Well another year has passed, and oh so very quickly. They do say that time flies when you are enjoying yourself, and there was certainly lots of laughter and merriment around Molyneux again this last year.
The year started early for Helen and I, returning from our usual Christmas break we soon got stuck back in, tidying the windfall which accumulates so quickly over the winter period. With so many beautiful trees around the place there are always small, and sometimes large branches which come down due to high winter winds. We cleared these, and did all that we could in between the lousy weather we endured during the latter part of last winter…
As March approached I priced and ordered up material and booked a mini digger in readiness for the arrival of friends that were coming over to help get the large jobs done that we had planned prior to the start of the season. Jack Cuthbertson, his dad Alan, and Paul Forster are all good friends who we have met during our time here, and gladly pop over at the start of March to help with swim building etc.
Our mission this year was to open up Jack’s swim and turn it into a double swim. Easier said than done as it turned out. Those that have visited prior to it’s rebuild will know that it was basically a gravelly slope at the bottom of which we had put a small platform area to assist anglers fishing this swim to land and release fish. Despite Alan’s best attempts to tip the digger into the water we managed to complete the job as per our plans. The slope was ripped out, widened and the swim was dug out and lined with treated wood, then gravelled throughout. Sizewise we decided on approx. 6.5m x 5m complete with a large frontage for placement of rod pods, etc, and to enable easy access to the water.
With this job completed we waved goodbye to Jack and Alan, whilst Paul and I got on with one or two other jobs we had lined up. These included installing a specific charging room with UK style plug sockets all around the wall. We installed a washing machine and tumble dryer, primarily for Helen and I, though we have used it to help dry out gear for anglers who have been unlucky enough to arrive on one of those weeks where it just doesn’t seem to stop raining. Thankfully we don’t see too many of those.
Thanks very much guys, your help was invaluable as always and much appreciated.
The season started well enough, and we were soon seeing some very nice fish coming out. It was encouraging to me to see a continuation of good weight gains across the board. This year was a much busier year than previously which is testament to the beauty of the place and stamp of fish we see coming out… Most anglers were catching many thirties with a few high twenties, and more than the odd forty mixed in amongst them.
We saw the lake record broken once again with our largest mirror tipping the scales at 47lb 6oz. The lucky captor being a young lad called Brett who visited with his amazing Grandmother. It was no fluke as Brett caught a number of large carp during his stay, including a 35lb mirror, a 38lb 6oz mirror, and a 37lb 12oz mirror. A week he won’t forget for some time to come.
Jack returned with his father in April and promptly smashed the lake record for the number of carp caught in one week… It was truly incredible and after his hard work during the close season well deserved. His weeks total was 32 carp, including one 42lb 8oz common, seventeen 30’s, seven of which were over 35lb’s. A hectic, but very enjoyable weeks angling. Well done mate, that will take some beating.
The end of year figures for the fish caught never fails to amaze and delight me. Over the course of the year we have seen over 300 thirty pound captures, with a large proportion of them over the thirty five pound mark, many just short of the forty pound mark.
The number of Forties is also increasing well, from 2 different forties the first year we were here, to nine different forties caught last year, to 18 different forties this year, being caught 35 times between them. I truly believe that with the number of large thirties we have in the lake this number could double again in a two to three years.
Catfish are also growing very well, from a record weight of 58lb’s last year to a lake record caught this year of 69lb 10oz, with at least three or four different cats over the sixty pound mark. I have started to seriously thin out the smaller catfish now, as they are prolific breeders. This will ensure anglers are not pestered by them, and the bait and food introduced gets eaten by the carp which is exactly what we as lake owners, and of course you as anglers, want.
The work carried on after the last anglers had left us in the second week of November, and we have already made a few small changes around the place which we feel improve the overall look of the already stunning venue. There are plans in place for the second week of March to totally revamp the cabin swim, creating a large dugout, something similar to what we have done with Jack’s swim. Materials are being priced up, and the digger has been booked so our efforts will continue unabated to improve the place even more this season.
There are many trees to be severely pruned, others to be felled, and a multitude of other jobs to be done. Work never stops to make the place right for the arrival of the anglers in March.
Our thanks as always go to David, Bridget and the wonderful girls at Angling Lines for all their help during the season. They do a marvellous job of making the booking procedure as simple and painless as possible for you guys and are invaluable to us. Thanks also have to go to another valued friend of ours Clive Elliott for bringing over some supplies with him when he joined us. Thanks to all those that have visited us this year and all those that have already rebooked for next year.
Without your constant support we could not continue, those that have visited know the passion we have for what we do and how hard we work to keep the place as we would expect to find it if we were visiting, and making anglers stay and experience while here as good as it possibly can be.
Happy New Year to you all and tight lines where ever you wet them…
Wally and Helen
For more information on Molyneux follow the link – French Carp Lakes