I am now back at Le Moulin du Mee after an end of season visit to the UK and finally can sit down to evaluate the season just passed.
Firstly our final weeks report that saw Duncan and his team work hard for their fish and where we experienced a continuation of the strange behaviour that has dogged us (and many other lakes) for much of the back end of the season. Once again we had plenty of carp showing and some very big girls indeed were sporting around the lake but the fishing remained hard and each fish was well earned. We also had several heavy fish lost after a protracted fight which again seems to have been a factor that dogged us for much of the season. Whether this was due to bad luck or poor hook holds due to the fickle feeding we can never know but it has been most frustrating to all concerned to work so hard to hook a big fish and then see it slide calmly away into the depths just as it looked like it was ready to grace the net. That’s fishing I suppose !
Anyway, the lads banked 15 carp including a brace of 50’s at 56lb 12oz (Duncan), 55lb (Lee) and five 40’s of 48lb 6oz, 46lb 12oz, 46lb 2oz, 44lb 12oz, 43lb 8oz. Well done lads !
The season as a whole was one that saw the strange weather pattern that we experienced having a real impact on the behaviour of the carp. Spring and early summer was a time of steady fishing and some wonderful catches with just the odd blip when we experienced sudden changes in conditions. The carp were of a good size and in superb condition with fights long and hard in most cases. Water quality remained spot on and all looked well for the summer to follow. Little were we to know that for 8 weeks the temperatures would hover between 30c and 42c and with little rain or wind to cool things off the anglers cooked, the carp became lethargic and although we still had a steady flow of good fish being banked it was hard work for the lads. Strangely, despite the drought leaving so many lakes short of water we managed to stay near full all year due to the running of the springs. From mid summer onwards my phone was hot from the calls from fellow lake owners and anglers who were also experiencing the tough conditions. It would seem that 2015 saw more anglers throughout France pack up and leave their venue early due to the slow fishing and hot weather so we can count ourselves lucky that our lads stuck it out and in most cases left with a smile on their face and another visit planned for the years to come. On this note i would say that we are now blessed with a cracking bunch of regulars who understand fishing, appreciate the venue and are prepared to take the rough with the smooth with regards to the fishing. They all know the quality of the carp stock we have and in most cases have set their pb’s here so my apologies when they have a tough week will be waved away with the comment – that’s fishing Jim, it’s why it is called fishing and not catching !! Lovely fellah’s all.
We did find that as the season progressed the indications were that naturals became a far larger percentage of the carps diet than is usual. This may be because with the very warm water in the summer they found naturals in abundance and took advantage of that. It could also be that the easy digestibility of naturals meant they could feed on them when appetites were low and energy levels reduced. The extreme heat of this summer affected us all in much the same way so it is perhaps understandable. The back end of the season saw another sudden change from extreme heat to unseasonably low temperatures. Once again this will have upset the feeding patterns of the carp. As said earlier, we were not alone and the fishing was extremely challenging all over France at times this year.
On a more positive note we now have a stock of large, wonderfully conditioned carp that are growing steadily year on year. I have no ambitions to have 80lb carp in the lake but if it happens so well and good however my prime objective has always been to have a fishery where the chance of a 50 lb fish is always on the cards. As you know, we already have an enviable stock of 50’s and 60’s but most exciting is the large amount of carp that were banked in the upper 40’s this year. It is reasonable to expect current growth rates to move most of these fish into the magic 50lb bracket by the start of next season. Now that really is something to look forward to.
To increase competition for food we have taken the decision to add between 30 and 40 smaller carp (upper doubles/20’s) to the current stock for the 2016 season. It is not something I really anticipated doing however with such a rich lake we are in a situation that the big girls need to be encouraged to work for their supper rather than just lounge around sipping in naturals as they seem to have been doing for much of the season. As the carp grow I will inevitably have to remove some smaller fish once more but I think that in the short term the fishery will benefit from the fresh blood being added to the lake. Time will tell.
This morning I took my dawn walk around the lake and found that I was disturbing carp from all around the margins. From the dam to the shallows there were fish bow waving away from me indicating that, much as we expected, as soon as the anglers leave the carp will move into the margins to feed. Water temperatures are still good for the time of year so we will be feeding the lake heavily until the first cold spell arrives. We have also decided to commence the spring feed of pellets and boilies a tad earlier next year in an attempt to break up the shoals of carp and get them moving around a lot sooner.
Well, that is about it for now and I will update you on happenings at LMDM as winter sets in. Lots of clearing to be done, tree’s removed and swims and paths tidied up all in readiness for what I anticipate will be a rather special 2016 season.
God bless and be sure to have wonderful Christmas.
Jim and the gang.
A last farewell to our old friend Kai, missed by so many and part of the LMDM team for many happy years.