Newsletter May 2013

Woodpecker Pool Newsletter May 2013

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2013, here we are again yet another new season is underway and although we are near the end of May the weather is terrible, being very cold, even colder than the UK and very wet. Last winter was the wettest and mildest we have had since we have lived in France, the lake has only been partially covered with cat ice whereas last winter you could have skated on it for nearly a month, what a difference a year makes. With the winter being so mild the fish were more active than normal and as such have obviously been feeding as their weights were very good at the start of the season and their condition is excellent and are fighting fit as the angler's who have been here already will testify to. All we are hoping for now is some sunshine and warmth but that seems a way off yet according to the long range forecast, just hope they have got it wrong!

Some news on the fish front, we acquired some 18 months to two and a half years old fast growing Commons and Mirrors at the back end of last year and have stocked a small number of these new small fast growing fish ranging from 3lb up to 5lb into the lake at the end of February, these fish are stunning and will be part of the future of our fishery so if you do catch any of these fish please don't bully them as they have soft mouths and treat them with the respect they deserve as you would the bigger fish. Some of these fish have already been caught and they are packing on the weight, it would not surprise us to see some of these fish achieve double figures by the end of the season!

Let us now move on to the thing you are all most interested in, the opening catches for the new season and these are all fantastic.

Our first guests for 2013 were Lee and Peter, good friends, regular visitors and very good angler's so hopes were high from the off.

They had a fantastic weeks fishing landing 70 fish in total breaking the previous total weight for a weeks fishing here which was 2007lbs 10ozs and has stood since August 2008 with a total of 2067lb 3ozs, very well done guys a great achievement. The catch included 7 doubles, 20 x 20s, 19 x 30s and 6 x 40s including 4 different 40lb plus Commons to 43lb 4oz, wow we knew we had 3 now we have 4 absolutely amazing, 5 catfish to 91lb 8oz, 1 Pike and the Diamond Back Sturgeon twice.

As I said before the total weight was 2067lbs 3ozs for an average of 29lb 8oz absolutely staggering. Great week guys and thank you both for your company once again and look forward to the next time you are over. John you were sadly missed, please try and make it on the next trip. We hope you do well in the Iron Man Peter and hope you both have a good season.

Following on from Lee and Peter are also good friends and regulars Jen and Terry. Terry is one of our Catmasters, he always seems to manage to winkle one or two big catfish out of here every year, would it happen for him this time, yes indeed but one of the Catfish really got its own back!! I will set the scene, Terry arrived on the Saturday afternoon on his own as Jen was not arriving until the Tuesday evening so Terry gets settled in and leisurely gets set up so he was fishing by late afternoon, by 8pm he had banked 3 carp to 24lb, a nice start. Terry and I were sat chatting and at 8.15 he had a run on his left hand rod and hooked into a catfish, this fish didn't take off like a lot do it just plodded about a bit using its weight to hold position so ensued a tug of war, Terry making some ground and the catfish taking it back, this went on for an hour and into darkness before the beast was banked and it was a big fish. We had decided this year to micro chip the catfish in here so we know exactly how many we have and we can see which fish are being caught and how they are progressing. So catfish banked and micro chipped we decided to photograph it before weighing as it is easier then the fish can go straight back once weighed. Obviously there was no way Terry could pick the fish up on his own so he decided to just to get alongside it and hold its head, being in the dark I could only just make out Terry and the fish so took one picture and took the camera away from eye to see Terry was missing!! I said where are you mate and then all of a sudden Terry came crawling out of the lake on his hands and knees, soaked to the skin!! I said what on earth happened, Terry said the catfish reared up hit him in the chest and sent him backwards head first into the lake, I missed all this because I was taking the picture. I said are you ok your not hurt are you and Terry said just shocked and very wet mate and we both burst into laughter. That fish really got its own back for being caught so please be wary if you catch them as in all my years of dealing with these fish I have never seen one react in that way!! Anyway Terry dripping wet and both of us still laughing we got her into the weigh sling and put her on the scales and she weighed 101lb and a new PB for Terry. Fantastic fish and certainly a catfish with a big big attitude!! Terry then called it a night and went in for a hot shower and off to bed. See the pictures below of the before and after the incident. No person or catfish where hurt by this incident only one very shocked and very wet angler!!! Joking aside Terry could have been badly hurt and we are very pleased he wasn't it just shows how easily the unexpected can happen.

Terry had an excellent first week after the dunking to catch 54 fish including 13 of the new single figure fish, (he christened these aquarium fish as they are perfection in miniature) 5 doubles, 20 x 20s, 11 x 30s and 3 x 40s two Mirrors and 1 Common, the Diamond Back Sturgeon and the 1 Catfish at 101lb. The best Mirror was 42lb 4oz and the best Common was 40lb 12oz. The total weight for the week was 1293lb 10oz for an overall average of 24lb. An excellent weeks fishing.

Terry's second week went by without any major incidents(thank goodness), quieter than his first week but still some lovely fish caught ably assisted for part of the week by Jen the Gillie(Terry's better half).

The total catch was 28 fish made up of 5 singles, 1 double, 9 x 20s, 8 x 30s, 2 x 40s Mirrors and 3 Catfish which the best was 92lb. The best Mirror was 42lb 4oz and the best Common was 34lb 4oz. The total weight was 891lb 8oz for an overall average of 31lb 8oz, another really good weeks fishing and as Terry always says being here is what matters and the fish are a bonus. No nights fished and no early starts on either week so a cracking two week result.

Thank you Jen and Terry for your great company while you were here and we look forward to seeing you again next year, don't work too hard mate and watch out for those violent catfish!!!

After Jen and Terry we had no one here for a week as we like to give the fish a rest every so often through the year and Sue and I had arranged with Claire and Mark of Kingfisher Pools to fish there for a few days so after the jobs were done here we arrived at Kingfisher late on Saturday afternoon. I hadn't fished for over a year and knowing that there are some cracking fish in Kingfisher was really looking forward to the challenge. I love the bottom pool, the setting it is in and it contains some really stunning fish so I set up on the new platform that Mark and his brother Andrew had built with great anticipation. I fished the lake for 70 hours with only one run and unfortunately that fish found a small twig and managed to deposit the hook onto it, how do they manage to do that?? Anyway the crack willow trees where now shedding their blossom big time and the whole of the bottom pool was covered in a white cotton wool like substance which sticks to everything making it virtually impossible to get a line through it so with only having a limited time left I decided to move up to the top lake and fish for the remaining time on there. It turned out to be a very good move as in 28 hours fishing I had 6 fish including a stunning Common of 34lb 10oz and 5 Mirrors from 13lb 8oz up to 35lb 12oz, all of the fish fought like demons and were in pristine condition.

A fabulous few days spent at a little piece of paradise, the fishing was tough but the rewards are more than worth the effort. Kingfisher Pools goes from strength to strength, is a beautiful place and has some stunning fish, check it out sometime you will be amazed how it has changed. A very big thank you to Claire, Mark and April for allowing us to share their beautiful place for a short time and to catch some of their stunning fish. Love to you all and look forward to seeing you soon.

Our final report for this newsletter is for again good friends and regulars Jan and Cid, some really great catches already in the last three weeks so how would Cid's week pan out as the weather had turned really cold so we did not know what the fish would make of the dramatic drop in temperatures. Well we had no need to worry as the fish were still responding quite well, a slightly quieter week but with again some lovely fish caught. Cid caught a total of 23 fish made up of 4 singles, 4 x 20s, 9 x 30s, 1 x 40, the Diamond Back Sturgeon twice and 3 Catfish of 87lb, 95lb 8oz and a Lake Record equaling fish of 104lb and PB for Cid.

The total weight was 863lb for an average of 37lb 8oz, the best Common was 41lb and another PB for Cid and the best Mirror was 37lb 8oz, an excellent week considering the cold weather. Thank you both for your great company during the week and we look forward to seeing you both again in September.

Well that is the end of our first newsletter for 2013 and what a start it has been, a new overall weight record for a weeks fishing, a lake record equaling Catfish of 104lb and a new 40lb plus Common, can it get any better, we will have to wait and see. Thank you once again to those that have already been here this year and we look forward to seeing those of you who still have to come, until next time we wish you all good health and tight lines.

Sue & Doug

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