4 places available for w/c October 29th 2016

A group booked on for the above week have had several members drop out for one reason or another. It means that there are 4 places available. Let me know if interested asap.

For those anglers that have phoned me in recent weeks about vacancies I must apologise that I have mislaid the list so have been unable to contact you.

Things here at Le Moulin du Mee have changed since my last post in as much that winter has finally arrived with lots of rain, lots of wind and temperatures down into single figures. The outlook is colder still for the week ahead so perhaps all is getting back to some degree of normality.

The programme of feeding the carp continues although we have cut down a little on quantities going in the main lake as the carp have now settled down to winter mode and are staying rather quiet. On Poppy’s Lake things are a complete contrast with the fish still constantly showing and homing in on the cooked maize within minutes of it being put out.

Water levels are much higher than we like at this time of the year due to the recent heavy rain however the water is looking nice and clean and well oxygenated with the wind creating a nice wave action for some days now. For the last few days we have been working on clearing the summers growth on the Home bank and also clearing the dam of sprouting willow and dead grasses. It never ceases to amaze me just how much growth the willows can put on in just one year. We have been cutting them back to ground level in the dam hedgerow, as we did last year, and still there are shoots up to 4m long ! If only carp would grow at the same rate !! lol

With so much work still to be done around the lakes it is frightening to realise that we are now just 8 weeks away from seeing out first anglers of 2016. I suppose it really is the same every year and we will have a last fortnight of panic as we always do. It is nice to note that the days are now getting noticeably longer so we are able to work longer hours and to be honest – it beats commuting round the M25 every day !

Happy days.

New Years Eve and all is well.

I have been watching the news with great sympathy regarding the terrible weather and floods being experienced by many of you. I see pictures of snow and rain accompanied by gales in Scotland, constant floods in many parts of England and a mixture of all that is bad in Wales. For our part we are basking in springlike conditions with plenty of warm sunshine, not a breath of wind and surrounded by insects including bee’s, the occasional butterfly and even a dragonfly or two. The kingfishers are starting to pair up ready for nesting and we have a pair of grebes busily looking for a suitable site for their nest. Yesterday Sophie was planting up at Poppy’s Lake in a T shirt ! Madness !!! We should be walking around on frosty ground with perhaps the first of the ice on the lakes but instead we have carp crashing out in both lakes in a manner that is more like late spring than mid winter. Yesterday We put 100 kilo of maize out into Poppy’s Lake and within minutes the carp were homed in on it and feeding hard. Today the same will go into the main lake and this pattern will continue unabated until winter decides to put in an appearance. I spoke to a fellow lake owner (in Champagne) who has had so little rain during 2015 that his lake is yet to fully fill up after the big drought of summer. Fortunately our springs have kept our levels good throughout the year however we could really do with a sustained well period to ensure the water table is nicely topped up in readiness for next summer. On the plus side the carp will continue to feed well in such mild conditions so weights are likely to be impressive come the start of our 2016 fishing season and all being well the carp  will be strong and fit in readiness for spawning. It is all looking good however I really would like to see at least a week or so of freezing weather before we start to get ready for the new season. We will see !

Anyway, may all of us at Le Moulin du Mee wish you all the very best for your New Years Eve celebrations and a very Happy New Year. See you in 2016.

A funny old end to a funny old year !

Christmas is just a few days away so we should be looking forward to cold crisp days and clear frosty nights with even a flurry of snow to add some seasonal flavour to proceedings. Instead we are basking in sunny, warm weather with temperatures pushing towards the 20c mark at times ! This afternoon we had dragonfly’s flitting around over Poppy’s lake and carp crashing out as though it was a balmy April day instead of a late December one. We have started feeding pellet as well as maize, something that we usually hold off until March, and the carp are feeding merrily away in both lakes so growth rates could well be very interesting when fishing commences once more in the spring. In all honesty we really need a good, sustained cold snap to kill off all the nasty’s that have flourished during the heat of summer so let’s hope that next month serves up some proper winter weather.

Next season will be very interesting for us owing to the vagaries of weather having such an influence on the fishing in 2015. How do you evaluate a year that saw a new lake record at 73lb being banked and some weeks that were bountiful in the amount of big carp caught contrasted with weeks of extremely challenging fishing and catch rates that as a consequence were pretty poor. We have long moved on from being a ‘runs’ water although we certainly cannot be classified as a ‘rock hard’ water but having said that we have had weeks in 2015 that would fulfil both descriptions. What this year did make apparent was just how little we all know about the feeding habits of carp. We all repeat the age old cliché’s about the influence of temperature, wind, moon phases, air pressure and water quality but when the chips are down we really are left grasping at straws. How is it that in lake that contains a biomass at the top end of acceptable that the carp will be seen actively moving and feeding and yet they will refuse all the tempting offers that anglers put in front of them ? If carp are active then they will need to feed, that is a fact. Will they be so fulfilled by feeding on ‘naturals’ that anglers bait can be ignored ? Consider this for one moment – We have approx 300 carp with an average weight of approaching 40lb. That will give us an approximate weight of carp in the region of 12,000lb. During warm water conditions young, growing carp will consume up to 2% of their body weight daily however as they get older and bigger this may reduce so let us assume that our fish consume half of that given figure. That leaves us with a warm water food consumption of around 120lb daily !! Mind blowing isn’t it ?

It takes one helluva lot of bloodworm/larva to satisfy that sort of appetite which is why anglers bait will always be an attractive alternative to naturals for hungry fish. Considering that our fish have remained in superb condition and are still growing the dilemma of establishing where they have found their nutrition when the fishing has been slow must remain open to speculation. I have discussed this with many of our experienced anglers this year and all we can come up with is that they have been feeding heavily of silvers (roach/rudd,etc). I know that this is happening as we have had carp cough up fry and small roach on capture however surely it cannot account for the difficult fishing alone. Admittedly we do have a lot of fry and small roach which make a readily available meal for carp but for them to give up on their natural, bottom feeding habits all together seems unlikely. Chatting around it would seem that a great many fisheries over here suffered from tough fishing throughout the summer and autumn and although some of them contain plenty of silver fish others do not. I am very interested in your views on this gentlemen as it has got me and a good few other fishery owners stumped !!

We will start the 2016 season with an extra 30+ carp in the main lake as an experiment to see if having some smaller, younger fish competing will stir the big girls up. A shot in the dark really but it can do no harm and a few younger fish are always needed to fulfil future needs. Straight after Christmas we will be lowering the water level of the main lake by around 60% to expose much of the lake bed to the elements. This helps in the breakdown of leaf matter and the like and also ensure that once the springs have done their work and re-filled the lake the water quality will be as fresh and pure as we can make it. It also enables us to work around the lake more easily.

Poppy’s Lake is fast ‘coming of age’ and although the mild winter weather has curtailed our intention to drain and net it this year we will instead be feeding it harder than ever to ensure the current growth rates are maintained. This lovely little lake really astounds me as the stock level of carp is far, far too high and yet weight gains continue to be 4-5lb per year, the condition of the fish superb and spring losses minimal – one carp lost this spring. There must be something special about the overall water quality here with the only downside being that the availability of natural food is somewhat diminished by the high stock of fish. One to watch for the future methinks.

Anyway, less of my ramblings and may I wish you all a Very Happy Christmas and a carp filled 2016 from all of us at Le Moulin du Mee.

 

 

Last week of the 2015 season plus years round up.

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.

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Still quiet !

This back-end is proving to be one of the most frustrating I have ever known. Exactly what is happening is difficult to know and although we have many theories the truth is that we are just grasping at straws in our attempt to solve the dilemma. It would appear that a great many lakes over here are suffering in the same way and I am hearing of a good many anglers cutting their holidays short and returning home early due to the very difficult fishing. It is so strange, with the conditions looking good and plenty of carp to be seen rolling and crashing out, however even when fish are to be seen active over the baited area’s takes are still hard to come by. What we do know is that the lakes are full of daphnia, strange at this time of year, and bloodworm are coming back on the leads indication that they are still around in good numbers. The fry are all over the lake rather than shoaling up in the deep water as is usual in the autumn and often we are seeing a scattering of fry followed by the roll of a carp. Whether this is a sign that the carp are feeding heavily on fry or not is a theory that we have but it may just be that the fry are spooking away from the carp rather than being hunted by them. Speaking to other lake owners about this autumns tough fishing it would seem that we all have a variety of theories and assumptions but the truth is that to be perfectly honest we haven’t a clue as to why the fishing is proving to be so difficult at the moment.

Anyway, the lads all caught this week, not in any great numbers but good fish nonetheless. Half the catch came in a 24 hr period when something clicked briefly before returning  to the usual ‘scratching around’. Andy was top rod fishing out of the ‘Island swim’ and caught most of his fish from the shallow water to his left. Andy had mirrors of 53lb 8oz, 47lb 10oz, 46lb and 41lb plus a cracking common of 45lb. Chris managed a trio of nice mirrors at 51lb, 47lb 10oz and 39lb 8oz plus a sturgeon of 50lb whilst Keith banked a 42lb 10oz mirror and Tony a 26lb 10oz mirror. A few heavy fish were lost as well so with a bit of luck the bag could have been a little better.

One thing that I must add is that anyone reading the last couple of weeks blog may feel that they would have done better than the anglers who were here. Trust me when I say that the lads tried just about everything and I cannot imagine that anyone would have done any better – of course if I had decided to wet a line it may have been a different story !!! lol

Anyway, a couple more pictures with Andy showing off his stunning common and Keith his well earned 42lb mirror.

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A very slow week and now a turn for the better !

Last week was our poorest ever recorded at LMDM with the 4 lads having just one carp each as well as the 50lb sturgeon to Paul. Fish were pretty active throughout but takes remained at a premium and it was obvious the carp were interested in anything other than anglers bait. It has been a real head banger, this last couple of weeks, and speaking around it would seem that many lakes have experience much of the same problem. From reports from other anglers a lot of lads were cutting their holidays short due to the slow fishing which would indicate that it was due to high air pressure and perhaps the full moon and clear nights. Even when the lads spent a day or two fishing Poppy’s Lake the carp were elusive and I think the total bag for 3 days fishing was just three carp !! Now that is unheard of in this lake. As ever, we can only guess at why the carp behave in this manner and for my part I have given up on trying to work it out and realise that there is nothing that I or my anglers can do to change it. That’s fishing I’m afraid.

Already this week we are seeing things improve with the 4 anglers having mirror carp of 53.8, 50.6, 47, 46, 42, 39.8 and 28 plus a stunning common of 45lb. Best of all fish are showing all over the lake and we have had 6 carp banked and two lost in the last 24 hrs. Hopefully we have turned the corner and the week will continue to improve.

A few fish from this week so far.

First a 50 for Chris and then a couple of great carp for Andy including a 53lb 8oz mirror.

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2016 availability and deposits.

As usual at deposit time we find that some people drop out so I will put latest availability on the blog on a regular basis.

All places are now taken but if you Would like to be put on the waiting list for any spaces that come available then drop me an email with your preferred dates and I will contact you should anything come available.

I would also remind you that deposits for next year are due on the 1st November.

Unpaid deposits will be regarded as cancellation of the booking with the places being then put up for grabs so best not ignore the deadline and contact me if there are any problems.

Tough times in France !!

I am sorry that I have not been updating the blog for the past couple of weeks but to be quite honest the weather has been against us, the carp have been against us and it is only the cheerful disposition of our anglers that has kept me sane !

With the water temperature having cooled to 11c in just a couple of weeks we were always going to find the fishing slow and despite the brave efforts of the lads the carp were few (and well earned) with perhaps the stunning condition of the fish somewhat making up for lack in numbers.

W/c October 10th we had Paul and Mark from Holland, Cumbrian Dave plus Caddy, Andy and Chris. All are regulars and know what the place can produce and each of the lads made sure that the week was a great success irrespective of the conditions. The ever helpful sturgeon at least provided some action with 7 being banked with Dave 31lb. having 5 up to 49lb 8oz and Paul a brace up to 50lb. Dave also had a mirror of 35lb whilst Bob had a couple of lovely carp at 49lb 9oz and 46lb and Caddy a single fish of 31lb. Paul and Mark also had a few hours on Poppy’s Lake where the fishing was slow however they did bag a few with Paul having one of 30lb’s. Despite everything the lads made sure the week was most enjoyable and for that I thank them.

A few pictures from the week.

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And a nice mirror for Dave from Poppy’s Lake.

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Last was another graced by old friends with Paul (Puffing Billy), Uncle Albert, Chas, Handles and Ian joined by LMDM newbie James.

Once again the carp were showing all over the lake but proved difficult to tempt but James did break his pb by around 20lb’s when he banked a cracking mirror of 60lb 1oz. Not a fish I recognise so unless someone can enlighten me I will chalk it up as another new 60 ! James also had a 30lb mirror whilst Charlie banked a 36lb 8oz carp and Paul had a last gasp 33lb mirror that took him all over the lake resulting in the poor old fellah taking to the water to land it! Good angling Paul is what I say. Trevor (Handles) had a stunning mirror of 46lb 8oz plus a common of 30lb 8oz whilst Ian worked hard for carp of 28lb and 42lb.

It was a frustrating week with so many carp to be seen but so few seemingly willing to feed on the anglers offerings. Whether they are feasting on fry or other naturals is difficult to assess but carp will not expend energy without feeding so me must presume that the strange autumn weather has forced them onto a more easily digested natural diet.

All in all the week was one of great fun with a group of regulars that understand fully the vagaries of carp fishing. I feel sure that next year will see them back amongst the big girls once more !

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And another lovely fish from Poppy’s Lake – With Uncle Albert this time.

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