Still slow !

Despite the regular (daily) changes in the weather the lake continues to fish a lot slower than I would like. It is very unusual in as much as that we are seeing plenty of activity at times and the anglers have had good fish showing over their baits so the fish are obviously feeding. We also have some big area’s of weed for the first time and the carp can be seen mooching around in the weed patches seemingly feeding on naturals. Having said that the carp are looking in great condition and fighting hard and no one blanked so that is a blessing in itself. Non of the bigger fish showed up in catches this week but we did see Chris have a 43lb common and a 47lb 8oz mirror, Scottie had a 46lb 14oz mirror and James banked a 42lb and 43lb 10oz mirror. Other than that the rest of the catches were of a much smaller ilk with a 36lb and 38lb mirror being the best of the bunch. James actually banked a scaley little mirror of around 5lb, presumably from the 2015 spawning.

Our corner of France has, like much of the rest, has suffered from a severe drought for around a year now and the water table is suffering everywhere. Our lake levels are actually holding up well however the main lake is now showing at about 8 ins below optimum so we are hoping for some serious rain in the weeks ahead. The forecast is just hot weather for the next week or two but there is always the chance of a couple of good thunderstorm so fingers crossed that we will be blessed with a deluge or two. With so many carp obviously moving it is only a matter of time before catches really pick up so hopefully it will sooner rather than later. Having said that the lads all really enjoyed their week and can’t wait to return once more next year. Happy days is what I say !

A brace of 50’s highlight of frustrating week.

Another week of very high temperatures and bright sunshine saw the fishing remaining quite frustration for the lads. Having said that the three Stansted airport firefighters battled on and all managed to catch although star man for the week was certainly Chris who bagged the great majority of carp landed. It must be said that with just the three lads booking the lake it was always likely that the carp would have so much water to feed in away from anglers lines and generally that was what we experienced. I actually thought that considering the extreme conditions Chris, Rob and Daren really fished gamely and I would have liked to have seen Ron and Daren get among the fish more than they did. Such is fishing and on the plus side they did both catch. Chris on the other hand had a belting week with 12 of the 15 carp banked falling to his rods. Best of the catch were a stunning 57lb 8oz common plus mirrors of 55lb 3oz and 48lb 4oz, all falling to Chris, with the balance of another two x 40’s , five x 30’s and 5 x 20’s. It is rare for us to see so many 20’s as we have had caught in the past few weeks and considering that there are more carp of over 50lb than under 30lb in the lake it would suggest that generally it is the smaller fish that are feeding much of the time. This week we are already seeing a change from temperatures in the very high 30’s as we experienced last week to more moderate low to mid 20’s c. So far we have yet to have a fish landed although there are plenty showing and Chris did lose one last night. As ever, it may take the fish a day or so to settle down after such a dramatic shift in conditions but I am hopeful the week will pan out to be a much better one. We shall see.

Chris and three of his fish.

Chris and big mirrorChis and 55lb mirrorIMG_0233

And a 57lb common for Chris.

It has been a slow week due in the main to the very high temperatures. We are back to seeing the mercury rise to nearer 40c than 30c and with unbroken sunshine the lads have had to really work for any fish caught. Having said that Chris is certainly having a great week with his second 50 arriving this morning in the form of a stunning 57lb common. Added to his 55lb mirror caught earlier in the week plus a good few 40lb+ carp also banked he is one happy chappy at the moment. The other two lads are really scratching around for the odd fish or two but if the forecast thunder storm arrives later today all could change. A drop in air pressure and some nice cooling rain will do no harm at all and in all likelihood encourage the fish to feed with a tad more enthusiasm that at present. Fingers crossed.

Chris and a 55lb mirror and a 57lb common…Good fishing that man !!.

IMG_0233Chis and 55lb mirror

Vacancies 2018/19.

I am constantly being asked for up to date booking information regarding availability so thought I would publish the vacancies for the next 2 years.

2018 – w/c June 2 – 1 place free

2018 – w/c July 14 – 1 place free

2019 – w/c June 30 – week free (Reserved)

2019 – w/c July 13 – week free

2019 – w/c July 20 – week free

2019 – w/c July 27 – week free

2019 w/c August 10 – week free (Reserved)

It is quite possible that we may have a cancellation or two between now and then so I will publish any further availability as it occurs.

What, not a 50 in sight !

The cooler weather certainly would have seemed to have been spot on for carping but although the lads managed 26 carp in all we had a rare week without a 50 being banked. Having said that we did see the ‘Cut Tail’ common landed at a superb 65lb 14oz, looking good and now fully recovered from her traumatic winter ordeal. Of the remainder there were 11 good 40’s including a brace of over 48lb with all the fish now recovering well from the heavy spawning of last month.. Richard was the lucky lad that bagged Cut Tail along with a 33lb mirror whilst Richard managed 10 carp up to 48lb 12oz and Peter bagged 8 carp including 6 x 40’s up to 48lb. Charles had a brace of good 30’s Matt had five fish from the shallows including a brace of 40’s.

All in all it was a most enjoyable week with the lads from Taswood Lakes in Norfolk and I look forward to seeing them again when I feel sure a 50 or two will certainly show up in the catch. Good fishing lads.

The weather remains notably cooler than is usual at this time of year with odd rain showers and the occasional flurry of wind but all is looking good for the week ahead. The forecast is for a gradual warming each day peaking at around 30c on Friday with another cooler spell expected the following week. Conditions are really spot on for a bumper catch sometime soon and this week the three lads that have booked the lake have already had a 55lb 3oz mirror. Bubbling fish were noticed by Jimmy just 40 yards out and that is where Richard bagged the fish just a few hours later. Good fishing that man. Darren has also got off the mark with a middling 30 so hopes are high for the rest of the week. To be honest I do feel that just 3 anglers having the lake to themselves sounds good however there will always be a lot of the lake remaining undisturbed by anglers lines. Good anglers and experienced at LMDM so I am sure the boys will do well. Watch this space.

Late June update.

Sorry for the delay in this update but I have been away for a couple of weeks and Jimmy has had his hands full with both lakes being fished some weeks.

Generally it is fair to say that the early weeks of June were far from easy with the carp hanging around whilst perfect conditions for spawning were awaited and then performing for almost a week in what would turn out to be the heaviest spawning we have ever seen at LMDM. We were seeing lost of activity in the usual spawning places but also had a tremendous amount of action in the weed patches that have just appeared in the shallower end of the lake. It was good to see such a heavy spawning and we feel fortunate because you can usually expect casualties at this time with 4% quoted as the expected norm. We in fact lost just two carp, a middle 20 and one slightly larger that was completely spawn bound and had to be put out of its suffering by us. The week following spawning was once again very slow with very high temperatures causing the carp to just lay up and cease feeding. Catches for the 3 weeks in question were some of our lowest ever and can only be put down to the extreme heat wave and a very heavy spawning. To be honest the hot weather has continued unabated and last week we had water temperatures of 29c in the deeper water off the dam. We lost some of our bigger pike due to this extreme temperature, as have other lakes in this area. It is easy to forget that pike are naturally a fish of the colder climates so will always struggle when conditions reach this stage. We have also found that for some reason the weed that always grows in small patches in the shallows has enjoyed the hot weather enough to spread somewhat. Not a problem but Jimmy has taken to clearing it where it may impact on a particular swim.

Last week the carp started to feed once more even though temperatures stayed very high. The lads had a total of 27 carp banked but generally of a lower average size that we would normally expect. With Nigel (52lb 6oz common) and Sam (53lb mirror) having the only two 50’s banked this week we are still waiting for the main stock of big girls to come back on the feed. To be honest it is possible that the big girls are feeding hard at the moment but not on anglers bait. With a bloodworm rich lake there is always plenty of naturals to be eaten plus this time of years also see’s a great amount of fry that the carp always like to feast on after spawning. We have cooler weather due this week with the possibility of some well needed rain as well so all being well the fishing should pick up nicely. So far this week there have been 7 fish out and with a little help from the rain gods I would expect this to rise considerably as the week progresses.

 

Done and dusted ! (I hope).

We have had two of the quietest weeks, carpwise, that we have ever experienced here at LMDM. As previously reported the sudden hot weather saw water temperatures climb to a high of 26c at one point and with the carp ready to spawn the conditions would appear to have been to extreme for them to start. The result was a lake full of carp sulking rather than feeding and the lads on for the week when it started did well to winkle out 9 carp between them. If that was bad we have just experience our worst ever week for carp banked with just 3 between the lads including a best of 59lb. Actually with the hot conditions continuing the carp just refused to feed and the one spell of rain and wind saw the three fish banked and then the return to the hot conditions resulted in all being quiet once more. Midweek and the carp began spawning in great style with fish crashing and thrashing all over the lake. It lasted for 4 days and was the most intense spawning we have ever experienced at the lake. Poppy’s also continued to have carp spawning and as I write this blog there are still carp thrashing around the shallows of Poppy’s lake. On the main lake all is now quiet and we are hoping that we are done and dusted with spawning and hopefully can look forward to a better week once the fish settle down. We did have one spawning casualty in the form of a rather battered upper 20 but other than that all would seem to have gone off well. Let’s hope that I will have some better news in my next blog.

I feel it worth mentioning that although the past two weeks has been pretty tough for the lads with us we were blessed with anglers that were experienced enough to appreciate the reasons for the slow fishing. The spawning week just ended also enabled the lads to see some very large fish beating up the weed beds so even though they failed to catch many they could see what awaited them when they return. We really appreciated the way you all made sure you got the very best from a couple of tough weeks. Thanks lads.

At last – spawning well underway.

The last 10 days have been pretty torrid at the lakes with the carp seemingly completely off the feed and waiting for spawning conditions to be just right. Well, it would seem that last nights full moon has put them in the mood and the lake has been thrashed to a foam since 11pm last night. As I write at midday there is no let up in the carps antics and we are seeing spawning taking place in the usual lily pads and along the shallows tree line but most of all in the new weed patches from Island swim all the way to the shallows. It is good to see so many fish using the more open weed patches as they are far less likely to damage themselves in the process, a problem that we see all to often when the tree lined margins are favored. With spawning hopefully completed in the next couple of days we can look forward to catches returning to more usual levels with the carp getting back on the feed in grand fashion. Happy days indeed.

Dissolved oxygen and carp.

It has been an interesting week and although the fishing has not been up to our usual standards we have learned a lot about carp behavior. All carp anglers are aware of how weather, temperature and atmospheric conditions have an effect of carp and their feeding habits however it has never been explained fully as to why it should be the case. We do know that water temperature changes can influence the fishing, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. I have often wondered why it is that we will use high water temperatures (or cold for that matter) as an explanation for poor fishing and yet, at times, we have enjoyed some great fishing in the same conditions. My explanation has usually been based on around either the cussedness of carp or, my favorite, the vagaries of mother nature. In short both those explanations have been long winded ways of saying that I really don’t know ! Well, this week has seen Jimmy and I taking dissolved oxygen levels constantly throughout the days and even at night and due to concerns early in the week I have been having in depth conversations with people far more knowledgeable than I on this matter. I also have been chatting to other lake owners and found that a good many in our area have suffered very slow fishing this week without really being sure as to why. Our findings have been most interesting and also given me a salutary lesson as to the limits of my real understanding of the relevance of dissolved oxygen levels on carp. We all know that oxygen crashes in lakes are one reason for large fish kills and in our case an experience we suffered some years ago. What I never gave enough thought to was the constant changes in DO (Dissolved Oxygen) levels that in the normal course of a year will take place.

We all know that DO is produced by means of photosynthesis from algae, weed and other aquatic plants and as aquatic photosynthesis is light-dependent, the dissolved oxygen produced will peak during daylight hours and decline at night meaning that the early hours of the morning will show the lowest DO readings of all. Due to hydrostatic pressure you will find that if the concentration of dissolved oxygen is at 100% air saturation at the surface, it would only be at 70% air saturation three meters below the surface. What this means from a fishing perspective is that at times you will have a situation where DO levels are high near the lakes surface but very low near the lake bed. This is something we found when we carried out tests last year and part of the reason we have situated lake bed air diffusers along the dam where the water is at its deepest. It will help to explain why carp will be finicky feeders at times in the deeper water where they can dip down from mid water to take food from the bottom but cannot stay there grazing. It also helps give some sense to the movement of carp into shallow water in the early hours as this area will probably be the most comfortable for feeding as DO levels will be higher here than elsewhere in the lake. One other aspect of carps feeding habits is that when DO levels are on the low side they will feed more often on lake bed naturals which are more easily digested. These are times when you see carp fizzing but cannot get a take on bait. Bloodworm will most likely be the food source in LMDM at these times.

It is also worth considering the effect of weed beds which give out plenty of oxygen during the day but absorb it at night. This produces great feeding conditions at one time but poor conditions at another. Algae works in exactly the same way and is a great daytime oxygen producer, however it can also be the cause of oxygen crashes and in extreme conditions fish mortality. Earlier this week we had the weather turn cloudy and much cooler after a sustained hot spell and this proved enough of a change for us to experience an algae kill off and rapid depletion of DO as a consequence. Since then regular sunshine has seen the DO levels rise daily and we are now seeing far more carp moving than earlier in the week.

I have waffled on a bit I know but the realization of the importance of DO levels on carp behavior has really opened my eyes and served to explain what up to now (for me at least) was the unexplained. Low DO levels will make carp torpid, reluctant to feed and unable to successfully spawn. It also will see carp revert to naturals when they do feed thus creating the most frustrating fishing conditions of all. We are also now aware of the way weather will influence DO levels and in turn the feeding habits of carp. I always presumed that it was water temperature and light levels that were the important factors but now realize that they are small players compared with the rise and fall of DO in the lake. What can we do about it ? Well, not a lot in general however a good aeration system is helpful and in extreme cases the application of a certain chemical will enable the water to hold more DO. Most importantly is that it will serve to explain the reasons that in what would at first appear to be perfect fishing conditions we can experience really tough fishing. It is why a lake can completely turn off when all else seems perfect. As a carp angler it would be great to have a DO meter to use as it is perhaps the best indicator of fishing conditions that I know. The problem is that at £800 each it is a luxury that most cannot pay.

Anyway, fishing is slow but the outlook is getting better by the day.