We now expect all fish that look to be on, above or near to fifty pounds to be kept in the water for all unhooking, checking, weighing and photographing. We have been doing this with the new cradles for a while now and it’s the only way to ensure their safety.
NEW Lake Record caught on 26th. April 2017 at 76lb 15oz
I have just returned from my first fishing trip to France, the venue being Moorlands run by the larger than life Keith Moors.
For many years I've wanted to go to France fishing but unfortunately family commitments and the restraints imposed by work have prevented this.
My fishing in England has been varied but over the last twenty years mainly restricted to non-publicity syndicates and small clubs. I've been lucky enough to catch many big English fish up to my personal best of 46lbs 10ozs. Any French trip would have a lot to live up to compete with my experiences in England.
Many of my friends have fished in France and have reported good and bad experiences. By my very nature I'm a sceptical and rather critical individual and I tend to find fault with things quite readily. When my good friend and long term fishing accomplice 'Cowley' invited me on trip to Moorlands I was interested but had some reservations about general fishing in France. With many years fishing in France Cowley assured me I would be happy at Moorlands.
So the trip was booked for a party of eight and before I knew it the time had arrived. We actually travelled out on the Thursday beforehand so we could dine with the Moors' that night and sample proper french cuisine.
Armed with my English kit and 25kg of Kevin Nash's finest I arrived at Moorlands to be greeted by one of the most picturesque pieces of countryside you could imagine. The water was down by two to three feet at the time but this didn't detract from the beauty of the place with its tree lined banks and woodlands.
We were welcomed by Keith's beaming smile and a bit of news about how it had been fishing that week. I immediately felt at home and hoped the fishing would match my first impressions.
The rest of Thursday and Friday passed quickly and before we knew it we had drawn swims and were heading off around the lake. I came out of the draw fourth but managed to get my desired spot the 'Boneyard' which afforded a fair bit of water and numerous options.
Keith didn't draw letting his customers have first shout, however he did get one of his preferred options and ended up in a swim next to where I was.
The dam end of the lake had fished well the previous week but with a slightly smaller than average size of fish visiting the bank if you can call thirties and forties small. Again the dam was off to a flier with the anglers covering this area notching up several fish before anything came our way.
My first fish came on the Sunday morning in the the form of a 47lbs 5ozs mirror which beat my previous UK personal best by a few ounces.
Monday evening was a night off from fishing as Keith had arranged for a local classically trained musician to come down and play lead guitar along with him on rhythm and his daughter Sharon on vocals. What a night it was, plenty of local Burgundy wine was consumed and a great night was had by all. Boy that garçon can play the guitar!
By Tuesday things had been decidedly slow down our end of the lake with the dam leading the way, both Keith and I had caught two fish a piece. It was with the hope of a change in fortune I bedded down for the night.
The next thing I knew I was woken when Keith called for me and after enquiring I got "Come and have a look at this". In sling was what can only be described as a pig with fins, a new lake record mirror of 66lbs 8ozs. It was a real privilege to witness such and awesome fish and to see Keith lost for words, something I'm told doesn't often happen.
The fishing improved for me day on day and I soon had another PB common of 38lbs beating my previous UK fish by a mere two ounces. Then came another PB in the shape of a 49lbs 5ozs mirror. It took some hard work looking for the slightest signs of feeding fish, clever baiting and developing a number of spots.
I ended with seventeen fish, top rod for the week with four over forty up to the forty nine. Keith advised it hadn't fished as well as it can and the fifties had been conspicuous in their absence, only one being banked by my friend Brian. There was however Keith's monster, loads of forties and I couldn't have been happier with the fish I caught.
Well, how would I summarise my weeks fishing, in a nutshell I wouldn't have changed anything but I don't think that does Moorlands justice.
Moorlands fishery is the complete package, the surroundings are wonderful and the fishery is manicured by Keith and his devoted team. The food is exceptional in respect of the quality, variety and amount which is all cooked fresh by the fair hand of Keith 's wife Jan. All the staff, Keith, Jan, Sharon and Steve couldn't be more helpful and friendly. The fish are beautifully proportioned and varied in their scale patterns, from lightly scaled to linears and fully scaled; the grown on fish take your breath away in their shape and scalings and the future looks bright if they're anything to go by.
One word of warning Keith has razor sharp wit and you're sure to be subjected to it at some point during your stay, but don't don't feel there is any discrimination as over the course of a week your sure to get your fair share!
You can see the passion that has gone into build this fishery and if there was ever any doubt you only have to speak to Keith and see his face light up when he tells you how it all came about. From the early days, witnessing the fish when they were small, to removing the nuisance fish, building the swims, removing snags, draining the lake, seeing the pleasure on anglers faces when they catch the giants that swim there and everything else that makes this fishery what it is today.
Thanks again Keith for such a memorable stay, see you next year.