After around 4 days of frantic thrashing around Saturday dawned with the lake silent and just birdsong to disturb the peace. Since then there has been no sign at all of continued spawning so it is looking as though the carp are either finished for the year or at least taking a breather. The fishing, as is usual soon after spawning, has been slow with just a handful of fish being caught bested by a 46lb mirror to Joe and a 41lb mirror to Mark. Both fish appear to have spawned and fortunately suffered little damage in doing so.
Today a few more carp were to be seen rolling and the lads fully expect the fishing to pick up as the spawned fish get back on the feed. In our experience that is usually around 48 hrs after they have finished with the breeding lark.
Funnily enough the roach are still spawning in little pockets but as with the carp, it would seem that for the most part they are finished. The kingfishers are to be seen all over the lake these days, as they forage for food to take back to their brood. There are plenty of fry for them so it should be a good year for the little blue birds. We are pleased to see that we still have a pair of grebes with us although there is no sign of them nesting as far as we can see but we are hoping that they do settle down and breed this year. After a quiet time we now have a solitary cuckoo calling away in the mornings but I fear that he will find it hard to find a mate this late in the spring. Such is life.
I will be away for the next 10 days so the blog may be updated rather less than normal however on my return I will ensure that all happenings will be fully reported on.
A couple of pics from this week.
The carp continue to tear up the shallows in their spawning frenzy and I must confess that this must be the most frantic period of spawning I have ever seen. To top it all whilst the carp are doing their thing in the usual noisy, splashy way the roach are quietly getting on with spawning all around the lake margins. They have been at it for over a week now and it is testament to what a strange spring we are experiencing that the roach are spawning late whilst the carp are notably earlier than is usual. To have both species busily egg laying during the same week is unknown at du Mee and there is one major problem with having it happen this year. The problem is that we rely on the roach eating much of the carps spawn, which they do readily enough most years however with other things on their mind this spring it is a worry that we may see hordes of baby carp appear in the summer. We are hoping that the perch may step in and hammer the carp fry instead thus making up for the wretched roach ! We shall see.
The fishing this week has been tough as you would expect when the carp are otherwise preoccupied. That said we have still had 14 carp landed including 50’s of 57lb, 56lb and 52lb plus a handful of good 40’s so it has not been a complete waste of time. Steve bagged a brace of 50’s and James caught his first 50 whilst Dale had a best of 48lb. Poor old Chris was fishing the deeper water and other than a lost fish (big by all accounts) early in the week he remained fish-less. No reflection on his ability I hasten to add as Chris has caught big carp from some of the hardest waters in France over the years. With the carp all gathered in the shallows for spawning the deeper water was devoid of any carp activity all week. To be fair, Steve, Dale and James did really well to make the best of having a few fish in front of them and can be congratulated on their catches. Steve and Dale are back in the autumn when I can assure them the spawning will have stopped !!
With the carp entering into the spirit of things with such abandon we can only hope that they do not knock themselves about too badly. It is always a great worry for us at this time so fingers crossed that all will be well.
Well, with the lads opting to leave early the carp have another 24hrs of peace to continue with their breeding so hopefully all will soon be completed and food will once more be on their mind.
I have mentioned our new aeration system several times so though I would post a couple of pictures of the system operating. It is always difficult the convey the true effectiveness in a still picture but it will still give some idea on how they look out in the lake. We have most of the 12 diffusers in the deeper water off the dam where they can best ensure that the stratification of dissolved oxygen is rectified giving good readings at all depths. We have 2 diffusers around 40m from the dam and another 2 at 60m, roughly level with ‘Deliverance’ swim. Since the system was installed we have had superb oxygen levels all over the lake and at all depths. Happy days.
The fishing has been slow this week with the arrival of hot, sunny days and the lift in water temperatures that herald the carps spawning activities. In front of Deliverance Steve has already seen carp spawning among the clumps of blanket week that have gathered there. The rest of the lake remains quiet but judging by the water temperature things are now just about perfect for the carp to perform. We are running the new aeration system 24/7 at the moment to ensure that conditions are as good as we can make them and the water looks fresher than I can ever remember at this time of year. Perhaps it is due to the slow arrival of spring or perhaps partially as a result of the new aeration but whatever, I cannot remember a year when all looked so good for getting the spawning cycle underway as it does now.
The fishing has been far from easy however we have still seen 12 fish banked including 3 x 50’s at 56lb and 57lb to Steve and 52lb 12oz to James. In all, Steve has had 5 carp, Dale 4 fish including a brace of 40’s at 46lb and 48lb whilst James has had 3 carp topped by his first ever 50.
The lake is looking at its best as I write with the warm sunshine bringing forth the last of the leaves to show and all has that freshness that is a sure sign of spring. The birds continue to sing merrily away, both day and night, and the tree frogs are croaking away at a volume that belies their small size. We can now hope that the carp will be able to complete their spawning in as short a time as possible and with conditions forecast to remain good that is a distinct possibility. In the last couple of years we have been dogged by constantly changing conditions at this critical time of year which has resulted in staggered spawning periods that have lasted for several weeks rather than days. With a little luck this will be a short but successful period of thrashing around and then we will be back to seeing some good catches once more. Amen to that !
After all being quite for several days there were 3 runs this morning, all at around 8am. The resulting action produced a loss of a big fish for Chris after a 15 minute scrap, a 52lb mirror to James and a 56lb mirror to Steve. The fish were in stunning condition, fought very hard and didn’t look full of spawn ! Perhaps the colder nights are encouraging the fish to feed a little more. Will be an interesting few days ahead methinks.
It is Monday evening and just a 40lb common has graced the bank so far this week. A lovely scale perfect fish but heavy with spawn and with the vent partially open. This would lead me to believe that spawning will be happening any day now, in fact Steve has already reported seeing several smaller carp thrashing around in the bay adjacent to ‘Deliverance’.
With the sun now putting in a daily appearance and temperatures slowly climbing it is the first time this year that I can announce that spring is truly here. Out feathered friends are in great spirits and the level of birdsong is reaching the crescendo that heralds territory battles, egg laying and all the joys of breeding before the reality of finding enough food for a large brood sets in. Sounds a tad familiar don’t you think ?
Our grebes are still with us so with a bit of luck they may manage to breed on the lake this season. For several years now they have moved off to nest elsewhere, probably due to the amount of tidying up around the lake we have done that will have removed many potential nesting sites. This year we have deliberately ensured that in the out of way places there are branches sitting in the water which should be perfect for the grebes. We will see.
With the settled weather looking likely to be with us for some time I will endeavor to keep you all informed on the situation with spawning. I also hope I will be able to report another good fish or two so fingers crossed for that.
The week has been a funny old mixture of watery sunshine, very cold nights and a slow, but perceptible warming up as the week progressed. The extreme drop in night temperatures certainly didn’t help the fishing which resulted in most fish being caught in the daylight hours. With the odd heavy frost greeting dawn it was with some relief that a gradual warming of the weather gave us a much better end to the week. The bird life is very vocal at the moment with nest building taking place all around the lakes and the absence of the kingfishers would indicate that they are cosily sitting on eggs at the moment. We have had a pesky heron craftily stalking a mallard and her 3 duckling. I only noticed it yesterday so there is no telling how many fluffy little balls of feathers she has already made a meal of ! Such is nature.
Anyway, the catch for the week was a little down on previous weeks with 40 carp being banked plus a new lake record for sturgeon at 57lb. Of the carp the pick must be Tony’s 61lb 15oz common which was a new pb for the fellah…..lovely ! Backing that up were 4 x 50’s at 52lb 4oz, 52lb 11oz, 53lb and 55lb 12oz plus another 11 carp of over 40lb. Of the 40’s there were 7 of over 45lb which would indicate that, as in the earlier weeks, we have a large band of carp that should be into the 50’s by this time next year if not before.
Individual catches were as follows – 15 carp for John (including a 50 and several high 40’s), 9 carp for Lee (up to 48lb), 5 carp for Steve (including a brace of 50’s), 5 to Tony (best being the 61lb 15oz common), 5 for Alec (including a 50 and 3 very high 40’s) and with Christine just landing a 29lb 15oz mirror. Chris fished hard and well all week but the fish just were staying away from the deep water in front of Zippies. Next time Chris !
The new aeration system appears to be giving a ‘turbo boost’ to the carp and the fights have often been out of all proportion to the size of the fish.Well oxygenated water would seem to the the reason the fights have been so protracted so happy days for that. Tony hooked his 60 common in ‘Gingers Patch’ and eventually landed it 3 swims up near ‘Sanctuary’ – all credit to Tony for taking to the water and following the fish up the lake.
At the moment we have the roach spawning all round the margins and the carp are showing all the signs that they will be spawning the moment the water reaches the 18c mark. That could well be this week so keep an eye on the blog for updates.
Poppy’s lake has also fished well (when doesn’t it ?) with Neil catching 4 x 30’s and a hatfull of 20’s in the haul of 92 carp and Gary having 84 carp, once again with a stack of 20’s up to 29lb. As ever the fish scrapped like fish of twice the size and the lads had a fantastic week and will be back again to enjoy a regular bend in the rod next year.
And now some pictures.
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This week has been rather special for us with not only a cracking number of fish being caught but to see a 70 a 60 and a 50 caught on a home made split cane rod was really something special. Brian built his rod when he was 16 years old (a long time ago for sure) and never imagined that he would enjoy such a catch using it. Well done that man.
All in all the week started slowly and then seemed to gain momentum and we saw the ‘Drop Scale’ mirror out at 72lb, a 61lb 8oz common and another 9 fish of over 50lb banked by close of play on Saturday morning. Backing that up were 11 good 40’s and a good mix of 30’s,20’s and a few doubles giving a final tally of 56 carp banked for the week.
The weather was all over the place so it was especially pleasing to see so many good fish caught and judging from the overall condition of the carp and the protracted scraps they are giving I feel that the new lake bed aeration system is certainly contributing to success of the fishery at the moment. It will be good to see how things pan out in the hot summer months but I am quietly confident that the fishing will be better than is usual at that time.
Anyway, individual catches are seven carp for Nigel with a best of 44lb 2oz, just a brace for Paul including a 51lb 4oz common, 18 carp for Brian including fish of 72lb, 61lb 8oz (common) and 54lb 14oz whilst Steve fished the shallows for 20 carp including mirrors of 55lb 14oz, 55lb 14oz and 56lb. Martin had a lovely brace of 50’s at 53lb 4oz and 54lb whilst Alan had six carp with a best of 49lb 12oz (common). A brace of tench weighing 7lb apiece were also caught which I am always pleased to see.
Well done to all concerned.
The late arrival of spring weather continues to be a nuisance and we really need a good settled warm spell before long if the carp are to have a successful spawning season. The past few years have been problematic with temperatures never settling properly until early summer when spawning should already have been completed. Fingers crossed for a good warm front to move in and stay a while ! Despite this the cuckoo’s are in good spirits in the mornings and the nightingales are singing all night as the males advertise their nest building skills to the flighty females. The song of life that seems to have an echo in our world as well !! lol
Some pictures of the lads and a few of the carp banked during the week.