weren’t for the most part feeding on anglers bait ! That’s fishing I suppose.

We have not been helped by the weather ( our usual excuse) this year with the summer conditions raising water temperatures to 30c at one point and then, just a couple of weeks ago, a sudden change brought the water down to just 14.9c. The most recent couple of weeks has seen the water temperature climb once more to just short of 20c and today the weather is damp and much cooler. Coupled with the drought that has afflicted a large swath of France I feel that we have done well to have enjoyed such a good overall season. Recent weeks have been disappointing however I am sure that between now and the end of the season in early November we will enjoy more remarkable captures with the big girls feeding hard pre- winter. Let’s hope so.

I had better give a mention to the lads that did manage to winkle out a fish or two in the period noted above not least of all our old mate Lee Barratt who managed to bank the ‘Cut Tail’ common at 64lb…..well done fellah, well deserved.

Ian Malone also did well in tough conditions to bank 4 upper 30’s whilst John had three carp to his name. More recently Darren did well to catch a brace of good 40’s in his 3 carp bag whilst David also had three fish up to 49lb. Well done all.

Darren will a couple good his good 40’s.

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Nature notes.

For the last couple of weeks we have enjoyed having an osprey fishing over our lakes. What a wonderful sight and one that most fishermen will never see. It is a rare privilege to see such a wonderful bird in action. Jimmy and I also saw a water vole in the channel between the two lakes and the red squirrels have been very active collecting the fallen walnuts. With the swallows now gathering on the telephone wires it is only going to be a matter of days before they take off for their long flight to Africa. The swallow is always our seasonal clock with their arrival being the herald of spring and when they leave us it is a sure sign that autumn has arrived. The drought has caused so many of the tree’s to start losing their leaves early this year so the lovely golden autumn days that we usually enjoy will be missed this fall. On the plus side we have had a bumper haul of walnuts and in fact all fruiting bushes and tree’s have been full of fruit this autumn. Local folk lore says it is a sure indication of a hard winter…we shall see although I for one will not mind one bit if it is.

A picture of the osprey, complete with roach taken by Stephen Argent.

Burrows 2 2017

A lean week followed by….

The week just past was rather frustrating for the lads with enough fish showing to indicate that they were well on the feed but seemingly not overly interested in the anglers bait. With just 15 carp landed it will go down as one of our slowest weeks of the year which is really quite puzzling as the anglers were all experienced lads, the carp were obviously feeding and tactics were changed constantly in an attempt to catch. One man did hit it right though and that was Rich who finished his week on 8 fish, all good fish as well with weights of 55lb 8oz, 51lb 10oz, 48lb 8oz, 46lb 6oz, 46lb (common), 45lb 4oz, 36lb and 33lb. Well done that man. At least the other lads all managed a fish or two which, considering the low total, was a real plus.

The Saturday changeover, as ever, saw a change in the fishing with Ian bagging a mid 30 common last night and this morning a delighted Lee bagged the ‘Cut Tail’ common at 64lb. Well earned lad. There were also several hook pulls during the night meaning that with a bit of luck the Sunday morning total could have been a good bit higher.

The weather has continued to be very cool for the time of year and last night the temperature dropped to just 9c. This morning we are enjoying some well needed rain and temperatures are not forecast to rise above the 13c mark although they will be creeping up once more as the week progresses.

Find below a couple of pictures of Richards fish.

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