Firstly a big ‘merci bien’ to all our customers who made the year so pleasant and successful. We’re looking forward to meeting quite a few of you again next year since you’ve already booked to come back. A return visit really is the biggest compliment you can pay any venue.
The fishing was good all year and, despite the summer heatwave, the large mass of the lake coupled with the stream feeders kept the carp active and vigorous. Many of our clients went home with new PBs, and one of our specially printed keyrings or torches as proof!
The lake record for Alder still stands at 43 lbs but the year saw several 40s and a lot of high 30s coming out. The individual catch record changed hands three times this year with Bill Holcombe setting a new record of 82 carp (1,685lbs) in one week, which will be hard to beat.
Stephen Horrocks won the bottle of champagne for landing our rather shy catfish for the first time. I’ll get another bottle in for the 2012 season for the first angler to catch the catfish.
The total catch record went to the Crane party again. As before, they hired both lakes. Last year they set a total record of 2,000lbs, which they quietly exceeded this year with 2,150lbs
We are into the winter fish-feeding programme now, even though the temperatures have remained unseasonably high. This extended feeding season should be reflected in the size and condition of the fish next year.
We welcomed our first fly and fish clients this year too. Since we are just 90 minutes from Limoges airport you could be fishing on the bank just a few hours after taking off.
A lot of you took advantage of the fact that we stock and sell Quest Baits to save you having to load the car up with boilies. All flavours produced good results. Our fish do seem to like a good bed of groundbait and our sales of maize, hemp and particle mix reflected that. Bill Holcombe’s secret was to feed little and often with a steady flow in from his baitboat.
One angler reported that he thought he’d seen a bear chasing one of our llamas. Don’t panic, there aren’t any bears in this part of France. What he’d seen was our dark brown alpaca Brendan chasing his sweetheart Windy around, and futilely!
We’ve begun on the winter lake and ground maintenance tasks. We’re repairing a couple of patches of banking and plan to thin out some of the alders, time and weather permitting.
New additions for the year included the shower room in the stable block, a gas powered cooler down at the fishing lodge (who remembers “the flame that freezes” from British Gas?) and solar powered lighting for the lodge and toilet block.
So while we have a busy winter ahead of us, we hope you’ll have a more relaxing time, and in particular a happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.
See you in 2012!