Happy New Year to all.

Well, I am still away from the lake (although updated daily) after a Christmas that saw Lottie and I down with a chest virus and my grandson in hospital with the same and only let out late on Christmas Eve. All is well now and I am presently sitting in the cabin of my boat with a large glass of something refreshing and looking forward with no little excitement for the start of our 2017 season. We have had so little rain in the past couple of months that our region is currently on drought alert. In response we are starting to fill the lakes a month earlier than is usual and will be ensuring that the work on the swims is carried out in early February with all the cutting back being left to later in the month. Chatting with Jimmy earlier it seems that the mild spell has encouraged the carp to move around and show far more than we would expect in early January although the weather is forecast to get a good degree colder in the days ahead. We really could do with a very cold snap to kill off the bugs before too long and a decent helping of snow would be very welcome to top up the aquafors with a nice slow melt. We have been studying last years catch reports and all being well we can expect some great catches in the coming season with so many carp moving up to the next weight category. If you look back over the catch reports for 2016 it is really evident that we had a huge amount of upper 40’s that are ready to break the 50lb barrier this year and lets not forget the amount of  50’s that came out above the 55lb mark that are also likely to break the next weight group of 60lb+. Happy days indeed.

On a more sobering note it is worth reminding all our anglers that to have such a large stock of big carp also has a downside which can show itself in the lean weeks when the fishing can be very difficult indeed. We cannot guarantee that every angler will bag up, or even catch, however we can guarantee that when that alarm goes off the heart will be banging in expectation with a 40lb+ carp more likely to be the culprit than anything smaller. Our days as a runs water are now long past although more than one angler has waxed lyrical that we should still be producing 30 fish per angler with the only difference being that they are twice the size as before !! Oh, if only life was that simple.

One difference in fishing approach we see these days, especially from new anglers to LMDM, is the lack of any real bait application. ‘I am fishing for just one bite at a time’ is an expression that I hear regularly. I really think that it is imperative that logic is applied to a fishing approach and although a light baiting approach has its merit at certain times I would consider that more often than not too little bait is more of a problem that too much. Always remember that nature dictates that wild creatures need to feed regularily and the bigger they are the more food they require to survive. Let me give you some sobering facts that certainly should be considered when you fish. At Le Moulin du Mee the main lake hold over 300 carp (counted, not estimated) with an average weight of around 40lb. That gives us a biomass of carp of approx. 12000 lb’s with the roach and perch to be added to that. In good summer feeding conditions the experts tell us that a carp can consume 2% of its body weight daily ! For a 40lb carp that is almost 13 oz of food per fish giving a total for our carp of around 240lb of food……..in one day !!! Now, not for one minute do I believe that this either a regular occurrence of one that we can base our approach on however if you consider for one moment that each carp eats just one ounce of anglers bait in a day – that still amounts to nearly 19 pound of food when they are only feeding lightly. Also to be taken in account is that the lake is one big natural larder with bloodworm to be found just about everywhere. The carp can become very preoccupied on naturals at times with fry and bloodworm forming a large percentage of their diet. That being the case I consider that the approach to be considered is to ensure that there is sufficient bait in the lake to avoid naturals being the preferred option. Along with quite a few of our better anglers I also have formed the view that in some of the quiet periods it is not lack of feeding fish that is the problem but more that they can be quite ‘rig shy’ at times so close attention to efficient rigs and sticky sharp hooks is a must. I also am of the opinion that many of the lads this year fished wit far too heavy leads and also far bigger hooks than is necessary. I find it odd that some of our anglers  (fellah’s that I respect immensely and who are far, far better carp anglers than I will ever be)  arrive with idea’s and approach that they would never consider at home. Keep it simple is what I say and think about what is happening on that lake bed. If carp are feeding they need food so make sure your swim is attractive on that front. You have three rods so in times of strife fish three different methods. One rod on heavy bait, one on light bait and one with a sausage on the end if that rocks your boat, just keep working your swim with different methods, alternative baits and most importantly of all, keep thinking. Thankfully the tough weeks are outnumbered by easier ones but whenever you arrive at a fishery there are always the vagaries of weather as well as the cussedness of the carp for you to contend with so keep thinking, keep smiling and if the worst comes to the worst enjoy the sunsets, the birdsong and the gentleness of the surroundings and trust that all will be well.

Finally, a couple of things on the business front that I should mention. Firstly, final payments are due 8 weeks prior to the date of your visit so please ensure that you adhere to this. Deposits for 2018 are due on November 1st so once again, please plan for this as I really hate having to chase it up with lads that I regard as friends, not just clients.

As you will all see we have held our prices for 2017 and despite our income taking a real knock with the fall in the value of sterling we were hoping things would improve. Sadly that is not the case and as a consequence I reluctantly will be putting prices up a little in 2018. We will still be very competively priced compared with similar venues so I hope you will understand.

For the main lake in 2018 an exclusive booking will be £2200 for up to 6 anglers.

Individual anglers will be charged £375

Non fishing guests remain at £100

Poppy’s lake will remain unchanged.

Finally… A Happy New Year to you all.

Happy Christmas

I am in the UK for the Christmas break so cannot comment on what is happening at the lakes however Jimmy did report mild weather and has been feeding both lakes as usual. Having said that we have planned plenty of work for the new year and I will ensure that updates are posted on a regular basis.

For now all of the Le Moulin du Mee team would like to wish you a very happy Christmas and a carp filled new year. We are anticipating a great year in 2017 with both lakes progressing very nicely.

Tight lines.

JIM, LOTTIE, SOPHIE AND JIMMY.

 

This and that !

I enjoyed a quiet time on the dam this afternoon where I was blessed with the sight of several kingfishers feeding close to where I was sitting. They look almost drab when in the shade but the moment they fly through a beam of sunlight their colors suddenly burst forth and they look a fine sight as they plunge into the lake and surface with a silvery meal clasped in their beak. At the far end of the lake we have 14 snowy egrets feeding happily in the shallow water and our resident pair of great crested grebes are busily spending their time either fishing or making a fuss of each other as only grebes can. Although the weather has been cold, with morning frosts, the sun soon puts in an appearance and conditions can seem almost balmy if you manage to keep away from the shady area’s. The water is about as clear as we ever see it as this time of year and close to the dam large shoals of this seasons fry are to be seen moving en-mass, first from left to right and then, a short time later, back once more. The pike and perch are having a field day with lots of easy feeding available and along with the kingfishers and grebes they will be taking a steady toll of the small fish. When we are not around we have several cormorants greedily feeding on the fry and to be honest I am not to bothered as they are just part of natures way of keeping the small fish stocks in balance. We put several dustbins full of cooked maize out into the lake yesterday and although no carp were seen we certainly disturbed several as was evident by the puffs of silt that bloomed up in our wake. It is a lonely time of year for carp activity but if you know the signs then it become apparent that they are quietly going about their business with just the odd puff of silt or bulge of water to give them away. We know the little secrets of where they will be in most conditions and at the moment they will be happily sifting through the silt in the area between Gingers Patch, Zippies and Deliverance. As the water warms up they quickly move up into the shallows where they can even be found in a mid winter afternoon when the sun has had enough warmth to encourage an hour or two of shallow water feeding. When you live on a lakeside as we do it is easy to take the changing face of the seasons for granted however as a fisherman there is so much to capture your interest that each day offers a new insight into natures ways. There is so much life that is easy to miss if you are not tuned into it, so much beauty on the dullest of days and, not least the magic of just being by the water knowing that not far way there are great golden carp quietly living their life and waiting for the season to open…Happy days indeed.

Winter, not so bad.

Although the weather is damp and gloomy as I write there is an atmospheric beauty about the still, half light that we often experience at this time of year. All is quiet and if you close your eyes the silence is almost total with just the odd rustling of leaves to be heard. Look around though and it is a totally different story with so much going on that can be seen if you take the trouble to look. We have just been splitting lots of poplar logs and piling them up on the grass whilst we prepare the stacking area. Quietly standing behind the cottage I watched myriads of wrens flitting in and out of the split logs as they fed on the many disturbed grubs and insects. There were so many wrens that they could have been mistaken for a kaleidoscope of butterfly’s (well, brown ones anyway) feeding merrily away in total silence. We rescued a great crested grebe, a young one I would think, this morning when it was found stuck in the pool at the bottom of the millrace. Grebes need a long run up before they can take flight and there just was insufficient room for the poor thing to get airborne. A quick sweep of a landing net and the grebe was caught by Jimmy who wrapped the creature up in a towel and handed it to Sophie to release onto the lake. The ungrateful wretch spent a good few minute trying to spear her with its beak before diving down into the lake and upon surfacing giving us the ‘evil eye’. That’s gratitude for you ! The many kingfishers that live locally have been flying over both lakes in good numbers and enjoying the easy fishing that comes with the reduced water levels that we  maintain over winter. We also have up to a dozen snowy egrets fishing around the lake margins each day and blending into the murky background are a good many grey herons that also enjoy the opportunity for an easy feed before the frosts of winter proper arrive. The carp have remained very active in both lakes and throughout the day the calm will suddenly  be broken by the sound of a big carp crashing out of the water. Poppy’s Lake is behaving much as it does all summer with constant show of bow waving, topping and leaping carp to stir the fishing juices. After a good amount of feed is applied to the lake the fish will be seen stirring up the silt in a feeding frenzy within minutes. We never wet a line until early March (so long as the water has warmed up) and next spring Poppy’s will certainly be my first port of call.

Well, the next few weeks are to be spent on the log splitting and general tidying up and once Christmas is out of the way we will be working hard, repairing and renewing as well as the usual clearing and burning. Winter is a time of hard graft for us all at Le Moulin du Mee but we enjoy working up a sweat when the days are cold and very soon we will be starting to get excited about the prospect of the season to come. Happy days indeed.

The Last Post (of the 2016 season).

The season just finished as been a reflection of what fishing is all about. Some great weeks, some dreadful weeks and in between a year of good fish, good company and some wonderful catches.

As ever the weather has been the major factor and for the second year running we have had the seasons rather blurred, which is unusual for us as seasonal changes have usually been predictable, and certainly discernible, as spring, summer, autumn and winter.

This year our winter was very mild and wet and carried on into spring when the only real change was that temperatures were a little higher. The regular deluges of rain meant that the water table was wonderfully high for summer when a prolonged heatwave and dry spell would normally have resulted in dropping water levels. Summer certainly arrived with a vengeance and once the temperatures began to rise they were destined to remain in the high 30’s for much of the summer. Little summer rain and the absence of our usual thunder storms made us thankful for the wet spring and although the lads baked in the hot sunny conditions we still saw some great catches of carp on a regular basis. We moved from summer to autumn quickly and the back end of the season was generally wetter and cooler than we are used to experiencing. The fishing became more challenging but, as in the summer, some great catches were made.

From a fishing perspective it was generally a great season although the carp have been noticeably more fickle in their feeding habits than in previous years and some weeks were very difficult indeed. The lake is now maturing into a serious big fish water and as is usual in these situations the fishing can be more tricky than in earlier years. It must be recognized that the carp have now got 10 years experience of being hunted under their belt and therefore they are no longer the pushover that they were in our early years. I was quite amused when one of our early year regulars posted on the blog (late 2014) that the lake should still be producing bags of 30 plus carp per angler the only difference being that now they are 40’s and 50’s rather than 20’s and 30’s ! How wonderful would that be ? The reality is that we have managed our biomass carefully over the years and whereas when we opened we had 600+ carp in the main lake we now have reduced that to just over the 300 mark. As all of you that fish here will acknowledge our carp are in stunning condition and show regular, healthy growth. In all honesty we remain over stocked, with a biomass that aquaculture experts will tell you is far too high. We are only able to do that due to the fact that our lake is in a limestone and chalk valley giving us superb filtered water coming from the many springs on the lake bed. There is a downside (from an angling point of view) in having such a healthy lake and that is the proliferation of naturals meaning that the carp are not dependent on anglers bait. The carp are healthy, they are bigger and growing fast but they are also a lot wiser to the ways of fishermen. Such is life.

Lets look at the season just finished and consider the reality of what Le Moulin du Mee now offers the carp angler. We had 129 carp of over 50lb banked including 26 x 60lb+ carp up to a best of 73lb. In addition we had 120 carp of between 45lb and 50lb that will, in the next year, become 50lb+ fish ! Just how many 50’s we will have swimming round in the lake next year is mind boggling. Add to that the big 50’s caught this year that should be 60lb+ fish by spring and the whole prospect is very exciting indeed. The very heavy spawning experienced this season has also meant that a good many of our know big fish were well down in weight in mid summer. Once next season is underway I truly expect that we will have up to half a dozen carp of over 70lb in the lake and as they are all young fish the prospect for future weight gains is enormous. Happy days indeed.

From the anglers point of view there is always the chance that the next run will result in something very special which adds spice to the fishing. There is also the chance that conditions will be against you, the carp will be avidly munching naturals or your tactics will be wrong and a blank could be on the cards. That is the reality of fishing at Le Moulin du Mee and I would hate to find that visitors to our fishery arrive with unrealistic expectations. We are not a runs water these days but do have Poppy’s Lake which is very much so. In fact we now have more groups opting to hire both lakes thus ensuring that a regular bend in the rod from 20’s and 30’s is all but guaranteed on Poppy’s when conditions are tough on the main lake but the chance of the fish of a lifetime is also possible when the main lake is tackled. Food for thought methinks.

Next season will see several changes and the summer months will be ‘drive and survive’ although with a bit more sophistication than the title would suggest. On both sides of the lake there will be covered cooking and eating area’s complete with gas bbq/cooker and gas fridge and the shower block will also be equipped with a large sink for washing up. Several of the swims will be refurbished and a lot more cutting back of tree’s will be undertaken to ensure casting will be a lot easier.

The new aeration system has been a great success and we plan to extend the lake bottom aerators further along the centre of the lake which, if nothing else will make it easier for you to identify exactly where the middle is ! The fact that the whole lake now is well oxygenated should stop the problem of fish congregating in certain area’s of the lake at times when dissolved oxygen levels become depleted. Already this season we have noticed that for most of the year every swim can, and has produced and I believe that we now have solved one of the reasons that in earlier years certain swims were way out in front. As an example ‘Deliverance’ was an unusually productive swim, mostly all year round but particularly in the summer. We now recognize that one of the reasons for this was that the biggest spring in the lake flowed from bay between the spits adjacent to the swim. This meant that at times of poor dissolved oxygen this was the area where the carp felt most comfortable. Although ‘Deliverance’ is still a very good swim it no longer has the advantage that we saw in previous years as now all the lake is comfortable in oxygen content. Happy days ahead.

Prices for 2017 remain unchanged once more although due to the Brexit effect on exchange rates we anticipate that prices will need to move up in 2018. Nothing drastic I can assure you and as ever we will ensure that we are still very competitively priced.

Well, that’s about it for now so thanks to everyone that has helped make the 2016 such a good and enjoyable one for us at LMDM. See you lads (and lasses) in 2017.

Our final week..

Well, this is the last post of the 2016 fishing season and with our final week just concluded it is worth looking back at how the season panned out. First a quick summary of the week just concluded which saw the ‘Stansted Firemen’ enjoying the many pleasures of a cold, wet and windy and challenging week. The fishing was hard and once again there were plenty of carp crashing around and feeding (on naturals) but takes were at a premium and although thye final fish count was low there were some pretty special carp among them. Top rod for the week was the very experienced Nick who fished the shallows and managed to bag 7 carp including a 63lb mirror and a 57lb 8oz mirror. Nick also lost a carp when he picked up some floating debris on his line during the fight resulting eventually in the line parting. ‘If felt a big fish’ said Nick at breakfast and he would soon be proven right in his assumption ! The following day Chris arrived at breakfast with a big smile on his face and announced that he had landed a new pb in the form of a cracking 65lb 8oz mirror. ‘It had another rig in its mouth’ said Chris and he proceeded to pull the rig out of his pocket to show the lads. You’ve guessed, yes it was Nicks rig from the day before !! I must say that Nick was very philosophical about it which, in the circumstances, was a gracious way to be. I feel that I would have been gnashing my teeth at the least. Darren also caught a nice fish, another pb weighing in at 45lb 8oz however poor old Rob drew an unfortunate blank. Well, I must say that our final week was most enjoyable despite the weather being rather unhelpful and the lads smiled all the way through. I look forward to seeing you lads again next summer when I am sure conditions will be far more conducive to carp fishing. Happy days.

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More of the same !

The weather continues to damp down the fishing and although plenty of carp are still showing and crashing out the lads in the main struggled in pretty poor fishing conditions. The early part of the week saw any feeding carp concentrating in the deeper water and John certainly made the best of his opportunities with a 7 carp bag consisting of mirrors of 66lb 4oz, 49lb 8oz, 42.8lb, 42lb , 42lb,32lb and 32lb. All the carp were in stunning condition and certainly gave a good account of themselves before being banked. Other than that Steve had a couple of fish with a best of 45lb whilst Sean had a cracking 56lb mirror and Danny one of 32lb whilst Lee and Mark drew a blank.

Once again it was a most enjoyable week and the lads were experienced enough to accept that conditions were against them and any fish was a bonus. Next time fellah’s.

Some pictures from the week.

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The final week of the season is now underway with frost, rain, wind and hail making conditions once again pretty horrid for the lads. The carp remain elusive although we have had a high 50 banked from the shallows so perhaps a few more good fish will be banked before we close shop for 2016.

On Monday we carried out the netting of POPPY’S LAKE’ which is discussed (with pictures) on the dedicated Poppy’s Lake page. Take a look.

2017

Just a reminder that tomorrow is the deadline for deposits for next year. Anyone that has not paid or at least contacted me regarding payment should do so asap please.

I am getting lots of inquiries at the moment but currently all I have available for 2017 is the final week of the season commencing November 6th. Having said that I am still waiting for deposits from several anglers/groups so it may well be that other dates may come available in due course. I will publish any new vacancies on the blog.

John bags ‘Drop Scale’ at 66lb 4oz.

The fishing is still slow however last night John bagged a lovely 42lb mirror followed by the ‘Drop Scale’ mirror at 66lb 4oz. John and Sean also had a couple of nice 30’s yesterday and with the carp continuing to crash out over night we are hoping for a few more good fish before the week is out.

John and a couple of nice mirrors.

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