What a heatwave?
The last few weeks have been unbearably hot with temperatures running in the high thirties and reaching 42 on occasions. We have every piece of aeration kit running 24/7 and without it I’m convinced we’d have lost quite a few fish. Our field is parched dry without a blade of grass so we continue to feed hay for the horses, donkeys and sheep and, despite having a very large compound with bushes to shelter under, our Chickens are dying from the extreme heat.
The Lake is down a couple of feet but the carp continue to feed. Amazing!!! This is our only week off this year and I would normally be fishing but I simply can’t take this weather. The work that I need to do is getting done between 6am and 9am and then I simply run for cover and spend the rest of the day indoors praying for rain.
The last three weeks have been tough with one week only producing 7 fish, the next 10 fish but last week 35 fish including 4 fifties and Peach at 66lbs. She looked in pristine condition and, in these conditions, that’s very reassuring.
Once this weather relents I’m confident that we shall see some more of the big girls come out to play.
As we continue in this situation of being locked down because of the rapid spread of the Covid19 virus we have had very little Angling to report on. However, I have. Been feeding our stock and doing some fishing myself when time has allowed. Most of it has been early mornings or evenings with a few full nights thrown in on occasions.
As we have now completed April I thought that a summary of my captures may be good as an update and reference point for future captures. I’ve managed a few twenties, thirties and forties but, obviously, the bigger fish are the real measurement of how the lake is progressing so it is these that I shall concentrate on in this report.
So far this season I have managed to bank five fifties and three sixties and all have come to beds of chopped boilies and pellets, heavily glugged with amino oils and then mixed with cooked maize. All have also fallen to my favourite “whipped shank D rig” to a size 2 Solar 100 hook. Here’s a list of the cast in order of appearance:-
Galileo – 61lbs 11oz on 17th Feb 2020
unknown – 50lbs 14oz on 28th March 2020
Finger Print – 55lbs 01oz on 28th March 2020
Coffee Bean – 57lbs 11oz on 19th April 2020
Demi Lin – 52lbs 06oz on 20th April 2020
Horseshoe Scale – 60lbs 07oz on 27th April 2020
Morsey’s – 57lbs 15oz on 29th April 2020
Lockdown Common – 64lbs 08oz on 30th April 2020
I’m aware that there may well be some keyboard warriors who will pick holes in this statement but we believe that this is the best way forward while fighting through the fog of this virus.
As a fishery we have been instructed, by the authorities, to close as part of the fight against the spread of COVID-19. However, the last thing we want to see is our customers losing their holidays.
We intend to offer alternative dates to all of our customers who have paid in full but, at this stage, we are not sure when those dates might be. We don’t yet know when these travel restrictions will be lifted. It may be that we can offer dates for later this year or next year. We have the options to extend the end of this season, cancel our mid-season holiday or even extend the length of next season in order to “produce” additional spaces.
No matter how we try to paint it, Moorlands is going to take a hit but in order for us all to come out of this with a reasonable ending we need to work together. With that in mind we would ask for your continued support and have decided that anyone or any group who hasn’t paid, or decides not to pay their balances by their due date will forfeit their holiday. Those holiday dates will then be offered as additional, alternative dates for those who already know that their trips are at risk but have paid in full.
To make it easy to calculate the due date for your balance payments it has always been two calendar months before your holiday. If your trip is 6th June
then your balance is due by 6th April
Thank you all for your support in this and please stay safe everyone so that we can speak about this disastrous period when we meet again in the future. 2020 is certainly going to be remembered.
From the team at Moorlands.
This is just a post from my own pressions of the development of this bloody COVID 19 virus.
If I was in the position of planning to travel into Europe this summer there are one or two things that I would immediately be considering.
1. The medical recommendation is to avoid large groups of people so I suggest that travelling arrangements would be by Eurotunnel rather than by ferry. This at least avoids the crowds on the ferry and allows you to remain in your own car so pay the extra and be that little bit safer.
2. Make sure you have one of the good travel insurances so that you are covered for health treatment during your trip. This should also cover you if the country of your destination limits your travel options.
Now, more specifically for Moorland Fisheries, we are putting additional plans into operation to keep this situation under control. We may suggest that meals are served to the swims plus all cutlery and crockery will be sterilized and then handled with medical gloves. The lodge and toilets will be sanitized very regularly and soap will be available at all times.
My own feeling is not to panic but also not to pretend that this is not a serious situation.
17th February 2020
For the last week I have been baiting very heavily to one spot and have fished all three rods to the bait but only fishing days. The middle rod right on the bait, the left rod off of the side of the bait and the right rod just on the edge. I started by baiting with mixed particles and then added boilies from day two onwards. On Saturday I baited with just DNA S7.
Since starting I have banked three carp up to today and in order of appearance they weighed 42lbs, 41lbs 7oz and then, on Sunday, a mid thirty linear. I decided to stop adding more bait in the hope that a bigger fish might be tempted to grab my hookbait as the freebies ran out. I also couldn’t put the rods out this morning because we were out until this afternoon. However, I did put the marker float out so that it would be just a single cast with each rod.
We got back home at about 1pm and my rods were on their spots by 2pm with the marker back out of the way.
Late afternoon and my slack line on my middle rod was no longer slack. In fact it was proper tight, the line was no longer in the rod clip, the R3 was wailing and the spool was making that wonderful ticking noise.
The instant I picked up the rod I knew it was a big fish. The power, the weight and the fact that I couldn’t persuade her to show herself was beginning to make me shake with excitement. Jan called out to see if it was a good fish and, as I still hadn’t seen her, I suggested that it might be. Eventually, oh so grudgingly, after about 30 minutes, she slid over the draw string. Jan again asked about its size and I suggested that “it might be a fifty”.
Once I’d rolled up the net and tried to take some of the weight to get her into the recovery sling I knew then that this was a special fish. I unhooked her, slid the net away and zipped up the sling. I then gently walked her (in the water) to the shallow water in front of the lodge while Sharon slid on her chesties to do some photos. It took two of us, and that was a struggle, to get her onto the scales and I was blown away to see the screen light up at 61lbs 11oz. My forth sixty. Oii! Oii!
For our regulars, the fish is “Galileo” and my records suggest that that is her heaviest so far so that suggests some more surprises ahead for this season.
WINTER WORK PROGRESS
After several days spent up to my chest in freezing water I’m pleased to say that one of the worst of our winter jobs is nearing completion.
The reeds to the long bank are now all cut and raked out and removed. The reeds to most of the meadow bank are also cut and removed leaving some tidying to be done to the eastern arm bay plus the bank of reed mace by the lodge to finish that part of the work.
My next targets are to improve and tidy up some of the swim fronts and to reposition one of the canopies and then, maybe, I can think about getting the rods out.
On that note I’m pleased to say that I’ve been seeing quite a lot of carp feeding activity and also that they are moving about. I’ve seen groups of feeding fish from Middles and Royal Box right down to Rocky Bay so signs are good.
MID WINTER PROGRESS.
With Christmas and new year celebrations a distant memory and the temperatures well below zero and the lake frozen over it felt like a good day to spend some time in the office. We are now in full flow with the winter work in order to prepare the lake for the new season which starts in late March so I thought it might be good to update everyone on what’s been done and what’s yet to be done.
There’s been lots of bits and pieces done plus repairing the pot holes to the drive. Simon and I also had the challenge of cutting up the big oak the fell into the lake and, believe me that was some challenge. We took off the crown branches and then cut the main trunk into, just about, manageable chunks. Unfortunately this was made doubly difficult because the oak is so dense that it sinks so every branch and chunk had to be manually dragged to the bank. That took quite some time but cutting them further and then splitting, logging, borrowing and stacking them took even longer. Anyway that it done but we also need to do some more tidying to a couple of the other trees but that can wait until the lake thaws.
We have now managed to cut all of the reeds to the long bank and we are currently in the process of burning them. The remaining work to that side includes a few more small rafts of reeds which we are waiting to blow in, some more tidying of fallen sticks etc (until the next gale), and then a couple of swims which I would like to improve before we spread some gravel.
We then need to cut and remove the reeds to the meadow bank but there a lot less on that bank.
I have been feeding the lake but haven’t seen signs of carp moving onto the bait and with the lake now frozen that process is on hold.
During February I plan to carry out the annual dose of calcium carbonate but this year I will try the fine powder rather than the micro granules we have used previously. I believe that we may get a better “floculant” effect from the fine powder so we shall see.
I have lots of thoughts and plans with bait but that can wait for another few weeks.
In general terms the final couple of weeks of the season have been cold and hard work for our anglers. Having said that we have to congratulate Rob for banking 10 carp during our final week when there was only 18 caught in total. Bloody good angling in anybody’s books.
That final week also gave us a glimpse of just what might be swimming over our baits while we sit and try to will our bobbins to start dancing. Rob banked a mirror, now known as “Starburst”, at 52lbs 4oz which we had not seen as a fifty before. I have also received a message from an angler who caught the same fish in August and he informed me that she has put on 5lbs between the two captures. Rob also banked Arfur at 52lbs 12oz and Jem caught Coffee Bean at 54lbs. Both of these fish weighing very close to their best ever weights which were whilst carrying swollen spawn back in the spring.
We then saw Dave bank The Pretty One at 62lbs 5oz which is her first time as a sixty pounder and only her second capture this year. The previous one being on 7th June when she weighed 53lbs 11oz, impressive or what?
I’m going to end this seasons catch reports by just listing the incredible captures from a few weeks ago when Roy Voller had the gods looking down on him as I think it’s a fitting end and an indication of just what might be possible when it all comes together. Next year IS going to provide some real surprises.
61lbs 10oz common
33lbs 8oz mirror
61lbs 10oz common
32lbs fully scaled
44lbs fully scaled
61lbs 2oz mirror
40lbs 2oz mirror
40lbs 4oz mirror
50lbs 8oz common
Total catch for 1 man in 1 week = 812lbs 12oz
Just a final footnote that the stock pond has been emptied and most of the carp sold on so we now have more room to continue our current system of removing the smaller fish from the lake as they get caught and this seems to be having the desired effect that we no longer see many doubles and low twenties being caught. In turn this results in better growth rates for the bigger fish. (New seventies in 2020?)
As I type we have just seen 24 hours of steady rain and the lake is now filling very fast and the spillway could be running again very soon.
28th October 2019.
The week that the clocks go back and the start of our penultimate week of 2019.
The last two weeks have been very odd with some marked occurrences that seem to have had an effect on the captures.
The first produced 30 odd carp with several forties but just 2 fifties but both special in their own way. We saw “The Big Fully” banked for the first time at a weight over fifty pounds at 51lbs 8oz from 1st Pontoon and we then saw another new fifty pound common at 52lbs 8oz take well over an hour to be banked from Pampas. They were certainly the highlights of the week and the remaining swims on the lake struggled with a couple of anglers blanking.
Now here’s an interesting point. As a lot of you will know, I occasionally fish, close in to the dam wall, but always after asking the anglers in 1st Pontoon and Pampas if they mind. In fact, I’m only actually fishing into a small part of 1st Pontoon’s water so asking Pampas is just courtesy. On this occasion one of the anglers asked me not to fish because he thought it would spoil his fishing by moving the fish around and he would prefer to keep them in his swim. I’m not desperate enough to fish if it annoys someone so I agreed not to, however, it seems that the result of me not Fishing did nothing to help his quest but certainly didn’t move the fish around as they remained close to the dam wall all week and never did move in front of the other anglers in any numbers. In fact the angler who was in 1st Pontoon and who was perfectly happy for me to fish caught very well while the angler in Pampas lost as many as he landed. That’s life I guess?
The second of these two weeks has been marked with one event which has had a major effect on the fishing. The beginning couple of days saw rain of biblical proportions. The feeder stream began to run and the lake water level rose by, between 4 and 6 inches (almost 2 million gallons). The influx of cold water had two effects. The first was that the water temperature dropped 2 degrees and the numbers of feeding fish on view dropped dramatically. The second was that the carp seemed to taste the minerals etc coming in from the feeder stream and several were seen to move down the Southern Arm as far as Jetty. This migration has meant that the captures have been far better spread with fish coming from 1st Pontoon (including 46lbs & 41lbs commons) and 2nd Pontoon (including mirrors of 44lbs 42lbs and 44lbs & 53lbs common), Royal Box, Oaks, Mistletoe (including 44lbs common), Reeds and Boneyard (41lbs mirror). The eagle eyed among you will have noticed that Pampas is the glaring omission. I’m now watching the weather forecast for the next two weeks and praying that it remains steady rather then falling too fast but it’s not looking good.