Top Quality French Carp Fishing
NEW Lake Record caught on 26th. April 2017 at 76lb 15oz
and 14 different 60lb plus carp And 2 known 70lb plus carp.
Hover over image for larger picture
Chapter Five -
As the lake filled we felt fortunate to have been in the situation that allowed us to decide on the type of fish stocked. We had virtually been able to start with a blank canvas after emptying the lake. Most of the “experts” suggest that the best kind of lake is one with a diversity of species. My own “gut feeling” was to stick with just cats and carp but with just a small number of silver fish in order that the cats didn’t starve.
Whilst I could see the pleasure in occasionally sitting on the dam wall fishing for roach etc I didn’t believe that general coarse anglers would be prepared to travel through France to fish for similar sized fish that they could find in almost any English lake.
It also seemed obvious to me that the carp should grow larger and faster without the competition from small fish, but I would be continually learning about this “fishery management” business.
My reasons for this belief were based on examples of English lakes which held big carp. Such examples are Elstow 2 which holds just big carp and some rudd, Acton Burnell which holds a lot of very big carp and only a few rudd and tench and even then the syndicate members work very hard to remove these unwanted species at every opportunity. On top of these two lakes, the other obvious example is Redmire which produced two consecutive British carp records without any of the “benefits” of the, more recent, high nutritional value carp foods. As far as I’m aware the pool is only 3 acres in size and only holds carp and Gudgeon. Now I do also have a theory about the gudgeon but more of that in a later chapter. All of these examples suggest to me that it is possible to produce conditions to suit a carp only lake which can then produce the best possible growth rates for big carp.
With all of these thoughts flying around in my head I was heading for the new season with the plans to monitor spawning successes and hoping that the current resident catfish would be adequate to mop up and further control the fry.
It was my firm belief that we would rapidly see a well controlled population of young fast growing carp. At this point in our lives my entire knowledge of fishery management came from constructing garden ponds for myself and small fisheries for the customers of my previous landscaping company as well as thirty years of keeping goldfish and koi carp.
I had also spent the nineties as a bailiff for the Oxfordshire complex of lakes belonging to Linear Fisheries. I had discovered very early on in life that garden ponds would clear very quickly as the zooplankton (otherwise known as daphnia) developed and ate the algae that originally coloured the water. Normally, just as we managed to get the water crystal clear, we would add fish and within days the water would turn green again as the fish ate the zooplankton and left the algae to multiply again. I was hoping that the carp in our lake would not be so dependant on single cell creatures and that at some time we would see the water clear.
We already knew that the lake contained numerous other items of natural food including pea and swan mussels, bloodworms, shrimps and slaters and we would be adding boilies to this list. During our examination of the lake bed and its inhabitants we had discover literally thousands of swan mussels and these were the reason that the mud did not smell like normal silt because they are filter feeders which continuously sort through the detritus from the fish and purify it. We also noted that the ends of the two arms held some very shallow and reed fringed water which made perfect nursery areas for the zooplankton to get established before spreading out into the lake.
In fact these shallow areas could be seen to have a coloured “sheen” from the daphnia themselves. Yet another reason for not keeping small silver fish as these would have been able to visit the shallow areas where the large carp could not reach.
The following year would give us some indication of how accurate my thoughts had been.
As we went into the winter of 2002/3 we found ourselves wishing our lives away, waiting to see what carp captures the spring would reveal.