I am sorry that the blog has been rather silent for several weeks now but I have been in the UK for 2 weeks and then kept rather busy and in turn rather neglected keeping you all updated with catch reports. I will now endeavor to be more disciplined with my blog writing.
The weather has remained very hot for the past month or so and as you would expect the catches have been rather up and down as a consequence. The good thing is that the carp are in superb condition and look to be recovering well from the very heavy spawning period. In fact it would be fair to say that we have seen the biggest overall weight loss due to spawning since we first opened in 2006. This is not a bad thing and with the carp now showing a true weight we can look forward to gradual weight gains throughout the remaining summer months and through the winter when the fresh spawn begins to develop. The lake is looking lovely at the moment with lush growth and high water levels seeing it at its best for late summer. The very heavy rain that we experienced in the early summer certainly seems to have filled the springs and despite a lack of any notable rain for many weeks now we have water levels just a couple of inches down on maximum. The fishing remains challenging but still the rewards are there for those that hit onto the right formula for the week. Big fish are showing up in catches every week now and it is fascinating how we are seeing some know big girls well down in weight due to spawning whilst other fish are suddenly coming through and showing at all time best weights. The most rewarding aspect of this is the sheer amount of carp that are now close to moving up into a higher weight bracket which, allowing for the known big fish to recover to their best weights again, means that the closing months of the season could be rather special.
Anyway, the last few weeks catch reports….
W.C .July 15th was a very slow week that saw just 13 carp banked topped by a 62lb common and backed up by fish up to 48lb. The big common was banked by Glen from ‘Gingers Patch’. With such a low catch overall it was pleasing to see that the fish were spread between 5 of the 6 anglers with just the one blank. As has been happening recently a lot of fish were dropped and one is left with the feeling that the week would have been so much better if luck had been on the side of the boys.
W.C. July 22nd was another scorcher with temperatures reaching up into the high 30’s. Of the 5 anglers just 3 of them fished all week as Dave and Mark spent 3 days working on the cottage for us…great job lads, thanks. The overall catch was 21 carp with the best being a 50lb mirror to Mark (Middle Ground) and a 53lb mirror to Chris (Island). Caddy banked 4 carp up to 43lb, Andy had 3 carp up to 45lb 8oz whilst Dave banked 6 carp up to 44lb 8oz and a 30lb sturgeon. Mark had four fish topped by his first ever 50 and Chris had 3 fish with the 53lb mirror being his best. The lads endured some torrid daytime temperatures that barely dropped at night so did well to pick up the fish that they did in the conditions.
W.C. July 29th was a better week with 31 carp banked including a brace of 60lb mirrors and 50’s of 56lb, 55lb and 52lb 14oz plus another 7 fish of over 40lb as well as a brace of big sturgeon. The weather was still very hot but the fish seem to be getting used to the high temperatures and settling down to some sporadic feeding. Paul (Deliverance) finished his week with 9 carp up to 60lb 8oz and Steve (Island) had 10 carp including fish of 60lb 8oz, 56lb, 52lb 14oz (common), 46lb 8oz, 43lb 12oz and 43lb 8oz (common) as well as a 57lb sturgeon. Jamie (Zippies) had 5 carp up to 40lb 11oz whilst Darren and Tony decided to double up on Sanctuary resulting in a 55lb mirror anjd 58lb sturgeon to Tony and 5 carp up to 42lb for Darren. I never feel that doubling up on a swim is a good idea and after chatting with Tony and Darren I think that next trip they will fish seperate swims. Good idea methinks !!!
W.C.August 5th was the hottest week of the year so far with temperatures constantly in the high 30’s. The carp were spread out throughout the lake and with the shallows holding dozens of fish whenever I ventured up you would have thought that it fished well…not so. In fact nearly all the carp caught came from the deeper water with the rest of the lake offering hard fishing for the lads. It was a good learning week for some of the lads who were fairly new to French fishing and although everyone had a most enjoyable week I am sure that the next visit will see tactics tweaked and perhaps a bit more bait being applied. Of the 32 carp banked we had 27 of them caught from just two swims, both fishing the dam end of the lake where the water is at its deepest. It is difficult to work out why this occurred as this year has been one where the whole lake has fished fairly evenly. Oxygen was checked and was good everywhere so that in not a factor so we thought that it was possibly due to the very high water temperatures however when you consider how many carp were actively feeding in the shallows that doesn’t really stack up. Another factor in this strange sport of ours to ponder on !
Anyway, Top rod for the week was Michael (Zippies) who fished well for his 16 carp and a 58lb sturgeon that he actually caught 5 times !!! His best fish was mirror bang on the 50lb mark followed by another 3 of over 40lb and a 42lb 8oz catfish. In fact Mike had a pb mirror carp, pb common, pb sturgeon and pb catfish so a good week for the lad. Denny also had a good week fishing Deliverance up to Friday morning when he and Mike left early due to the extreme heat. Denny had 11 carp comprised a 62lb mirror, 52lb mirror and another couple of good 40’s backed up by mainly 30’s whilst Mike (Island), who suffered greatly from the heat, banked just a couple of fish with a best of 36lb. Paul (Steps) had a new pb of 51lb 8oz whilst Zac ( Middle Ground) drew a blank and Mark (Car Park) had a brace of mirrors with a best of 45lb. It was great week overall although the fishing remained challenging however I feel that in the extreme heat the lads did well.
Well, that brings us up to this week and with the lads just settling down to soaking up the sun whilst they catch up on sleep we can only hope that the fishing picks up for all swims and quite honestly I do not see any reason why it shouldn’t. The deeps are full of fish and the shallows are full of fish and I have no doubt that the middle swims also have plenty of fish in front of them. The secret is to work out how to catch them ! Easy isn’t it…problem solved.