Another hot and difficult week !

This week has seen the temperatures rise to the mid 30’s and with little wind the lake has sat simmering under the constant sunshine with the water temperatures rising by the day. Carp were to be seen moving in the mornings between 5am and 9am and in the evenings before darkness set in which would indicate that they were feeding however takes were hard worked for all week. One explanation may be found in the experience that Fergie had when a cracking high 30 common spat out a half chewed small roach ! I am aware of the importance that predatory feeding can have after spawning as it offers an immediate pure form of protein that can never be matched by anglers bait. Perhaps the solution lies here of perhaps with the constant hot weather the carp felt rather like we did – lethargic and lazy !! Whatever the reasons the lads did find the fishing tough going. No complaints though as they were all regulars and enjoyed their week despite the slow fishing. Between regular naps (Gary slept most of the week it would seem !!) there were still a few nice fish banked to keep the enthusiasm stoked up with the jewel in the crown being Peter’s new lake record at 73lb.  Fergie weighed in with a 38lb common and a 34.8lb mirror, Martin with a trio of mirrors at 32lb, 49lb, and 51lb and Dennis had a 32lb mirror followed by a 43lb mirror. Gary had a small mirror and dear old Ron had a blank but both remained happy and helped make the week so enjoyable. About half a dozen sturgeon were also landed throughout the week with the bets being 52lb.

For a lake owner it is always difficult to deal with the quiet times when there is no logical explanation for the fishing being so hard but it is something we always experience at times and can do no more than offer advice and encouragement where we can. I think that I get far more stressed than the anglers when times are tough and I will often be told to ‘chill out Jim; it is only fishing’ !! That being said I like to see our guests catch and would love to be able to understand the workings of a carps mind. When all is said and done it is a sobering thought that a creature with a brain the size of a peanut can cause us so much frustration. One of Mother Nature’s jokes methinks !

Drop Scale out at a new best weight of 73lb.

I had a call this morning to tell me that Peter Templeman had a big fish in the net and was delighted to find that it was the ‘Drop Scale’ mirror at a new lake record weight of 73lb. I think that Peter is still in a state of shock however I will sort out the pictures later and post one on the blog. Well done Peter who has been a long standing regular at LMDM. A well earned fish I reckon ! happy days indeed.

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In the doldrums !

Another week of constantly changing conditions has resulted in our lowest ever catch of carp. It was no fault of the lads on this week as they tried everything in their armoury but for the most part to no avail. The week started in grand fashion with Gary bagging a cracking 55lb mirror and with plenty of fish to be seen moving hopes were high for a decent catch. Not to be I am afraid as the carp refused to play ball and for the most part were only active in the early mornings and when a fish was hooked we have a good few instances of hook pulls. Once again it was due to the fickle feeding rather than any weakness in the rigs used. I often will comment on the weather as being a major influence on the feeding habits of carp and this week has proven to be one where constantly changing conditions has really unsettled them. Just coming out of a hectic spawning cycle with water temperatures having climbed to 23.8c by the close of the previous week I would have realistically expected the fish to have settled into a regular feeding pattern if the conditions have held up. Unfortunately we experienced warm sunny days, rain, cold north winds, even colder southerly winds and night temperatures that dropped to no more than 5c at times. The water temperature also suffered and dropped by 2c throughout the week. All in all the week was a very poor one with regard to the fishing with just 6 carp up 55lb 8oz plus 3 x sturgeon up to low 50’s and I am full of admiration for the lads who were on this week. They have all experienced blanks, poor weeks and good in France so were well aware of the vagaries of fishing and remained cheerful throughout. Mealtimes were great fun and the laughter never suffered from the poor fishing. Thanks for that lads and hopefully next year will see you get amongst the fish in real LMDM fashion.

Gary and his 55lb 8oz mirror.

Gary and 55lb 4oz mirror

We also had a some great company on Poppy’s Lake with 4 Dutch anglers having a great time and bagging over 100 carp for their efforts. They were hampered somewhat by spawning that took place throughout the week resulting in the carp being a much lower weights than a week or so ago but still enjoyed a fabulous week with plenty of action and some new pb’s also. Biggest fish was just short of 30lb with a good many more of over 20lb. It was a real pleasure to have another group on Poppy’s who appreciated every fish as well as the environment and wildlife. I look forward to seeing them all again sometime in the future when the fish are just as cooperative but a good bit heavier ! Pictures on the Poppy’s page.

Post spawning blue’s !!

With just three anglers on last week it was always likely to be difficult to pin the carp down and so it proved to be. The weather changed almost daily with hot sunshine, cold winds, rain chilly nights all combining to make the week a challenging one and with the carp in recovery mode from their spawning efforts the catch was one of the poorest we have ever had at the lake. No fault of the anglers I must add, as they worked really hard throughout the week and are to be congratulated on keeping their spirits up and making sure they enjoyed their time with us despite the slow fishing. On the plus side the carp that were banked all seemed well on the way to recovery from spawning and fought long and hard for the most part. It was strange that at times there were plenty of fish to be seen rolling and crashing out, sometimes over the baited patches, however takes proved to be hard to come by. Gary fared best with a nine carp catch, the best fish being a mirror of 45lb 6oz and a common of 41lb 2oz backed up by a trio of good 30’s and some 20’s. Graham worked so very hard for just a couple of small male fish and then got up early on Saturday to fish the shallows for a final couple of hours. He managed to hook was appeared to be one of the big girls that he had on for a good few minutes before it took off, putting up a huge bow wave, and then spat the hook out ! A sad finish. Ian, the least experienced of the lads had just a sturgeon to his name but managed to read a good few books during his stay so went home refreshed and (sadly) carpless. Despite the slow fishing the week was most enjoyable and I look forward to seeing the three lads back at LMDM when the weather is settled and the carp in a more cooperative mood.

This week has also started slowly with heavy rain for the first 48 hrs however this morning Del banked a mid 30 mirror and Gary a lovely 55lb 4oz mirror. Both fish were well spawned out and looking in fine condition. With the rain due to be replaced by warm sunshine after today I am hoping that the carp will be encouraged to feed with more enthusiasm. Watch this space !

Hot and sultry !

It is very hot at the moment with the lake calm and quiet and the fishing proving to be much the same. Earlier in the week a cold North Easterly wind accompanied by bright sunshine made the fishing very hard indeed but yesterday evening and night saw a tremendous amount of carp activity just after an hour or so of rain. Gary made the best of the change in conditions and bagged another 4 carp, 3 big thirties and a mid 40 and reported big fish crashing all over the lake. This morning there was bubbling everywhere but the other two anglers, Ian and Graham, fished hard but failed to make contact with any fish. There is no doubt that with just the three anglers on the fishing was always going to be a tad difficult as there is so much water that the fish can happily feeding without being bothered by anglers lines. With the weather also not being the best and the majority of the fish just getting over what was a pretty energetic spawning we can only hope that the last 48 hrs throws up something special. We do have some thunderstorms forecast for tonight and if they do arrive it could well prove the trigger the carp need to get seriously on the feed. The fishing is always unpredictable post spawning but from previous experience we know that it can turn on at any time. Perhaps tonight !

 

More spawning, good company and four spawned out 50’s !! Not bad at all.

This week was most enjoyable with our old friends of Phil, Tim, Will, Paul and Mark along with newbie to LMDM Darren on the main lake, being joined by a group of real eccentrics on Poppy’s lake. More of them later !

Anyway, the lads know this venue very well and in difficult conditions produced a creditable bag of fish, including four of over 50lb. The weather was hot, very hot in fact, and as expected the Wednesday saw spawning start once again. This time I think it was likely to have been the big commons, who have been absent from catches for a while now, and to be honest I was more than happy to be told that they were frantically whipping the shallows to foam overnight. Even so the lads worked hard and eventually put together a catch of four x 50’s (mirrors of 55.4, 54.1, 51.4 and a common of 54), 12 x 40’s, 12 x 30’s and another 16 assorted 20’s and a few doubles. In addition there were 4 sturgeon banked up to 52lb.

With few exceptions the carp were well spawned out, and in some cases a little marked up from their efforts, however they all gave a great account of themselves and in several instances gave the lucky angler a good beating on the mat ! With weights naturally down it was most pleasing to see that the four big girls in the catch all looking like they will be threatening the 60lb barrier in the next year or so. None of the known big fish were banked and the only commons of note were the last knockings 54 stunner to Tim (great fishing fellah) and a 40 for Phil with Darren also banking a nice 34lb common.

Generally speaking takes were very finicky and although there were instances of one toner’s the general state of play was small lifts of the bobbins and just a tightening of the line. Several fish were lost with Mark and Paul both losing what felt like big fish after a few minutes play. It is always the same around spawning time with only the small males feeding with any great enthusiasm and any bigger fish being hard worked for. I think that less experienced anglers would have really struggled this week and the overall catch of 45 carp and 4 sturgeon does great credit to the anglers concerned. Looking good for the coming weeks !!!

Poppy’s Lake was blessed with a visit from another old friend, Eric Brown who brought with him George (The embalmed one) and Andy (silent but deadly) and although the carp here were spawning for much of the week they put together a cracking bag of fish. In a difficult, hot and spawny week the three intrepid anglers put together a bag of 150 carp ! Included in that catch was a new lake record of 37lb 8oz bagged by Eric along with 6 more of over 30lb and a further 42 of over 20lb. Many of the 20’s were well up in that bracket and considering the recent spawning will likely be 30’s by later in the summer. It certainly looks like Poppy’s Lake is showing the same growth pattern that we saw in the early days of Etang du Mee and I am confident that with careful management it will soon be a lake stuffed with 30’s and 40’s. Certainly,we will be seeing the balance of the stock soon being over 20lb which will offer some tremendous fishing in th seasons ahead. This winter we will be netting Poppy’s to remove many of the smallest fish thus allowing more room for the remaining stock to prosper. Happy days ahead methinks !

Find pictures below of fish from the main lake with Poppy’s pictures being on the specific Poppy’s Lake page.

Tim a few of his his including a brace of 50’s.

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IMG_2376Darren and a few of his fish.

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IMG_1847 (1280x853)Mark and a trio of nice fish.

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And the ‘old boy’ himself, Phil and a 40lb common.

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A spawny week comes to a close.

It has been a week of spawning carp interspersed with periods where the fish were obviously feeding but playing hard to get. As usual at this time we did see a lot of the smaller males showing up in catches with more than half of the fish caught being between 20 and 30lb. Although some better fish were banked throughout the week there was no real pattern to the fishing and to be honest the only certain thing about the fishing was the uncertainty ! The lads persevered in grand fashion despite days and nights of thrashing carp and can be congratulated on the fact that everyone caught. The total catch for the week was 37 carp and 3 x sturgeon with pick of the bunch being a 54lb mirror to Bob, a 52lb mirror to Rob and a 54lb sturgeon for Dene. Perhaps the best haul overall was achieved by Steve who managed to bank 17 carp including mirrors of 49lb 8oz, 48lb,  48lb, 45lb and 42lb plus three nice 30’s up to 38lb. Mark was also very pleased with his trio of carp which included a pb mirror of 43lb and a pb common of 40lb 11oz. A fine effort all round is what I say !

The new lads that arrived today seem to be hitting it just right with the carp back on the feed and showing all over the lake. First timer to LMDM, Darren had three carp within the first hour of fishing including a well spawned out mirror of 52lb. Mark also had a nice scaly mirror of 34lb at the same time. All the fish were marked up from spawning but were still ready for a scrap and fought hard in the water and gave the anglers a good beating on the mat ! I think that this will be a good week.

A quite night for spawning.

Last night was very quiet with very little spawning activity and even a few more fish banked. I will update you with full details later in the week but suffice to say that several good 40’s were added to the tally and today Robert bagged a spawned out 52lb mirror. It was a bit marked up, which is usual post spawning, but it serves to show that the big girls have been joining the party ! This morning we saw quite a bit of thrashing around in the lilies but by lunchtime all had stopped. This evening I saw a couple of patches of bubbles off the dam bank and all over the lake odd fish could be seen cruising around. I expect we have yet to be completely finished with the spawning cycle however it is a good sign that some of the bigger fish have already finished. It is usually the big girls that are last to partake which is an indication that normal service will soon be resumed.

Spawning now well underway.

The lake has seen sporadic spawning for some days now with the nights and early morning seeing the most activity. It would seem that the big girls have been joining in and during a walk round this afternoon I saw plenty of evidence that tonight will be one that see’s many of the bigger fish spawning. As you can imagine the fishing has been rather slow with just 20 odd carp caught so far and those being of a much smaller average size than normal for us. The reason is that the randy males are always more likely to take a bait than the females and although males have featured strongly in catches so far there have also been some of the bigger females caught. A 50 and a handful of good 40’s have been the best so far and they have been coming from the shallow water at the top end of the lake and to the right of ‘deliverance’. The lilies in the channel at the top end have taken a real battering from the carp and the little bay at the end of the dam is also a favourite spot for spawning. We are also seeing constant thrashing around in the area between the dam and ‘Zippies Pit’. The lads are fishing on gamely and I anticipate that as soon as the carp lose interest in sex then they will be back on the feed big time.