10th June 2018

 There’s no point avoiding the fact that the Fishing was poor last week but there were factors at play which didn’t help. From the dam wall, early mornings, I could see a lot of activity down the Southern Arm from Wednesday on. The lads down there then commented that the fish were crashing around all night and it then became clear that spawning had recommended. However, even though only 21 carp were banked that number included 5 forties and 2 fifties so not all bad.

It was good to see Jason stick to his guns and put out a bed of bait on day one (he used 35kg of Dynamite ComplexT for the week) and continue to fish on it all week. The fish found it on Wednesday and continued to return every day from then on and he ended with six carp including a mid forty and two fifties at 52lbs 11oz and an unknown fifty at 56lbs 3oz. To date we have not yet been able to find a trace of this beautiful mirror as a previous fifty plus, so, at Jason’s wish she is now called “Bob’s Fish”.

Its also worth noting that all of the better fish came to beds of ComplexT.

well angled mate!!! I’m going to end on a bit of a moan but I simply don’t understand what would make a leaving angler think that the right thing to do with his left over boilies is to tip them on the ground at the back of the swim??? We work bloody hard to keep the rats at bay and then some moron encourages them by giving them a free meal????

2nd June 2018

 Another week completed and  a bit of a strange one. I don’t think any of the lads involved will argue with me when I say that a few of our guests struggled to get their heads around the need to get beds of bait in place right at the start of your week. It went against how they normally fish and was the main reason why a few of the swims didn’t produce as they should have done.  For the lads that did put in the ComplexT and kept topping it up the week produced some cracking fish.

‘The total of 37 carp banked is lower than I would have expected but that did include five forties and three of those were 49lbs plus and we also saw five fifties and a sixty so not all bad. The bigger fish were made with new fifty common at 51lbs 11oz, “Coffee Bean” at 52lbs 15oz, “Nemo” at 54lbs 2oz, “Andy’s Common” at 55lbs 8oz, “Dippy” at 59lbs 1oz and “The Peach” at 65lbs 9oz.

Well angled one and all.

26th May 2018

 Another week done and, despite the hottest, sunniest and calmest weather conditions the five lads, plus me and Brownie did ok.  We ended the week with 58 carp banked and they included 11 forties, 6 fifties to 59lbs 3oz and the mighty Half Lin at 67lbs 13oz. Well angled one and all.

I will just end by saying that big beds of whole boilies proved, yet again, the way to go. By not using crumb, particles or pellet we managed to keep our baited patches waiting for the carp to arrive rather than being mopped up by the rudd.

21st May 2018

Last week we saw 7 anglers enjoy their week while also working to get the best out of the Fishing. None of them were afraid to move and the moves that they made paid off with dividends.
By the end of the week they had banked 106 carp and that total included 17 forties, 11 fifties and 1 sixty.
I must just say well angled one and all.
Now while I’m writing I will add that we have seen 24 different fifties banked so far this year. Of those, 9 have been new fifties and we are still waiting to see several of the known fifties. The lake is looking in very good condition with the water carrying just enough color but no signs of weed growth and no signs of any algae. We will keep our fingers crossed and hope that it holds this condition throughout the year as that could lead to some massive weight gains by autumn.
This year has proved over and over again that big beds of bait are producing most and, generally, the biggest carp and I have a theory about this. I think that getting rid of the weed last year meant that all of the natural food item contained in the weed were deposited onto the lakebed and provided the carp with a massive harvest of food items wherever they went. With the weed remaining dormant this year, that food supply has not been reproduced. The fish also have nowhere to hid so they are keeping on the move rather than laying up in the thickest weedbed. They are therefore much more likely to settle onto big beds of bait as a replacement for the naturals.

9th May 2018

This is going to be a very pleasant update. 

  Sorry for the delay in posting last week’s results but our planned trip to U.K. for my great grandson’s christening plus Jan’s trapped nerve have taken up more time than expected.   Anyway, as I type, I’m pleased to report that spawning seems to be done and plenty of signs of feeding fish at first light this morning.  Now to the results from last week. The lads fished to heavily baited patches and the fish responded by returning again and again. The week finished with the six lads banking 72 carp and that included 17 forties, (2 of them at 49lbs 12oz) 8 fifties, (2 of them at 58lbs 9oz) and The Peach at 64lbs 7oz.  I’m not going to bore everyone with a list of all of the forties caught so will just add those above 45lbs:-

45.00, 45.02, 45.06, 45.12, 46.00, 47.12, 48.15, 49.12, 49.12, 50.02, 50.08, 51.02, 52.08, 52.11, 53.14, 58.09, 58.09, 64.07. (18 in total)

Well angled lads. Can’t wait to see what the next surprises are.

28th April 2018

 At last we are beginning to see improvements in the Fishing and some answers relating to previous weeks.  We reported seeing fish preparing for spawning by pushing through the mud, a couple of weeks ago. It now appears that what we thought was preparations was actually carp spawning on the Lake bed. This week we have seen several carp that are obviously spawned out and down in weight so it seems that removing the weed has made spawning totally different. Obviously the good news is that they now have a longer recovery period.   There are certainly some other changes to the Lake and the most noticeable to all our regulars is that the silt us reducing rapidly. This may be, in part, to do with the calcium carbonate but, I think more likely, the act of the aeration system without the weed causing a baffle to stop the water movement. Several of our regulars have been amazed at how little silt remains. The Fishing is certainly on the up and, following last week’s total of 7 carp landed this week we have seen 32 banked including 10 forties to 49lbs 6oz and 3 fifties to 58lbs 11oz.

There are still well over fifty other fifties that we haven’t seen yet so these next few weeks could be exciting.

15th April 2018

There’s no point in hiding the fact that last week was extremely poor. The only saving grace, which doesn’t help our customers, is that the reports from most other French lakes were painting a similar picture.

The torrential rain on the previous Wednesday certainly acted like a massive switch and totally turned the fish off for most of the week. As an indication of that we saw 20 carp banked last week and 8 of those were on Friday when the water was beginning to fine down. Another strange situation is that we have only seen two carp caught during, the hours of darkness, all year.

It is certainly on the verge of turning on now with lots of feeding carp on show this morning and another beautiful fully scaled mirror of 37lbs 4oz banked at lunch time from Sunrise. I will add a photo of this one with the biggest fully from last week but would just underline that my target is now to get the carp of this quality up into the fifty pound bracket rather than trying to grow a few big fish. If I could double the numbers of our fifties over the next five years I will have achieved my goal.

7th April 2018

First fifty of 2018

As we have now completed our first full week of 2018 here is a very brief revue of captures so far. Our pre-season week saw just four of us battle the elements and some of the conditions were extreme indeed. Driving rain and bitter cold winds reall gave me the “I will be glad when I’ve had enough of this” feeling. The Fishing was tough and only improved very slightly, for the eight anglers last week, until a proper deluge on Wednesday flooded some of the swims and totally shut down the angling for the the end of the week.

Even with those conditions we managed to force one or two carp to feed and we have seen just 31 carp banked with most being thirty pound plus and including 9 forties, 1 fifty and Half Lin at 67lbs 14oz. She is down in weight whereas the fifty wasn’t a recognized fish so is probably a new fifty. My gut feeling is that this winter has been the longest since we moved to France and that some of the carp have simply spent the entire winter laid up and not feeding very much while others have gorged on naturals. I guess we will never know but I’m expecting several more to be up in weight while others disappoint us.   I will end by saying that the Dynamite ComplexT is doing well and has produced most of this season’s fish. We are still learning how to extract the best from it and continue to test glugs, liquids, pop ups etc. etc. and I’m extremely confident that it’s form will get better and better over the next few weeks.

This week sees a full compliment of anglers and all are using ComplexT so this could give us some proper conclusions.

2nd March 2018

With the current freezing conditions, ice lid on the lake and 3″ of snow yesterday, there’s not much fishing to report.

However, I have used the time to complete the writing of my book “LIVING WITH CARP”, and I’m currently sorting out the photos to go with the text. It is really the story of my angling life and is, very much, painted with broad brush strokes but there are snippets of detail in there if you can find them. I’ve already had lots of orders for it and the interest is way past anything that I ever imagined. So humbling!

The detail, for anyone interested, is that it is about 300 pages plus about 75 photos and we are targeting a price of £24.95 to include signed hard back copies, boxed and posted.

12th February 2018

I have recently had a few conversations relating to my reasons for fishing light running leads and these have led to me writing this post in order to try to clarify my reasons. I say “try” because, technically, it is difficult, but I have tried to simplify it as much as I can. Here we go:-


For many, many years now I have been using light leads on running rigs, otherwise known as ledger rigs. I have had considerable success with these and my totals, up to the point of writing this are 268 forties, 42 fifties and 3 sixties. That is not a boast but just to get the “numbers” out of the way as proof that it works. I also appreciate that I am fortunate to own my own lake so those captures are swollen by fishing my own water. However, I need to clear up, immediately, that they haven’t all come from my lake. Myself, and some of my friends, have had success with this system on estate lakes, gravel pits and rivers so it is not just working on one specific type of water. Now, with the results coming regularly, I had no real need to question why my tactics work until people began to question my reasons. It just doesn’t seem right to shrug and say “because it works” so I started to look into it and do some research.
Before I get into the detail let me jot down some of the queries that I received from anglers who needed some more clarification or proof.
The first and most obvious was “but you need a heavy lead to hook the fish.”
The second, because I fish slack lines was “you won’t see a bite until the fish has tightened the line.”
Those two “questions” were my starting point but my research also led to other benefits from the light lead approach so let’s get started.
I will try to illustrate each area of research as simply as possible but, to start with, there are two main forces acting in water which affect us while fishing. These are “Hydrodynamic slip” and “Hydrodynamic drag”.
We will take each one separately and try to illustrate how they affect us but, in fact, in our angling situation they actually work together as I’m sure you will realize throughout this brief detail.
The “slip” works along the length of an object in water and is generated by the shape of that object. i.e. long object generates more slip. It’s the force that keeps a ship traveling in a straight line and makes it difficult to stop quickly. It also works to keep our main line traveling in a straight line and Is simplest to imaging our line being in a “tube”. Now both forces work together to create this effect and I will come back to that at the end but I will just explain the “slip” allows the line to travel “lengthwise” and “drag” helps to prevent it moving sideways. The simplest way to illustrate this is to cast out a wagler float, allow the line to sink to the lake bed and leave the rod laying in the rod rest. Now, the float is the equivalent of your bobbin and the rod tip is the fish. Pick up the rod and see how far you can move the tip before the float moves. Almost immediately is the answer and long before the line is tight. In short, the line begins to “travel along its length” quicker than it moves sideways or upwards. That is why, with a slack line and a running rig, the bites are so obvious and come from just the bait being moved and not waiting until the lead is moved.
As I said above, the “drag” force stops the line from moving sideways easily and it is also this force which helps to hook the fish. Another easy example is to stand on the bank of a lake with a very thin cane and swish it backwards and forwards in the air. It’s very easy to do with very little effort. Now push the cane down into the water and try to swish it backwards and forwards. It’s much more difficult plus the cane sort of vibrates as it moves through the water and that is “drag”. This force acts on all surfaces of your line and that includes the top, so it makes it more difficult or heavier to lift up through the water. It is this force acting along the length of your line which actually hooks the fish so the weight is only necessary to reach the fish when casting. In fact it would be possible to calculate the weight effect of a certain length of line at a certain diameter but that gets far too complicated and beyond a mere angler like me.
Two more examples of how these forces work can be shown by underwater experiments carried out by other people. The first we all know about. A harpoon gun uses a simple piece of elastic to fire its missile underwater. The harpoon, being elongated like an arrow, benefits from the slip force traveling along its length and allows quite accurate shooting and will travel reasonable distances. On the other hand a bullet from a rifle, and there is a YouTube video of this exact experiment, does not work in the same way. I think we can all agree that, in general terms, a rifle is more powerful than a harpoon gun? The video, to which I refer above, shows a rifle set up on a tripod, beneath the surface of a swimming pool and the rifle is fully waterproofed. The man carrying out this experiment then climbs into the pool, in shorts, and stands about twenty feet in front of the rifle. When he pulls the cord to fire the rifle, the bullet doesn’t even reach him and it’s the drag force working against the short, blunt projectile that stops it short. In short again, the shape of the bullet isn’t long enough to benefit from the slip force.
Hopefully that has given you all some food for thought but I would just add a couple of things that also came about while doing this research. One was that I realized that I have been losing a lot less fish since switching to light leads and I am certain that this is mainly because they don’t have such a violent effect by bouncing up and down during the fight, as does a heavy lead, so the hook hold is less likely to get stretched and elongated and therefore less chance of the hook falling out. Another is that, for similar reasons, the lead is free to slide up and down so the fish is not tethered to the lead first and then the rod tip at a different angle. I also realized that a heavy lead can travel down through light weed and give you the feel that it has landed on a clearing when it is actually still weedy. If you feel the “donk” with a light lead, it is much more likely to be clear.
I would also add that fluoro main lines work more effectively, when being fished slack, than mono. I believe it is their inherent extra weight, and the fact that they don’t absorb water as mono does, that adds to the effectiveness of the two forces above.
Be lucky.