5th January 2021

End of the year 2020

 
Early in December we pumped out our stock pond and sold on the carp which we had collected over the course of the season, together with those that we managed to net. With the cold weather beginning to bite that was extremely hard work and left all of us suffering for a couple of days. Still the purchaser was happy and we have since concentrated on a final clean down to remove the remaining rudd etc and then a slow refill so that we are now ready for any doubles and twenties that get caught during 2021.
Overall, including the small carp caught by anglers during the season, we have removed close to 200 carp, plus, at least a tonne of rudd. We intend to continue with our policy of getting our anglers to retain all carp under 30lbs so that we can examine them before deciding whether to move them to the stock pond or allow them to grow on in the main lake. It is my target to get the overall biomass down to a level where our current stock of attractive, scaley forties grow on and rapidly become fifties and sixties. My impression, from speaking to our anglers, is that they want to catch big fish but, even more important, that they want those fish to be special creatures with attractive scale patterns. As most of you will know we have a stack of fullies, heavy plate scaled and Linear’s which would make cover photos for most magazines (if there were any magazines now). In order to produce the stock that our anglers wish to see we need to continue to give those fish room to grow. Who knows, this policy might even see one or two really big fish emerge over the next few years?
For the winters of 2018/19 and 2019/20 we had very little rain and very mild weather. The lake only just managed to fill up and the garden stream was just a trickle. At the time I didn’t really give it too much thought and just appreciated the lack of mud effecting my work. However, looking back, it suggests that it may have had some major disadvantages. Firstly, the lack of rainfall meant that, over the course of the two years, the groundwater reserve fell to dangerous levels. This manifested itself by the farmers being banned from watering their crops and those crops being left to perish in the fields. The more direct result for us was that the springs totally dried up and then the hottest summer since records began in 1900, combined with the drought to evaporate the water from our lake. I now also realize that this lack of winter water, over such a long period, meant that we didn’t get the normal amount of flow through our lake so we didn’t get the usual water changes which meant that any nitrates and ammonia build ups were not being cleaned away. This may well explain why the fishing became very difficult to catch and some of the fish didn’t fight as hard as they usually do. I’m VERY pleased to report that the spillway is running well and the garden stream is back to its normal winter flow. Hopefully this will carry on well into the spring.
On the predator front the news is brilliant. Our netting produced hundreds of large mouth bass, with some being around the 7lbs mark. We also found dozens of big perch so we are hoping that, with the rudd thinned out, these predators will consume most of the carp fry as well as controlling their own numbers.
Before the lake completely filled back up I raised the spillway slightly and that is now showing to have increased the overall volume of water by about half a million gallons. Hopefully, with a more “normal” summer, this should help as we approach autumn.
We are now at the point where we need to start cutting and floating off the old reed stems. Last year I cut them early and piled up the cuttings but, by the time the water was running, they had started to rot down and were difficult to float off so this year I’ve gone back to previous practices and left the work until after Christmas.
Once that is done it’s then back to clearing and burning the final sticks and branches from the hedgerows and a very small amount of swim work. Once again the drive will need top dressing but that will be done bit by bit.
It had been our plan to install a bore hole to allow us to pump water into the lake during summer but the end result of the corona virus lock downs has been that we haven’t been able to earn anything for a large part of 2020 so, I’m afraid that has ended up on a back burner and will stay there until we have sufficient funds. I’m sure that there are others in worse situations than us and my heart goes out to them but none of us can take a chance and spend money that we’re not sure that we’re going to get back.
On a personal note, my fishing during the first half of the ear was incredible, purely because the lack of anglers gave me freedom to fish when and where I wanted. It allowed me to wallow in my captures of fifties and sixties plus the big bonus of my first ever seventy. Unfortunately that came to a sudden end at the beginning of July and, partly because of my eye problems, I’ve hardly picked up a rod since. Unfortunately the eye op didn’t quite go according to plan so we are now left to wait and see if it settles down over the next few months. Add to that the effect of powerful blood thinning tablets and bivvying up in severe cold weather is simply never going to happen. Hopefully I might get a chance to wet a line when the weather improves but we shall have to wait and see. At least I’ve got an excuse for not posting photos of hundreds of massive fish.
Whilst writing this it is worth being aware that, with covid19 still affecting us and the unknown results of Brexit, everyone traveling into or through Europe must have full travel insurance. I’m sure we will receive more detail but the things to consider are health insurance, to cover you for illness or injury, breakdown and accident cover for your vehicles and the obvious holiday insurance to cover you in the case that you are prevented from traveling for any reason. Let’s hope none of it is needed but far better to be prepared.
On that note I will sign off for now and wish everyone a great 2021. God alone knows what it’s got in store for us but with the help of family and strong friends I’m sure we will survive.
Be lucky.

Wednesday 11th November 2020

END OF SEASON 2020.

 
With the new lockdown giving us a premature end to the season the only upside to this situation is that we’ve been able to start our planned netting works earlier and, therefore, while the water is still relatively warm.
We have pulled the net through both bays at the dam end (First Pontoon and Pampas) as well as the Eastern Arm bay and the results have been “encouraging” to say the least.
Our first couple of pulls produced hundreds of rudd which have been removed and the totals, although not weighed, were impressive. We estimate that we have accounted for about 900lbs so far.
On the carp front I am buzzing. Again we haven’t weighed the fish that were obviously very big as these were simply rolled over the net with as little stress as possible. However, having seen an awful lot of fifty pounders over the years, plus recognizing a few of those that we released, there have been at least 12 carp that would have been close to or over that magic figure. On top of those we have also checked just as many forties and have moved 62 small carp, from this years fry up to mid thirties, to our stock pond. I have to say that some of the very young fish are absolute stunners and it’s very difficult to move them when they are fully scaled or plated mirrors, but the biomass must be reduced.
We intend to continue with the netting throughout November and expect to see less and less rudd and small carp trapped as the weeks go by.
I’m confident that this action will result in the known big fish, as well as the forties, gain weight very fast over the next two years.

30th October 2020

END OF SEASON 2020.

 
With the new lockdown giving us a premature end to the season the only upside to this situation is that we’ve been able to start our planned netting works earlier and, therefore, while the water is still relatively warm.
We have pulled the net through both bays at the dam end (First Pontoon and Pampas) as well as the Eastern Arm bay and the results have been “encouraging” to say the least.
Our first couple of pulls produced hundreds of rudd which have been removed and the totals, although not weighed, were impressive. We estimate that we have accounted for about 900lbs so far.
On the carp front I am buzzing. Again we haven’t weighed the fish that were obviously very big as these were simply rolled over the net with as little stress as possible. However, having seen an awful lot of fifty pounders over the years, plus recognizing a few of those that we released, there have been at least 12 carp that would have been close to or over that magic figure. On top of those we have also checked just as many forties and have moved 62 small carp, from this years fry up to mid thirties, to our stock pond. I have to say that some of the very young fish are absolute stunners and it’s very difficult to move them when they are fully scaled or plated mirrors, but the biomass must be reduced.
We intend to continue with the netting throughout November and expect to see less and less rudd and small carp trapped as the weeks go by.
I’m confident that this action will result in the known big fish, as well as the forties, gain weight very fast over the next two years.

12th August 2020

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.

14th June 2020 Bastille Day

With is now being back at work and anglers, once again, enjoying the lake I can begin to report on catches. Unfortunately we have suffered three days, this week with spawning fish, making Angling all but impossible. We are now praying for them to get it done and settle back onto feeding. Last week we saw 40 carp banked including 5 fifties and lots of forties but this week we’ve only seen 5 so far which gives you an idea of the effect of spawning. While we wait for the fish to feed I’m going to add some photos of my earlier successes.

1st May 2020

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

18th March 2020

CORONAVIRUS

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.

10th March 2020

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.

18th February 2020

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.
Be lucky.

5th February 2020

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.
Be lucky.