Another frustrating week.

A week that see’s 28 carp banked is not normally labelled as a poor one however there can be no doubt that there could have, even should have, been more fish banked than actually were. Lots of rolling, crashing out and bubbling were to be seen throughout the week but ,as we experienced last week, takes were hard to come by. We also had a good few fish hooked and lost, sometimes when they were ready for netting, and in one or two cases the lost fish were real lumps. On the Chateau bank we had two newbies to LMDM, both decent anglers with plenty of experience of French fishing however by their own admission they could have done a lot better if they had been more flexible on tactics. Both lads were big enough to admit that they had learned a lot about fishing shallower estate type lakes during their trip and would fish very differently when they return next year. I think that all of us tend to fish in a way we are comfortable with and at times do not think things through when conditions are vastly different to those we normally fish in. Anyway, with 28 carp banked the week finished up a lot better than I expected and everyone caught which is always a good thing. Top rod was Lee who fished the shallows for an 11 fish bag topped by a 49lb mirror closely followed by Ian who had 10 carp including 6 good 40’s whilst Simon had a torrid week with lost fish and foul hooked fish but thankfully a last night beauty of 54lb 2oz made up for all his trials and tribulations. Well done all. As regulars these lads fished well and made the most of the opportunities offered in a week that saw the carp preoccupied on naturals for the most part. Our two new anglers, Richard and Jason, were great lads to have at the lake and although they struggled in the conditions at least they both caught with Richard having 5 carp up to 41lb and Jason a last gasp 39lb mirror. I am sure both lads will have absorbed the lessons that a tough week has thrown up and will put them into practise when they return next summer.
So, the weeks tally finished up with 28 carp banked made up of 1 x 50, 8 x 40’s, 10 x 30’s, 6 x 20’s and 3 x doubles. The average size was down on our usual weights and would indicate that the big girls were grazing on naturals and not feeding on the anglers bait for the most part. It also was a week where bait choice once again proved important and I cannot emphasise enough how valuable it is to choose a good quality fishmeal boilie for warm water fishing. If in doubt then speak to us before committing to an expensive bait order or, if necessary use our own rolled bait but never presume that because a bait works at home that it will be effective in conditions that are totally different when in France.
One other suggestion for anglers visiting us for the first time is to make sure your weighing scales are up to the task in hand. We have had two instances in recent week of big commons being weighed on 60lb scales and bottoming them out. Bring scales that can cope with the potentially big carp you could catch here. 
This week remains challenging although already we have had half a dozen carp banked including a 60lb 8oz common (possible a good bit heavier….scales !!! ) and carp are remaining active. With weather warming up considerable during the week it will be interesting to see how the more ‘summery’ conditions effect the fishing.
I am afraid that I do not have any photo’s to put up as my desk top has packed up however the lads will be emailing me some pics which I will add to this post once received.

A tad frustrating !

The week just past was very frustrating with fish obviously feeding on naturals but proving very difficult to tempte onto anglers bait. Things were not helped by the fact that we only had two anglers fishing full time with the other lads only putting their rods out at night, when they finished working on the cottage. We also have been experiencing more hook puls than usual and I believe that it is more a symptom of the way the fish are taking a bait than anything to do with rigs. Several big fish were dropped including a very big common that Lee lost at the net. Such is fishing !!

Anyway, there were still 15 carp banked with all the accolades going to Neil who smashed his pb with a stunning 61lb 4oz common. Neil also had a41lb mirror and his pal Roy banked a 47lb 12oz mirror. Lee had most fish fishing the shallows at night and finished up with 8 carp including a fine brace of 40’s at 47lb and 46lb 4oz. Ian banked 3 carp with a best of 51lb 8oz and Simon had just the one at 36lb 4oz. The three ‘part time’ anglers are staying of for a second week so hopefully things will pick up for them.

It is obvious that the carp have been feeding avidly on naturals with huge hatches of chrominides taking place at times. The bloodworm are going through a prolific cycle at the moment but things should settle down as conditions improve and hopefully the fish will be back on the anglers offerings in due course. For the lads fishing the most frustrating thing is how many fish have been showing, often over baited patches and yet takes have been few and far between. The early hours of the morning have been most productive and also is a time when the carp can be heard crashing out all over the lake. The hot weather that has been with us for some time now is changing and rain is falling at regular intervals with storms forecast for the early part of the week. That may stir things up !! Lets hope so.

A week of mixed fortunes.

We have just had a rather strange week with two of the lads doing really well and three of them struggling to come to terms with the fishing. The weather was generally warm and sunny with just the odd visit of a thunderstorm and some sporadic rain with conditions other than that pretty benign with little wind and moderate temperatures. Fish were to be seen moving in the mornings and evenings and in particular in the shallows where they were crashing around during the day as well as the more usual times of dawn and dusk. Chris fished the shallows hard all week and had a most frustrating time with fish all over the area but finishing up with just the one carp to his rods. Also struggling were Rob and Darren who landed just 3 and 4 fish respectively with Rob losing a last night big girl after a strong fight. As a complete contrast we had Nick amassing a 20 carp catch consisting of 3 x 50’s and another 8 of over 40lb up to 49lb. Also doing well was Lyndon who was fishless for the first few days but finished up with 11 carp including a 60lb common and another 6 fish of over 40lb. Lyndon was unlucky to lose another big common that had fought really hard for 20 mins on the last morning, only to have a hook pull as he started to get the upper hand. Such is fishing.

One thing very apparent is that the heavy spawning this year has seen most of the carp well down in weight and in many cases showing the wounds of their efforts. In another month or so all will be healed and weights will be climbing back once more so the remainder of the season looks very promising indeed. We are also noticing that bait choice is very important and many of the more popular boilies that did well here in past years are no longer producing as they once were. A good quality fishmeal is the way to go and if in doubt it is best to contact me to discuss bait choice in more depth before splashing out on a bait that could well ‘bomb’ when you are here. Generally speaking the most successful anglers this year are those prepared to bait moderately to heavy and then keeping the bait going in all week.

Total catch was 1 x 60, 3 x 50’s, 16 x 40’s 11 x 30’s, 6 x 20’s and 2 x doubles.

So far this season we have had 75 carp of over 50lb (including 60’s) to 59 anglers.

Anyway, a few pictures from this week.

A late update.

Having been away for a couple of weeks I have just sorted out the details of the last couple of weeks so thought I had better post an update.

W/c May 11th saw spawning continuing in the early part which ,as is to be expected, had an impact on the fishing. Having said that the lads fished well for a total bag of 34 carp which included another 4 x 50’s. James had 9 carp with a best of 57lb 8oz plus a brace of 47’s backed up by mainly 30’s whilst Dean, fishing the adjacent swim, bagged 8 carp including a brace of 50’s at 52lb and 50lb 12oz. Dan stuck it out in the shallows where he had to keep his rods away from the spawning area’s but still managed to bank 7 carp with a best of 53lb and 49lb 4oz backed up by mainly smaller males. On the Home Bank we have Adam who had 8 carp with best fish of 46lb 8oz and 45lb whilst the least experienced angler in the group, Matt, worked hard for a brace of 30’s up to 38lb. This week was a good learning curve for Matt and Adam who, I am sure will reap the benefits of this weeks experience when they return for another crack at the fishery. Another most enjoyable week with spawning playing it’s part and a big well done to the lads for making the best in difficult conditions.

W/c May 18th was very strange in as much as the vast majority of the fish came to one lad fishing near the dam. It seems that post spawning the carp were stacked up in the deeper water and Steve fished well to take advantage of the fish in front of him whilst the other 3 anglers fished hard for their fish but found the fishing very tough indeed. Such is the nature of the beast !

Anyway, all accolades to Steve for managing to bank 19 carp out of a total of 26 for the week. Steve had 4 x 50’s in his catch at 51lb, 52lb, 52lb and 53lb with the rest of his fish being mainly 30’s and 40’s. Terry had 3 carp including a brace of nice 44lb carp, one mirror and one common, whilst Steve had  just two fish with a best of 45lb 8oz. Mark also had just two carp however he did manage another 50 giving us a total for the week of 26 carp including another 5 x 50’s.

Some June places.

We have had a few pairs of anglers forced to withdraw from their bookings for June this year. I know it is late notice but just in case I have the following available. With spawning now well out of the way the carp should be well on the feed by then. All you have to do is catch them !!


2 places for w/c June 2

2 places for w/c June 9

2 places for w/c June 23

If interested then contact me asap.

Spawning over for another year….I hope !!

The early part of the week saw plenty of spawning with many of the bigger fish partaking. As would be expected the fishing was tricky and I feel the lads did very well to finish their session on a total of 29 carp including  6 x 50’s.

The weather remained very warm and sunny for the most part with little wind and clear, cooler nights. Many of the fish banked were showing the usual signs of having recently spawned with various cuts and lifted scales to be dealt with. This is nothing out of the ordinary and within a few weeks they will be back to their best. It is noticeable that this years spawning has resulted in some dramatic weight drops, which in the longer term is a good thing, however it will be a few months before we see many of the carp back to their best weights. It has also been apparent that the carp are generally fighting very hard and as a result need a little nursing before they are ready to swim off. It would seem that the exertions of spawning followed by a long fight at the end of an anglers line is really tiring them out so gentle handling and a quick return are the order of the day at the moment.

Anyway, back to this weeks catches….

Highlight as far as I am concerned was young Lennon bagging his new pb at 49lb 10oz. Not bad at all for a 12 year old lad. His father Joe also did well with new pb’s included in his 3 x 50’s which came in at 53lb 12oz, 54lb 2oz and 55lb. Joe also had four good 40’s and a brace of 20’s in his 9 fish catch.

Tim had just the 3 carp but included in that were a cracking brace of commons at 50lb 4oz and 53lb 8oz whilst Dan, fishing the shallows had 8 carp topped by a 51lb 12oz mirror. Will had 3 carp with a best of 46lb 10oz whilst Mark and Andy had a brace each with a best of 49lb 8oz for Andy and 46lb for Mark.

The lads fished well in difficult circumstances and did well to amass a bag of 29 carp in a week dominated by spawning. Well done fellah’s.

Now a few pictures however, as seems the norm these days I have less than I like due to phones being used rather than camera’s….Grrrrrr

Spawning again.

The last 48 hrs has been a period dominated by the thrashing around of spawning carp. They are now performing along the dam, between the spits in the ‘sanctuary’ area and along the tree lines and lily beds in the shallows. As the day warmed up in the hot sun things began to slacken off after we had experienced a torrid night and morning. When I took a stroll around the lake near tea time there were still carp performing in small groups, a pattern that is likely to continue for the remainder of the daylight hours. In the shallows it was noticeable that there were lots of smaller males hunting for ripe females however for the most part the big girls appear to be taking a break and are not to be seen. I did have the good fortune to observe one enormous mirror being lifted partially from the water by it’s attendant males and that was a genuine ‘big girl’. Very broad across the back and dark in colouration it would be very recognisable when caught. Not a fish I know. From past experience I would expect the next 24hrs to finally see a tailing off of spawning with just the dribs and drabs of late comers still performing, then we may well see catches begin to pick up once more. So far the lads had banked 15 carp including a brace of 50’s but today the expected lull is with us and I am not anticipating much action before the sun leaves the water in the early evening. Although a lot of the stock, including a great many of the commons, have already completed spawning they do tend to become unsettled  when others are still at it and do not usually get back on the feed until the main action is over. We shall see, the next day or so will be interesting.

An eventful 24 hrs.

The lads on this week arrived to scorching summer weather with little wind and warm nights. With such a change in conditions it was always likely that it would take a while for the fish to settle down however things have certainly moved along nicely in the last 24 hrs. Firstly I would mention that the carp are spawning once more, however the fish that completed the act a few weeks ago are still feeding, and the lads are still catching. Since yesterday we have had Andy break his duck with a cracking 49lb 8oz mirror, Joe bank a brace of carp at 44lb each (one mirror and one common) and Will have a common of 27lb 12oz and a mirror of 46lb 10oz. Mark has banked a 31lb 10 oz mirror and Tim has had a brace of a mirror of 30lb 12oz and a stunning spawned out common of 53lb 8oz. Dan, fishing the shallows has had 3 x 20’s plus a 51lb 12oz mirror.

All in all the lads are doing well and the hot weather with most fish coming early in the morning over good beds of bait. Plenty of carp were to be seen porpoising through the middle of the lake yesterday evening and again this morning indicating that they are remaining quite active despite the conditions. How long the spawning will continue is anyone’s guess however with the temperatures due to moderate in the days ahead I am hoping that it will be done and dusted in a few days. Time will tell.

Another good week !

It is good to report that we have just had a good weeks fishing in conditions that were, at times, pretty contrary. Although fish were coming out on a regular basis we did experience a 48hr fishless spell due to the arrival of a cold wind. The weather started warm then turned cold in the middle of the week and began warming once more towards the end. We can now look forward to a settled warm spell so hopefully the carp will settle down to a regular feeding pattern as conditions begin to level out.

The  5 lads on this week were all regulars and know the lake well so it came as no surprise when they managed to finish up with a 44 carp tally which included 2 x 60’s and another 8 carp of over 50lb. In fairness we did see a higher proportion of 20’s and 30’s than usual which I believe were in the main the males that were feeding hard after the recent spawning frenzy. It was noticeable that a bed of bait was producing well if the rig was fished just off of the main baited area, a good tactic at all times for the better stamp of fish. All in all the lads fished well and caught well using good quality bait and plenty of it. Well done fellah’s.

Individual top rod was Caddy who caught well all week and finished with 23 carp including a 60lb 5oz mirror and another 4 carp of over 50lb. They were 56lb 5oz, 55lb 5oz, 54lb 8oz (common) and 51lb 6oz. Great fishing Caddy lad.

Bobby finished up with 7 carp including commons of 63lb 2oz and 51lb whilst Graham bagged 10 carp including a brace of 50’s, a 58lb 2oz mirror and a 54lb common.

Dave fished the shallows and found it hard going when the cold wind was blowing however the end of the week added a cracking 55lb mirror to his 7 fish bag. Mark struggled this week for no particular reason and despite fishing hard had just one carp from his swim, a 46lb mirror that came on the first day. He fished the Friday on the dam, in the little shallow bay at the Chateau end, and caught a well earned common of 31lb that fought hard and was in pristine condition. He also lost a very powerful carp that he just couldn’t stop and eventually he lost it in the overhanging tree to his left. On the subject of lost fish we also saw Bobby fight a very powerful fish for a good time before a hook pull put and end to things. Judging by the amount of water the fish moved there can be no doubt that it was a very big lump indeed.

Anyway, with a final tally of 44 carp which included a brace of 60’s, 8 x 50’s and another 14 fish of over 40lb the lads were well happy.

What is interesting in that a lot of the carp caught have obviously spawned already with many of them having small cuts and lifted scales that comes with their efforts however we are also seeing fish that have yet to spawn. With the warmer weather due to arrive I am wondering if we will see another period of spawning fairly soon.

As an aside from the fishing we have had a pair of sparrow hawks hunting along the Home bank and Dave saw it take a chaffinch just feet away from where he was fishing. This morning Lottie had her hair ruffled by a sparrow hawk that flew inches from her head in pursuit of a small bird. After watching the pair swerve in and out of the tree’s she was pleased to see the potential prey make its escape. I imagine that there will be a nest somewhere along the home bank so it will be interesting to see whether they will be seen hunting on a regular basis.

Now some pictures from this week.


It has been a sunny day, slowly warming the air after a few days of winter like weather. This evening I sat on the dam with a nice glass of red enjoying the evening light and the surrounding birdsong that is a feature of late spring. A lone cuckoo was to be heard calling from somewhere between the lakes which set the scene for a wonderfully serene evening. The wind had faded to barely a riffle and the lake was, for the most part, glassy calm with just the odd dimpling of a rudd or roach. This is one of the joys of owning a carp fishery, far more than the catches of big carp and certainly far more than the business element but more importantly, food for the soul ! Many of our regulars will read this and think to themselves that ‘that old so and so doesn’t have a soul’ but there are times, like this, that I even fool myself. It is a very peaceful time of day and certainly gives you time to reflect on all things fishy however not all ruminations are happy one’s. This morning I was given a rig that had been taken from the mouth of one of our, normally pristine, carp which had some unfortunate mouth damage. The hook was a long shank which, anyone that reads our rules will know, is banned on the lakes. Why is it that certain anglers feel that they can break the rules of the fishery ? Is it ignorance ? I hardly think so when I take great pains to remind all anglers that they should be familiar with our rules. Is it arrogance ? Do some anglers think they are above the law when it comes to fishing ? Possibly. What I do know is that as a fishery owner I have put in place a set of rules that ensures that all our paying guests have the chance to catch undamaged and healthy fish which at the end of the day is what we all want from a fishing holiday. A few weeks ago I found a nice lad, a first time visitor to our venue, using fake corn ! A few years ago I caught the loveliest ‘Gentleman Angler’ fishing a snide rod. This chap was one of our favourite guests and sadly has never fished here again since that episode. Another time I found one of our then time regulars setting up all three rods with lead core leaders and his explanation was ‘ you will be ok with these Jim as they are very thin lead core leaders’ !! Where do you go with that one ? I have now decided that rule breaking will result in the termination of the culprits holiday. Isn’t it sad that things have to come to this.

Anyway, let’s look at the fishing this week which, I am sure, is the reason you are reading this blog post. Well. after a brisk start the weather turned very wintry indeed and the fishing tailed off for a couple of days. Now, Wednesday, we are seeing a return of the warmer conditions and I anticipate that the fishing will pick up once more as a consequence. So far the lads have all caught and with a tally of 22 carp I feel they have done well in the circumstances. Best of all is that included in the bag is another 5 x 50’s up to 58lb 2oz which maintains our run of 50lb+ carp that we have enjoyed this year. With the more temperate conditions now arriving I am expecting a few more good fish to show up in the catches before the week is out. It is noticeable that a lot of the carp have obviously spawned however we are still seeing carp that are carrying spawn meaning that we should be seeing another period of thrashing around in the weeks ahead. All in all the season is looking good and I have no reason to believe that it will not continue in the same vein. Happy days.