Climate Change – how will it affect a carp’s growth rate?

By Dan Allen, Oakwood carp lake

Dan with a fine 37lb Oakwood mirror

Now I’m not pretending to be an expert on global warming matters or anything of the like, instead I wanted to raise the question of how the rising climate temperature’s will affect our carp and would welcome your feedback and your own thoughts on the subject.

Perhaps you’re remembering all the snow England received last winter and thinking is this guy mad?

But for us out here in France last year when we were watching Britain under snow on television we received just one flurry! In fact my lake, Oakwood fisheries only froze for a total of 9 days last winter. The lake is spring fed but come winter we receive a flow from the neighbouring lake which unless it’s very cold prevents our lake from freezing.

So the combination of the very early starting summers we have been receiving and the very mild Autumn months and winters, I would not be surprised to see the first carp in excess of 100 lbs hit the bank within the next two years. I’ve been carp fishing for 25 years now and it seems unbelievable to me that such monsters exist, as a boy I was marvelling Richard Walkers record common carp “Clarissa” of 44lb now they reach weights of more than double this in some lakes.

One reason has got to be climate change as the main feeding season is lengthened by the warmer water temperatures. The warmer water also provides more natural food for the carp as insect and invertebrate life will be available for longer periods of time.

When I say longer feeding seasons I will give an example, this year the oak trees around my lake didn’t drop theirs leaves until a week before Christmas!

I could also go on about better quality baits being used, and in more abundance as the sport exploded in the early 90’s, generally better water conditions as we understand more about fishery management and selective breeding but this is leading away from the article title so we will leave this for another day.

This brings me to ask the question why more Brits don’t travel to France come the end of October until the start of April the following year?

Foreign waters generally receive no pressure at this time of year unless you’re talking about the likes of Rainbow lake and the fishery owners are basically giving the holidays away in an attempt to see some faces fishing around the lake in the colder months.

I have personally had great catches in the months of November, February and March with some of the biggest fish I have ever caught and on top of that they are generally in great condition and colour at this time of year. They also fight harder due to the added oxygen content in the water.

With all the array of equipment that is available today from thermal suits, boots, bivvys, sleeping bags and tea on tap courtesy of the Coleman stove, it can’t be purely down to lower temperatures can it!

I personally would be interested to know the reason why and I am sure David Keep the owner of Angling lines has been scratching his head in the past to trying to figure this one out!

In short I believe we have never had conditions this good for our winter and autumnal fishing but in general anglers don’t seem to be utilising these months of opportunity.

Dust the rods off early this year, take advantage of the quiet lakeside banks and bag yourself some beautifully coloured hard fighting carp this winter!


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