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.
The weather certainly changed and the cool conditions and light rain, while not filling the lake, definitely dropped the water temperature by 5 degrees and this made the fishing much more difficult.
Impleased to say that everyone of the five anglers caught but the totals were very meager. We only saw 15 Carp banked and these included just 2 fifties and 6 forties. We need to see the weather remain settled and, with the new group adopting a boilie only approach, we could see a much better result.
Following the disappointing, some would say messy, end to last week, I am pleased to report that, despite the conditions making fishing difficult, some cracking fish were caught. I should also say that the majority of the group were good lads but, as is often the case, a few can easily ruin it for their mates.
Anyway, in amongst the fish banked were 5 forties, 4 fifties, including a stunning common of 57lbs 4oz, and 1 sixty at 60lbs 7oz.
Continuing on in order to bring things up to date, by Sunday breakfast this week’s lads have banked 3 forties and 1 fifty at 59lbs 10oz. Well angled fellas.
From the team at Moorlands.