Still hot and challenging.

Last week we had just three lads taking the lake and in hindsight I feel that the lack of anglers on the lake resulted in the carp happily feeding wherever the anglers weren’t. Plenty of fish were seen moving and bubbling and when I visited the shallows there were so many fish there that I fear I actually hit one with the electric outboard as I tried to move away from them. The weather remained very hot and the drought continues which is not making the fishing easy at all and we are desperate for a cooler, wetter spell which, I am sure, will result in the carp feeding in earnest once more. Howard managed 4 carp up to mid 40’s whereas his less experienced friends, Colin and Steve struggled somewhat. Colin did manage to bank a couple of fish including a cracking mirror of 46lb which doubled his previous pb however Steve who is a newbie to carp fishing struggled and although he did hook several big fish they were all lost due to either line breakage or hook pulls.

With a total lack of rain for some time now we have seen the water level drop by 6in or so which in itself is not a problem although should the drought continue for many more weeks then a lot of the lakes in France will really start to suffer. Last week was most frustrating as there were plenty of storms coming up from the south but as they reached our part of France they would just change direction and head off up to Paris or Cherbourg. We remained very hot (38c) and dry whilst the black clouds and rumbles of thunder could be seen and heard in the distance. It is a frustrating period and I really cannot see there being much improvement until the high pressure leaves us and a nice wet spell arrives !

Despite the slow fishing we all enjoyed last week and the lads stayed cheerful throughout and certainly made sure their holiday was a success even if the fishing was slow. Hopefully their next visit in 2016 will see plenty of rain, plenty of wind and plenty of fish banked !!

This week has started slowly although Martin has already had a pb mirror at 44lb, sturgeon at 50lb and common at 26lb whilst Paul has landed another nice mirror at 42lb. It is early days and with a possibility of a storm arriving in the early hours of tomorrow we are all keeping our fingers crossed that it arrives. One very sad event was the discovery of a big mirror carp that had died recently. From close examination it would appear that the fish had been tethered as the mouth was badly ripped up from its efforts to free itself. It is the first time I can remember us losing a carp through being tethered and it comes as a potent reminder of the need to fish sensibly and in accordance with the rules of the fishery. Better news next time !

Still steaming !!

The heat wave and drought continue unabated and looking at the long range forecast we are unlikely to see and change for some time yet. We are hoping that a thunderstorm may materialise sometime soon and if we are lucky enough to have one then I feel sure the fishing will kick in as well. With just the three lads having the lake this week the carp were always likely to be pretty elusive and that is proving to be the case. Howard has managed four carp up to mid 40’s and early this morning Colin all but doubled his existing pb with a cracking 46lb mirror. Steve is spending his days fishing close on off the dam and has had fish fizzing all over his bait without a discernible pick up. Perhaps today !

I took the boat around the lake yesterday afternoon and found a huge number of carp  happily feeding away in the shallow water between ‘Sanctuary’ and ‘Car Park’ swims. There were so many fish there that I fear I actually hit one with the outboard as I tried to leave the area. The boat rocked and there were bow waves heading in all directions with an area the size of a tennis court just a mass of waves and bubbles as the carp were spooked.  I also found a lot of carp in the shallows channel at the top of the lake with the lily bed erupting with spooked fish when I approached. There can be no doubt that there is a lot of feeding taking place however with just three anglers there is so much room for the carp to graze happily in the undisturbed parts of the lake. I feel sure that sometime soon we will be seeing some lucky anglers bagging  a lot of big fish – perhaps later this week !

A slight improvement.

With the scorching weather continuing without a break I was pleasantly surprised with the 17 carp that the 4 lads banked this week. As you can imagine, the fishing was hard with the hot days producing very little and any action coming overnight or in the early hours of the morning. One real plus is that the carp are all in superb condition with spawning wounds nicely healed and fights generally being long and hard. It was unfortunate for the lads that all of them lost very big fish at the net with Simon actually getting a huge mirror half in the net before the hookhold gave way and all he could do was watch the beast slide slowly away into the depths once more. The losses were not due to bad angling. poor rigs or anything else the anglers could have done but more an indication of the fickle feeding that is taking place in these hot conditions. On the subject of feeding it has been noticeable that fry is currently playing a large part in the carps diet at the moment. It is possibly that there are an abundance of fry this year and post spawning there is nothing more appealing to carp than an easily found protein intake. The fry fulfils that need and it is taking some heavy baiting to wean them off the natural diet. Weight gains are likely to be quite exciting later in the year with many of the big girls, that remain uncaught this year, likely to be a new best weights. Anyway, on to this weeks catch report.

Ian had 7 carp including a brace of 50’s (best a 53lb common), his son Jack banked 5 carp including a brace of nice 40;s, Simon had 5 carp with a brace of mid 40’s plus a 54lb sturgeon whilst Steve had to make do with a 54lb sturgeon and a 44lb catfish. Total bag was 2 x 50’s, 5 x 40’s, 6 x 30’s, 4 x 20’s and 3 sturgeon and a catfish.

Strangely there were plenty of fish crashing out and topping in the early mornings and large patches of bubbles could be seen in the evenings and Simon even had a lot of carp tearing up the bottom near the dam where he had baited up but even though he had a bait right in the middle all he got was lots of line twitches but nothing he could tighten up to. Such is fishing !!

On Poppy’s Lake we had a trio of Northern lads, Brian, Rob and Snake Eyes, who enjoyed  a marvellous week with lots of hard fighting for including a hatful of good 20’s up to 29lb 8oz which was very pleasing considering last weeks spawning and the very hot conditions. Great fishing lads and I look forward to seeing you again soon.

 

 

Some light at the end of the tunnel !

As you will be aware if you have been following the blog for a while I have been trying to make sense of the carps behaviour in recent weeks and although I still believe that the hot temperature has a lot to do with slowing the fishing down it would seem that we may now better understand the reasons. This week we have had a group of lads on Poppy’s and although they are catching well it has taken a good few days to wean the fish onto the bait. Of greater interest though is that a good many of the fish banked have coughed up fry ! On the main lake our good friend and regular at LMDM, Simon spent a good hour or so watching a big mirror and a big common that were under the old jetty. They were to be seen ambushing the fry and feeding avidly on them. This would also explain the amount of fry ‘cascades’ that have been seen when our pike stocks are presently quite low and the newly arrive perch, low in number. With an abundance of fry to supply easily digested protein just after spawning it can be no surprise that anglers baits have been passed by and it would also explain why at this time of year more heavily baiting can work by encouraging the carp to take advantage of this new food source rather than hunting fry. I have often voiced my belief that fry feeding is quite common but am amazed at how a large stock of carp will become preoccupied on fry to the degree that seems evident from recent results. On a brighter note the perch should soon be established in numbers and will be more effective than the pike (most removed) in controlling fry numbers.

The fishing has been challenging in the heat but we still have seen some nice fish banked. Ian Malone has had half a dozen good fish with a brace of 50’s topping his catch. Last night he had a trio of carp with a 53lb common and 46lb mirror and a 31lb common. Overall we have had around 16 fish caught so far and with a couple of nights to go we are hoping for a good few more.

 

Still sizzling !!

During my absence the heat wave has continued and conditions have become even hotter. Last week it was reported that temperatures actually reached the low 40’sc and as you can imagine, the lakes are like warm baths with the carp just lazing around in a torpid state and feeding just occasionally. The upshot of this is that the fishing has been very hard indeed and just Lee and Gordon O’connor managed to winkle a few fish out, six in total up to mid 40’s. The Welsh Winklers, long time LMDM regulars, had a torrid time and although a couple of fish were hooked and lost the lads had no more than a sturgeon for their efforts. As usual everyone enjoyed their time here however it is fair to say that a few more fish on the bank would have made the week even better. The carp are not shy in the heat and plenty were to be seen basking in the day and crashing out at night but serious feeding was not on their agenda so catches remained low for the week. There was a suspicion that some of the big girls spent a night or two spawning but I cannot confirm it although it would not surprise me at all if they were. This week has started in much of the same fashion although a thunder-storm yesterday improved conditions for a few hours and subsequently half a dozen fish were banked including a 50 to Ian Malone. We have three lads roasting up at Poppy’s lake this week and they are also struggling with no more than a dozen fish banked so far. They have seen huge shoals of carp basking in the shallows and it would seem that here also the hot water temperature is a major factor in the fishing being much slower that usual. With the heat wave, which is setting all sorts of records locally, set to continue I think that all carp banked will be hard-earned. A few more storms and a general lowering of temperatures would make a world of difference to both us and the fish so here’s hoping !

 

Another hot and difficult week !

This week has seen the temperatures rise to the mid 30’s and with little wind the lake has sat simmering under the constant sunshine with the water temperatures rising by the day. Carp were to be seen moving in the mornings between 5am and 9am and in the evenings before darkness set in which would indicate that they were feeding however takes were hard worked for all week. One explanation may be found in the experience that Fergie had when a cracking high 30 common spat out a half chewed small roach ! I am aware of the importance that predatory feeding can have after spawning as it offers an immediate pure form of protein that can never be matched by anglers bait. Perhaps the solution lies here of perhaps with the constant hot weather the carp felt rather like we did – lethargic and lazy !! Whatever the reasons the lads did find the fishing tough going. No complaints though as they were all regulars and enjoyed their week despite the slow fishing. Between regular naps (Gary slept most of the week it would seem !!) there were still a few nice fish banked to keep the enthusiasm stoked up with the jewel in the crown being Peter’s new lake record at 73lb.  Fergie weighed in with a 38lb common and a 34.8lb mirror, Martin with a trio of mirrors at 32lb, 49lb, and 51lb and Dennis had a 32lb mirror followed by a 43lb mirror. Gary had a small mirror and dear old Ron had a blank but both remained happy and helped make the week so enjoyable. About half a dozen sturgeon were also landed throughout the week with the bets being 52lb.

For a lake owner it is always difficult to deal with the quiet times when there is no logical explanation for the fishing being so hard but it is something we always experience at times and can do no more than offer advice and encouragement where we can. I think that I get far more stressed than the anglers when times are tough and I will often be told to ‘chill out Jim; it is only fishing’ !! That being said I like to see our guests catch and would love to be able to understand the workings of a carps mind. When all is said and done it is a sobering thought that a creature with a brain the size of a peanut can cause us so much frustration. One of Mother Nature’s jokes methinks !

Drop Scale out at a new best weight of 73lb.

I had a call this morning to tell me that Peter Templeman had a big fish in the net and was delighted to find that it was the ‘Drop Scale’ mirror at a new lake record weight of 73lb. I think that Peter is still in a state of shock however I will sort out the pictures later and post one on the blog. Well done Peter who has been a long standing regular at LMDM. A well earned fish I reckon ! happy days indeed.

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In the doldrums !

Another week of constantly changing conditions has resulted in our lowest ever catch of carp. It was no fault of the lads on this week as they tried everything in their armoury but for the most part to no avail. The week started in grand fashion with Gary bagging a cracking 55lb mirror and with plenty of fish to be seen moving hopes were high for a decent catch. Not to be I am afraid as the carp refused to play ball and for the most part were only active in the early mornings and when a fish was hooked we have a good few instances of hook pulls. Once again it was due to the fickle feeding rather than any weakness in the rigs used. I often will comment on the weather as being a major influence on the feeding habits of carp and this week has proven to be one where constantly changing conditions has really unsettled them. Just coming out of a hectic spawning cycle with water temperatures having climbed to 23.8c by the close of the previous week I would have realistically expected the fish to have settled into a regular feeding pattern if the conditions have held up. Unfortunately we experienced warm sunny days, rain, cold north winds, even colder southerly winds and night temperatures that dropped to no more than 5c at times. The water temperature also suffered and dropped by 2c throughout the week. All in all the week was a very poor one with regard to the fishing with just 6 carp up 55lb 8oz plus 3 x sturgeon up to low 50’s and I am full of admiration for the lads who were on this week. They have all experienced blanks, poor weeks and good in France so were well aware of the vagaries of fishing and remained cheerful throughout. Mealtimes were great fun and the laughter never suffered from the poor fishing. Thanks for that lads and hopefully next year will see you get amongst the fish in real LMDM fashion.

Gary and his 55lb 8oz mirror.

Gary and 55lb 4oz mirror

We also had a some great company on Poppy’s Lake with 4 Dutch anglers having a great time and bagging over 100 carp for their efforts. They were hampered somewhat by spawning that took place throughout the week resulting in the carp being a much lower weights than a week or so ago but still enjoyed a fabulous week with plenty of action and some new pb’s also. Biggest fish was just short of 30lb with a good many more of over 20lb. It was a real pleasure to have another group on Poppy’s who appreciated every fish as well as the environment and wildlife. I look forward to seeing them all again sometime in the future when the fish are just as cooperative but a good bit heavier ! Pictures on the Poppy’s page.

Post spawning blue’s !!

With just three anglers on last week it was always likely to be difficult to pin the carp down and so it proved to be. The weather changed almost daily with hot sunshine, cold winds, rain chilly nights all combining to make the week a challenging one and with the carp in recovery mode from their spawning efforts the catch was one of the poorest we have ever had at the lake. No fault of the anglers I must add, as they worked really hard throughout the week and are to be congratulated on keeping their spirits up and making sure they enjoyed their time with us despite the slow fishing. On the plus side the carp that were banked all seemed well on the way to recovery from spawning and fought long and hard for the most part. It was strange that at times there were plenty of fish to be seen rolling and crashing out, sometimes over the baited patches, however takes proved to be hard to come by. Gary fared best with a nine carp catch, the best fish being a mirror of 45lb 6oz and a common of 41lb 2oz backed up by a trio of good 30’s and some 20’s. Graham worked so very hard for just a couple of small male fish and then got up early on Saturday to fish the shallows for a final couple of hours. He managed to hook was appeared to be one of the big girls that he had on for a good few minutes before it took off, putting up a huge bow wave, and then spat the hook out ! A sad finish. Ian, the least experienced of the lads had just a sturgeon to his name but managed to read a good few books during his stay so went home refreshed and (sadly) carpless. Despite the slow fishing the week was most enjoyable and I look forward to seeing the three lads back at LMDM when the weather is settled and the carp in a more cooperative mood.

This week has also started slowly with heavy rain for the first 48 hrs however this morning Del banked a mid 30 mirror and Gary a lovely 55lb 4oz mirror. Both fish were well spawned out and looking in fine condition. With the rain due to be replaced by warm sunshine after today I am hoping that the carp will be encouraged to feed with more enthusiasm. Watch this space !

Hot and sultry !

It is very hot at the moment with the lake calm and quiet and the fishing proving to be much the same. Earlier in the week a cold North Easterly wind accompanied by bright sunshine made the fishing very hard indeed but yesterday evening and night saw a tremendous amount of carp activity just after an hour or so of rain. Gary made the best of the change in conditions and bagged another 4 carp, 3 big thirties and a mid 40 and reported big fish crashing all over the lake. This morning there was bubbling everywhere but the other two anglers, Ian and Graham, fished hard but failed to make contact with any fish. There is no doubt that with just the three anglers on the fishing was always going to be a tad difficult as there is so much water that the fish can happily feeding without being bothered by anglers lines. With the weather also not being the best and the majority of the fish just getting over what was a pretty energetic spawning we can only hope that the last 48 hrs throws up something special. We do have some thunderstorms forecast for tonight and if they do arrive it could well prove the trigger the carp need to get seriously on the feed. The fishing is always unpredictable post spawning but from previous experience we know that it can turn on at any time. Perhaps tonight !