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.
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Chapter Seven -
Telephone calls to Sparsholt College suggested that the male fish seem to get “lazier” as they get older so almost reach a sort of “can’t be bothered” state of mind.
Gradually as the summer continued I began to realise that we also had another problem to deal with. The rudd which we had put back into the lake had also spawned and we now had millions of small silver fry dimpling across the surface of the lake.
These are also a cyprinid species so would also be competing with the carp for the same food items. Not only would these small fish be invading the anglers baited patches but they would also be providing the catfish with so much free food that they didn’t need to eat or search for anything else.
This may also help to explain why less catfish were being caught.
During November the sluice gate was again opened and this time we had a much more detailed plan for the fish. Obviously all of the big carp were kept as well as all of the predators. We removed literally tons of silver fish and then examined all of the carp under twenty pounds and removed the male commons.
We also removed some of the low twenty pound carp which didn’t seem to have the growth potential that we wanted. All of these decisions were made on body shape as well as trying to compare fin and head sizes compared to body sizes.
I had noticed over the years that, once a carp gets older, it appears to have very large fins, almost as though they used to be in proportion to its body size but now it has “shrunk” and its fins are out of proportion. I also felt that fast growing young fish had small heads compared to the rest of their body. To me it was as though the skeleton was growing slower than the flesh. Anyway, rightly or wrongly, these were the criteria upon which our choices were made.
With the sorting completed the lake was left dry for four weeks and seemed devoid of life when the gate was again closed. We were confident that our biomass and stock levels were correct and our tally included forty seven carp over thirty pounds with ten of them at forty pound plus.
2006 opened, and indeed continued, with a bang. Carp which had been 39lb during the drain down were caught at 46lb and 47lb in May and June.
With a late spawning some of this weight gain was obviously eggs but even so things were looking good. Every fish seemed to be up in weight by good margins and because of our reluctance to feed oily pellets their weight gains were more muscle than fat and this was resulting in some incredibly fit and strong fish.
For the first time we were seeing battles with carp taking over an hour and several “catfish”, when hooked, turned out to be thirty pound carp, when netted.
The season saw one after another personal best being broken and we ended the season having recorded exactly 100 captures of forty pound plus carp.
We relaxed in the “knowledge” that we had completely solved the previous problems and would not need to carry out another drain down.
Unfortunately it is exactly when you feel that you are on top of a problem that it can bite you in the bum.
We had overlooked one small item……………………