The wet and windswept group just prior to leaving for home
Molyneux Report to 20th October 2012…
After our week with no anglers and despite the almost continuous rain we had managed to make a start on the winter projects we had set ourselves. This is what many people fail to realise about our job, when there are no anglers on the lake we actually work harder than ever making the little improvements that make the place so special. This year as well as strim and tidy around all the lake, we have decided to remove a lot of the small trees and bushes which we don’t want. We have made a start on this during the course of the year, and many people have already commented on what a difference it has made. As well as allowing people to see more of the water whilst walking round it allows wind to get through moving the water a little more. We also plan to do a lot more work on the Islands, cutting out and clearing the dead trees and clearing the years of growth of brambles which have taken over large parts of it. This will not be easy or indeed happen overnight, but we are in this for the long haul and intend to continue with improving and maintain the stunning grounds that we are lucky enough to live in.
Saturday comes round far too quickly and even more so when you are hard at it. The phone rang and it was the week’s anglers; unusually they were not at the gate, but asking for directions. It seems that due to the horrendous blanket of fog covering most of Northern France they had missed a turning and without the aid of sat nav had bought a map and were struggling to find us. I managed to direct them in, and a wee while later were welcoming them to the lake.
The weather was dire with rain literally pouring from the leaden sky. We all had a warming cup of tea and after donning our waterproof gear set off for a squelch around the lake. This week’s anglers seemed a nice bunch of friends from Hert’s. Upon returning to the kitchen where Helen stuck the kettle back on, the guys decided amongst themselves where they would like to be stationed for the week. Ian decided to try Jacks as that was his son’s name and thought it would bring him luck.
Kelvin chose to fish Social 2, his father Colin decided to fish Stones a short way along the bank. Kevin liked the look of the Barn swim, whilst Herbie and Mike choosing to pair up in the double swim.
The guys quickly set up camp as the rain eased for a short time, before coming back down just as heavily and consistently as before. They got their respective pitches organised and then wandered up for their evening meal. After they had all eaten and dried out a little, they pulled on the weatherproof gear and headed back out into the rain to cast out for the night.
It was 3am when the first alarm sounded around the lake; it was one of Herbie’s in the double swim, a feisty fight followed by a plump mirror being netted. On the scales it weighed in at 26lb.
At 7am Kelvin had a series of bleeps which got him up and out to see what was happening. A twitching rod tip convinced him to lift the rod, and there was indeed a fish on the other end. After a short fight he brought to the net a 25lb 8oz mirror, shortly after returning the fish one of his other alarms let rip, he was in again. Another spirited fight ensued followed by Colin slipping the landing net under the second fish for Kelvin within half an hour. A very nice start to the week.
After returning to their swims after breakfast Kelvin cast out and within minutes was playing another fish. This his third of the morning weighed in at 27lb 8oz. I took most of the guys out and we had a prod around their swims, I placed one or two H block markers in open water spots and bait was applied. At 4.15pm it was Kelvins turn to do the honours netting his dad’s first fish of the week, another mirror weighing 28lb 8oz. At 7.30pm it was Ian’s turn to leap into action. One of the rods to an open water spot bursting into life minutes after being cast out. A good fight followed, with a good fish desperate to make good its escape. Ian took things carefully and finally netted a lovely mirror which was confirmed at 33lb 9oz.
With the rain lashing down heavens hard and the pressure dropping like a stone, I was amazed when at breakfast there were no more captures reported. In fact it was 4pm Monday afternoon before the next fish was caught, once again it was Kelvin in Social swim 2. I was wandering around the lake at the time with Rudie the lake dog and was fortunate enough to see a long heavily set mirror which was obviously bigger than anything he had caught so far. Indeed the scales proved his to be the case 34lb 12oz of stunning Molyneux mirror carp. Kelvin was very pleased, not least because he had bested his mate Ian’s fish of the previous day. It was at this point that he told me that the guys had five pound each in a kitty with largest fish taking the pot. He was now in pole position. I told him not to spend it to soon as I fully expected much bigger before the week was out. With the weather as it was and the air pressure as low as it was it was only a matter of time before someone landed a proper beast. That evening at around midnight Kevin in the Barn swim landed his first fish of the week. A 24lb common, which was his pb common carp.
The following afternoon as Rudie and I were sat chatting to Kelvin in the social 2 swim, his alarm sounded and he shot to pick up his rod. Colin wandered over to see what was occurring. He joked that I should visit them more often as I seemed to be a magnet for the fish, no sooner had he uttered these words than Kelvins middle alarm started to bleep. Initially we wondered if the fish which was being played was the culprit, but after checking the position of his line we realised this was not the case. Colin picked up the rod and wound down, he was also in! I shot down and collected Colin’s landing net and unhooking mat as father and son stood playing fish together. Kelvin landed his shortly before Colin. The scales proved that Colin had landed a 20lb mirror, whilst Kelvin had upped the competition for the kitty with a lovely mirror of 36lb 12oz.
That evening he landed another almost straight after casting out upon his return from dinner, this a 27lb mirror.
The early hours of the morning saw Mike land his first fish of the week after losing one on the first night. This was a nice mirror well worth the wait at 34lb 2oz. At 5.15am Kevin in the Barn swim was woken and climbed out of his to attend to a screaming one toner. He had been fishing to the corner of the small island since arriving and finally had some action from this spot. He had a very good scrap with the fish on the other end and after finally landing what looked a very good fish found out just how good when he tried to lift the net. The fish was to be the largest caught so far around the lake, a mirror of 37lb 12oz. The big girls were starting to feed. With the air pressure hovering slightly below 1000 millibars all week and the rain hardly stopping for five minutes at a time I had been expecting it to happen.
After breakfast Ian moved from Jacks into the cabin, having seen fish further from him than he could comfortably cast. The cabin he felt offered him more opportunity. At 1pm Kelvin added to his tally with a 27lb mirror At 3pm Herbie landed a common, not a beast at 21lb 2oz but very welcome after a few days watching his buddies catching all around him. He was desperate to catch a thirty and he still had not given up hope. Ian’s move proved to be worthwhile a few minutes later when he landed a mirror of 26lb 8oz.
Once again overnight proved to be very quiet, but just prior to breakfast Colin had a double take, his first one landed was a mirror of 25lb 8oz, his second a little better and a new pb by some way for him at 38lb’s exactly. He was now in pole position for the money in the kitty, which had changed hands a number of times over the course of the week. Any thoughts he had of spending it were short-lived however when ten minutes Ian in the cabin swim landed the Big Linear at a weight of 42lb 14oz, He was over the moon, as it was a massive pb, one of quite a few so far over the course of the week.
There was some very lively banter over the breakfast table, with all the anglers chuffed at the weights of the fish they were catching. During the course of Thursday there were to be a number of fish lost for some inexplicable reason. Ian lost a couple at short range stalking the snag tree casting to bubblers and showing fish. Colin lost four fish in the space of a few hours, and Herbie losing two I believe. That evening at 9pm Herbie completed his mission of catching a 30lb plus carp in grand style with a corker of 37lb 1oz. Kelvin also had another shortly afterward a mirror of 29lb 14oz.
Friday was to be the busiest day fish wise for the guys Kevin in the Batn set the ball rolling at 8am with a 15lb 8oz common. At 10.30am Colin landed a mirror of 31lb. 1pm and Kevin was in again, this fish giving him a good fight. He was very pleased to land a 34lb 6oz mirror. Half an hour later Colin was in again, landing another mirror of 27lb 14oz. At 2pm he landed another, this time a common of 21lb 4oz. Ian managed to stalk another during mid-afternoon, real hook and hold tactics winning the day. A 26lb mirror his reward. At 7pm Kelvin landed yet another thirty in the shape of a 32lb mirror. Very strangely the next two fish were both Catfish, with Colin catching the first at 22lb, and Kelvin catching the other at a weight of 30lb 4oz.
The final fish of the week was caught at 8.30am on Saturday, with Mike in the double swim landing a 15lb common. All in all despite the horrendous weather a fantastic week. The guys did not let the weather get them down and persevered with their fishing during the few slow periods that came along. Between 6 anglers we had 4 pb’s and with each angler catching at least one fish well in excess of 35lb’s apart from Mike who could only manage a top weight of 34lb 2oz. Not a bad average between them.
As they packed and left I wandered up to the gate and we laughed that it was raining as hard as they left as it was when they arrived, with very little let up during the course of their visit. Hope you all had a safe and pleasant trip home, and hopefully we will see you all again.
French Carp Lakes – Molyneux