All Too Much!
Posted: 27th Oct 2015
Well the season has offically ended today, and it's been fanstastic to end on a high after such a brilliant season. When you go back through the catch reports as a fishery owner I could not have asked for a more consistant year, with nearly every week fishing steady and producing plenty of 40s week in and out, with a sprinkling of 50s, but that's all set to change for 2016!! In the past we have had blistering fishing weeks, with long periods of the fish playing hard ball through the summer months, but this year it has made little difference on the month at all. When I look back, the year of the big fish was 2012, which saw new lake records set and very big average weights. We might not have broken the LR for 3 seasons now but for numbers of big fish, 2016 will set a whole new record. Alongside numbers of big fish, we have worked damn hard to get all aspects "right" at the fishery, weights never being our sole aim, more a case of a balance between the stock and not turning our nose up at stunning looking young fish, keeping number of anglers on the fishery to a minimum & nuturing the wildlife, along with some good old fashioned customer service. We live on site all year and the passion for the fishery is for all to see, we don't have others running the lakes for us to make a profit, and the hard work we have applied is to benefit the customers experience which has kept our number of repeats over 75% since the day we opened. The one sercret ingredient to running a successful fishery is hard work, its as simple as that... and for the first time in a number of years I feel the hard work has given us something back, it's been a pleasure this season from start to finish and once again we want to thank all our customers new & longstanding for their continued support!, without that, the fishery would be long gone and the memories distant, but we are now about to step into our 10th season next year and we cannot wait for the spring to kick off.
The weather has been kind this last 10 days, it was very cold when Roger arrived which was the continuation from the week before, by Tuesday a mild front had moved in from the east and it's got steadly warmer each day with a high of 20oc today which is hard to believe. This is the 3rd year on the trot that Roger has booked the last 2 weeks of the season, wanting peace and quiet & allowing the chance to move at will if the fish were mobile... once again it's paid off and he has smashed-it-up considering the time of the year and being on his own. In fact he was so tired considering he is 69 he has had to leave early..broken and beaten up with the numbers of big fish he had, like I said he should try and catch more small fish to make life easier for himself, LOL.
But before I talk fish, I will run this story by you all. I came down to the lake on the Monday last week with Roger setting up camp in Peg 3, trying to cover a large area, with a cold wind blowing through the bivvy door we decided to move camp into Peg 2 allowing shelter, and hopefully catch more of the winter sun. But before we moved I noticed blood all over the peg, My first instinct was he has put a hook through his hand or maybe a nose bleed but Roger replied with "what the F--k is this?" I said " I beg your pardon" as we both laughed, just as he was searching for his camera with a bandaged-up thumb. He said "it looked so cute, like a baby all curled up on its back" trying not to laugh I knew at once he was referring to a Muskrat. This little creature was introduced to France for its fur, and like most captive animals it managed to escape and now lives in every piece of water across the country. I trap & shoot both "Muskies" and Coypu throughout the season to keep numbers at an absolute minimium but around late Sept if any are still around they will try and pick up baits to store extra fat for the winter ahead. This may happen 6 times over the year, but this time is was Rogers turn. After a small drop-back he reeled in what he thought could have been a Roach or something... at the side of the peg it lay on its back with the hook through its paw looking all sweet and innocent. Using a long set of forceps Roger bent down to remove the hook as the little cutie leap forward like an alien face-hugger and bit him right through the thumb nail and to the bone on both sides, blood everywhere he bandaged himself up and disinfected the bite. I did the same in the morning just to make sure he did not pick anything up from the "little lovely" On this occasion the hooklink snapped but I said if this ever happens again just reel it close to the rod-tip, thrust it under the water and drown the thing, that way there is no chance of it biting you. I will put the image on FB so you can all have a laugh at the poor old mans expense.... it looked cute and baby-like!!!!!
Back to the fishing, in usual Cockny-Roger style he soon got the fish feeding with his baiting approach in Peg 2, and started getting amongst them on the Tuesday night building up to a blazing day on Friday. Nearly all the fish came in the night time, but he did catch odd fish in daylight.The 40's kept rolling in with 4 on the bounce followed by the largest of the week at 50lb 8oz which came from a sneaky margin spot that no one has fished all year, Bingo he does it again!!! After the hectic 24 hrs Roger was starting to wain with some fish taking 20 minutes to land, then lifting fish of this size on his own, it was getting too much for him. This morning he called it a day, knackered and beaten up with a total of 16 fish it was time to end the season on a high and call it a-day! A first for us with someone leaving from catching too many big fish!!
The largest was the 50lb 8oz, picture below in the sling which is nothing to look at because you cannot compare to anything. Roger only takes a snap either side in the cradle for my benefit, no longer lifting fish of any size for the camera " what the hell do I want to have a picture taken with a fish for, those days are gone" he said.
No less than 7 fish over 40lb+ with myself weighing the last one at 21.00pm yesterday evening at 46lb+. Only 1 x 30lb+ fish, 6 x 20lb+ with half over 27lb. and one double stockie of 19lb 12oz. From what I can see from the backend of this season is average fish will be 40lb next Spring, with so many upper 40's this year pushing into the 50lb+ mark and the 20's moving up into 30lb+ its going to be very exciting indeed. Most of the young stockies will be within a wide range from 20lb+ to upper 30lb next year, and they are something to behold.
As I write the final catch report the leaves have turned to the most stunning shades oF Gold, yellow and red.. the Cranes are now passing over on migration and it's time to reflect on another beautiful summer with memories to last forever. I'm still working on the 15 acre lake, so it's time to refuel the digger and back to it. Looking at the job inhand it will take me up until Christmas and with a little luck I can complete the lake bed, then we have family over for xmas, some down time and then back to it early January, so not much rest!. I will keep up with the blogs just to keep you informed of my duties, but for now it's a big thanks from Team Sanctuary and get ready for 2016!!!
Over & Out