26th January 2018

OFF SEASON RAMBLINGS
Having just come back from my daily, early morning walk round my lake I can confirm that some of the paths now have a couple of inches of water flowing down them so work around the lake has taken a back seat for a while.
This blog has been generated by a discussion that I had, recently, with a fellow lake owner who has remained a long term friend. Both of our lakes are of similar acreage and similar stock quantities and sizes and both of us experienced a season during 2017 that was below expectations for numbers of fish caught. I will add that I was delighted that we managed the two mid seventies but that didn’t make up for the low numbers. This was even more frustrating by the sights of carp rolling, crashing and fizzing everywhere but, simply, not picking up hook baits. I know that they are unlikely to ever “need” our boilies because of the incredible amount of nutrition contained within the live food on the lake bed. Just one gram of dried daphnia contains 525 calories so they can grow without trying.
We talked about our frustrations and being puzzled about captures and I totally accept that a lot of French fisheries went through similar situations which could easily be laid at the door of the long drought. However, I’ve seen dry summers and low water levels before and they didn’t have this effect in the past. I searched my brain for what might be the difference and the only thing that both of us have in common is the installation of a proper aeration system. Ours was installed over two years ago and has been a savior during the hot dry summers. It’s not one of these floating, beat the granny out of the surface and keep everyone awake, type systems but a proper, air pump system. The air is delivered, by a specially made air pump, through pipes along the lake bed, to diffuser heads which are constructed with a micro-porous membrane. The air is forced through these minute holes and rises to the surface in a powerful, but silent, stream of tiny bubbles. Not only does this push air/oxygen into the water at all levels but it also creates a current around each head, and we have four, sited along the length of the middle of the lake. Now comes the interesting bit.
Whilst talking we both agreed that, since the installations of these systems we have seen a massive reduction in the amount of silt on the lake bed. My own wading during the summer suggests that our silt level has been reduced by as much as 18″ through the center of the lake.
It then began to make me consider the “end result” of the aeration. If, as we are seeing, the system is reducing the depth of silt available for the bloodworm, mudworm, baby muscles, Cadis larvae et al to hide in then surely it is beginning to expose this food source in greater quantities for the carp to find. Maybe the numbers of feeding carp being seen are simply because they are finding more and more natural food to eat?
Taking this one step further, we should see, very soon, that they will be able to clear that food source much earlier in the year and this could have two major effects. One is that they will pile on even more weight, even quicker and that looks to have been the case on all of the known fish banked at the end of last season with several, not just beating their previous best weights, but absolutely destroying them. The second effect should be that they will continue to eat throughout the winter as the snails, cadis etc remain more active plus, as spring develops, the carp should move onto beds of bait and this won’t just be because they want those baits alone, it may also be because the other aquatic insects are feeding on the bait and creating streams of amino acids to attract the attention of passing carp. This last sentence explains why I have searched to find a bait that seems to have a powerful attraction to the snails and beetles and my end of season tests with Dynamite’s ComplexT suggests that that is exactly how it works. This season will be “the amino acid test”.
Be lucky