Posted: 27th May 2014
After the Trio of 50lb+ fish last Friday it was all change this week with the temps peaking at the change over weekend, triggering the fish into spawning first light on Sunday morning. It was a real shame for our group of 3 regulars arriving only the day before but nothing can be done when this scenario unfolds and the lads got to enjoy watching some big fish spawning right in front of Pegs 2,3,4,5 in the near margins for most of the day. Guy in Peg 3 was lucky to hook a low 20lb fish just before they kicked off, then foul hooking another soon afterwards highlighting it was time to reel in and let them get on with it.The spawning continued throughout the night and all of Monday. The water was quite clear so some good views good be had while Spencer tried to get some footage on the Gopro with the fish nearly knocking the camera off the pole on one occassion!!
Later on Tuesday it all seemed to die down with the weather turning on its head again, being cold and wet with a heavy storm arriving on Thursday, flooding Spencers bivvy because of the sheer amount of heavy rain running off the bone dry ground leaving it nowhere to go other than down to the paths and into the lake. It felt more like late March than May and the fish just seemed to rest-up shattered after all the frolicking. Late Thursday night the fish started showing in the evening in large numbers down in Peg 5, Spence took the gamble moving into 5 for the night but to no avail. The fish could be seen thumbing the bottom sending vast clouds of clay up from the lake bed, which appeared to be either some kind of agressive feeding or "Flanking" on the clay after spawning which seemed to be the more logical answer.
Steve lost a powerful fish towards the backend of the week as the fish kited around the Monk in Peg 1, resulting in a hookpull which was cruel for him. Guy managed another couple of fish but that was the weeks tally. All in all it was a tough week and the worst regarding numbers for some years, but no one including myself can count for the spawning taking place and I did feel for the boys. The spawning would have been completed weeks ago this year with the start to the season we had, but the cold month of May this year has slowed things down somewhat.
The lads kept spirits up with Spencer making most of his camera skills while Steve & Guy topped up on sleep, along with using all the G3 balance while hoping for a pick-up.
The weights have jumped up again this year and the fish have been looking very "Full", so I'm always keen for the fish to get spawning out of the way because fish being handled on a weekly basis while carrying spawn is not an ideal scenario. The water does support the extra mass of the females but once taken out of the water I'm convinced it puts a huge strain on the fish, with most of our regular lads fully understanding this and getting into the water if a big female is caught to alleviate the strain.
The wildlife front is phenomenal when the sun is shining at the moment, so any keen wildlife enthusiasts amongst you, stick you Camera & Binoculars in your bag.
The Turtle Doves are all paired up and calling throughout the day, Nightingales are still calling, both Redback & Great Grey Shrike have arrived. All manner of Butterflies and Dragonflies to keep most experts happy, Marsh & Lady Orchid pushing up for all the botanists out there. It just makes for an extra special holiday if you enjoy these finer parts of our sport??
Anyway back to the fishing. We have two regulars this week combined with a Father & Son duo who all know each other well. John & Rich are staying in a Gite while only fishing days, leaving Billy & Lee having the lake to themselves each evening!! Lee took a stunning 40lb 8oz mirror on the Sunday from Peg 3, followed by losing another 2, one being a hook straightening out (Korda) which is not good enough. But since then things are picking up each day with Rich taking 4 fish to 37lb from Peg 5 on Monday, followed by at least 10 fish out over the last 24 hrs to 42lb. One thing that seems very encouraging is all the females I have seen caught are totally spawned out, some dropping up to 13lb which is hard to believe. For myself this is a perfect scenario because they have plenty of time now to start feeding and building the weights back up, getting themsleves in tiptop shape again. Something else which seems different this year is the fish look in good shape straight afterwards which is unusual, with them normally displaying all manner of cuts and bruises, which could be down to all underwater snags being removed along with using the reed beds on the near bank, being a first. We have also lost no fish so far after the spawning which shows they have wintered well and are in good shape!! I think the back end of this year could be special, with average weights at an all time high and a good chance of the Lake Record going next spring, watch this space.
No doubt a few more fish will be caught this week, so make sure you have your bait ready for the coming weeks.