Top Quality French Carp Fishing
NEW Lake Record caught on 26th. April 2017 at 76lb 15oz
and 6 different 60lb plus carp And 2 known 70lb plus carp.
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Chapter 14 -
It's now mid November 2016 as I begin to write this chapter in my book. Jan and I are about to celebrate our 49th anniversary of marriage and I am about to turn 68 years old. It wasn't my plan to continue working this long but, having found this way of life I have no intention of giving it up until I am, eventually, unable to walk the banks of this wonderful place.
Anyway, let's look back on 2016 and try to keep this chapter brief but informative.
At the end of the winter Alan and I had completed the clearing and repairing work and, with a new shower fitted we planned for a nice easy start to the fishing season. We had some of the weed cutting equipment in place so that we could keep ahead of its growth rates and were confident that it wouldn't be as bad this year...........wrong!!!!
We were just beginning to see the tell tale signs of a few strands of potamageton crispus and were readying the boat and cutter when the heavens opened. Our big problem was that just two days before the deluge our neighbouring farmer, Bruno, had used granular fertilizer (you know, the "growmore" type) on the one field that backs onto our lake. The torrential rain simply ran off of the field and washed the granules into our lake. It would have no danger to the fish because of the amount of constant water changes that we experience with the forest springs in full flow and our spillway shedding water at full rate. In fact the spillway can drop the water level by nearly two feet (8 million gallons) in two days. However, what the fertilizer did effect was weed growth. I couldn't believe that, on the Monday there were a few strands of weed showing and, by the time the rain stopped and the water dropped, one week later, the lake was covered to the point where I was considering building goal posts and painting white lines. Our plans were scuppered. We now needed to put right the situation rather than prevent it and I needed to do some more research.
The rectification work started straight away and with Alan and I, plus boat, cutter and rake working flat out for 15 weeks, 5 days per week we eventually succeeded in getting rid of the offending potomageton only to be rewarded with a massive bloom in lemna minor (duck weed) which covered large swathes of the surface and stuck like glue to lines etc and made fishing uncomfortable to say the least. That was another area of research needed. We combated the duck weed bit by bit by making, what amounted to, large framed, fine mesh tennis rackets so that we could simply wade out and scoop the weed onto the bank. Tiring, long but successful ........ Eventually.
Anyway, to get the weed details out of the way first, I found several things that will help us for next year. One is that the potamageton can be controlled if it can be removed before it gets a chance to set turions (seed heads) and, after several conversations with aquatic workers in America, I discovered that they use a spray (not permitted in Europe) to kill off the weed when it first starts growing. It is allowed because it is a Diquat and not Paraquat. The latter is a systemic weed killer and travels down to the root of the plant and thereby remains locked into the lake bed and water with a very long "half life" so is dangerous to all organisms living in the lake bed as well as to the fish when they eat these food items. The Diquat simply burns off the parts of the plant that it lands on (hence the reason why it has to be used more than once) and the plant can then regrow, but it doesn't get the chance to set seed heads. Apparently, this is done again when there are any signs of regrowth and their system is to use it three times in the first year, twice in the second year and then it's just a matter of patch-
Whatever the result of my research into weed killers (don't hold your breath) I am confident that we will be on top of the weed in 2017. We now know that we need to, at the very least, cut and rake the weed before it is beginning to show up and then again, whenever there is an empty swim or area of the lake, we need to keep cutting. We WILL defeat it.
The weed and the bizarre weather conditions have made the fishing less successful than we had hoped for but we have still seen well over 100 fifty pound plus carp, lord only knows how many forties, banked as well as our first seventy. The story of that capture is almost too strange to be true;