With Boxing Day done it’s time for me to get back to work clearing and burning the hedgerow cuttings. With the Lake continuing to fill and the cut reeds waiting to be floated off I need to priorities which job gets done first so that we can leave time for the final “finishing” jobs such as painting etc. before the season opens in March and it was the thought and excitement of the distant Spring season that prompted me to look back at previous periods.
It surprises me that so many people are not keen to fish in March and, whilst I understand the concern about weather conditions, I have often found that, with thought about baiting and some effort, the results can be stunning. Part of this, to my mind, is that the carp haven’t been fished for for over 4 months (other than me flicking a rod out during the days that I’m working, and I certainly don’t put in too much effort) so they are settled and can be feeding very confidently.
Looking back over my records for mid March through to early April I am amazed at just how many good sized fish have been banked. Because of the numbers of big fish caught throughout the year it’s easy to forget specific times so to reread my notes for the last few winters through to the end of March was a bit of an eye opener. They show that the Lake has produced numbers of thirties and forties plus some fifties and at least three sixties. In amongst those statistics it was exciting to see that some of the fifties were not “known” fifties and had actually managed to continue to grow through the coldest part of the year. Now my brain begins to question whether the thirties and forties could also have grown on through the winter. There is no way that I have the time to photograph and log every thirty and forty but, maybe, that’s a good thing because it keeps a bit of mystery for the anglers so that not every fish is known.
Leading on from my look back to previous years it is even more exciting to be able to see the lake each day and, even in these current cold conditions, there are signs of carp bubbling every day and, as the light begins to fade, we are still seeing carp rolling and crashing. Those fish are certainly feeding and, as we get into January, we will begin a feeding plan on a regular basis in an attempt to get even better maintenance of the condition of our carp. My belief is that, if I can get them to hold condition throughout the cold weeks ahead, when the weather improves, they will switch to feeding more heavily and their good condition will result in even better weight gains.
Just imagine, hard fighting, heavy feeding carp? That’ll make the winter effort well worthwhile.