12 Months Have Past
Posted: 4th Aug 2013
Well it's just been over 12 months since the new website went live and we are just under 30,000 clicks so far on the blog!!! I can appreciate that a percentage will be other lake owners in France and also our regular guys clicking on each week wanting to keep informed of how things are going. That's around 500 clicks each week so it just goes to show that it's all been worth while.
I still believe the main ingredient for running a successful fishery in France is hard work and quality customer service, along with the lakes ambiance and the fish themselves, it's a multitude of elements that keeps our regular customers returning year in and year out. We have never been an easy water and most of the lads have had the best fishing of their lives combined with a tough week, but sometimes that's the mystery & magic of our lovely sport that keeps us all returning. Gone are the days of having just big fish in lake to keep you fully booked and I do believe the customer visting France today has changed remarkably over the last 10 years. With Carp fishing at an all time high right now throughout Europe and not just the UK, it is very difficult to enjoy real peace and tranquility on most lakes at any time of the year without bivvy's on all sides of the pond. We had the vision from the start to try and produce a fishery where profit was not the sole motivator and keeping anglers to an absolute minimum was one of our main aims so anglers coming to the "Sanctuary" could truely appreciate the natural beauty of a lake, without other anglers spoiling their holiday, where you could indulge in man against beast and get back to one of the main reasons I have loved water, fish and everything that swims all my life. I know this all sounds a bit romantic and "Old school" but it has been one of our main draws each season with anglers returning each year for that special "Sanctuary" fix, it just seems to get under your skin this place leaving a special mark on most anglers who have fished here.
As you guys know we have never rested on our laurels and have worked tirelessly to improve the fishery each season in one way or another, and once again work is taking place right now on the 15 acre lake to push the lakes to the next level. This has been a long time coming but with 3 children arriving over the last 4 years it put us on the back foot a little and we are catching up slowly now. It's still a couple of years in the making but hopefully over the next 7 weeks the backbay will be finished ready for the fish transfer in the winter and the whole process starts again next year on the otherside of the spit.
It's another busy winter ahead with lots of exciting things happening which I will be keeping you informed with. My artwork has been keeping me very busy this summer with more commissions coming in both fishing related and wildlife too, which as you all know is my other crazy passion. It's the same on this front too with some great things happening in 2014 and I just need more hours in the day to squeeze it all in!!!
All in all the best is yet to come and it still makes me smile to think they are enough of the passionate, old school anglers out there to keep us going and still make the job so enjoyable, so thanks to all who have supported us each season because without you it would just be a pipe dream.
Johns group of 3 have just left, having a great time as usual along with watching Carp jumping, ripping the bottom up with clouds of clay and bubbles over most areas of the lake, and to top it off showing right over their baited patches to rub it in!!!! The lads are seasoned anglers having many a good trip here, but this week the naturals were what the fish wanted and no other subsitute could match, making the lads work hard for a total of 11 fish. Full credit to Craig in Peg 4 who watched fish show over his baited patch all week which would have sent most anglers insane, but this guy could only look at the positives which makes a refreshing change and cannot wait for his return next year to settle the score.
This was the first week I have watched the Carp feeding hard after spawning, so when this natural larder is exchausted a big hit is around the corner for sure. The fish are still showing marks near the wrist of the tails from spawning this year so it's time for the fish to repair and bring their weights back up for the latter part of the season. Nothing special weight wise at all this week with fish to mid 30lb and most being low 30lb fish along with spawned out upper 20's, just looking forward to seeing if the big fish have got it out of their systems ready for fattening up this Autumn.
Apart from the fish playing jumping games the wildlife front has been good of late, my brother spent some time filming the Redback Shrike while here and got some stunning footage of them feeding the young fledglings along with beheaded Grasshoppers impailed to the barbwire fences for a feast later, which is the telltail mark of "The Butcher Bird"
John in Peg 1 got chance to see Honey Buzzard last week, along with Harriers, Booted Eagle and the Golden Oriels filting from tree to tree.
All the trees have now been cleared after the storm and I aimed to just get the job finished as quickly as possible to try and reduce the noise for the lads.
Just a quick one on the bait front, fishmeals again are still doing the business along with the pellet but I'm now convinced "The Cell" has lost it's edge. It has been hammered here for the last 4 years and there is no doubt about it the fish are not picking it up like they used too. The new grange does seem to be picking more fish up than the cell but a quality fishmeal is still taking some beating. The Cell used to act like a drug with the Grass Carp but they too are staying well clear of it with only a handful caught on it this season. Mark in Peg 3 last week took a Grassie of just under 30lb being the only one of the week to B5. You have been warned it's a big gamble if it's the only bait your going to bring!!!
Pictured is John with one of his 30lb mirrors from Peg 1 and great to see the safety of the fish coming first once again with these lads getting in with them, thanks boys.
New group of two booking the lake this week with Alex in Peg 1 taking a 29lb 8oz on the first night so fingers crossed they have a good week, the way they are ripping the bottom up down there this morning lets hope so!!!