2021 Reflections Part Two: The Exclusive Lakes
Cherry Mere produced an amazing 7 different 30's to 36lb in 2021
Friday 17 December 2021
As promised this 2021 reflections update focuses on the three exclusive lakes, Cherry Mere, Cherry Springs and Cherry Pool
We started the year with the installation of new aeration systems into each of the lakes. These systems essentially comprise of an air compressor which forces air through the heavily weighted hose pipe to a diffuser head which lies on the bottom of lake and releases air through it. These bubbles then move to the surface. This movement helps to keep the water moving as well as improving oxygen levels. On cold winter nights the action of the aerators prevents the water from freezing and keeps at least some of the water ice free (unless it is really cold).
I will admit to being concerned that the weighted pipes would prove to be a significant snag for anglers. In practise the heavy pipes have partially buried themselves into the silt. I would be surprised if we have had more than 10 hook ups across the three lakes. The befits of the new aeration systems have been significant. Possibly coincidental, we have had very few fish deaths. More obviously the Carp have been hard fighting throughout the year, and the Carp have been putting on weight , particularly in Cherry Mere and Cherry Springs. An expensive investment proving to be worth every penny.
Cherry Mere continues to confound me. It is an amazing lake. The Carp successfully breed in this lake every year, and despite our best efforts to control their numbers, it is heavily stocked. Although there is a high stocking density the Carp continue to grow and thrive, During 2021, 7 different Carp over 30lb+ were caught. Most guests caught at least a few Carp a day and some caught many more.
Fishery manager took a week off in September, and with his buddy Brian, stayed in Pochard Lodge. A real 'bus-mans' holiday. He was glad he did. He set a new lake record with a Mirror Carp at 36-04 and also landed a 'back up' Mirror of 32lb. Dave's big Carp had put on 5lb after being caught by Dave Horney in May just after spawning (which I have included here as Dave's night photos are not the best).
I have included some of the other 30's caught this year as well as a my favourite Cherry Mere photo of the tear showing the 'Campion's' with a nice brace. One of the benefits of having two cradles on the decking! During this trip Leigh-Ann caught two Carp over 27lb, including setting her new PB at 27-08, as well as the 24lb+ Ghost Common featured in the photo.
Paul Crone and David knock fished through Storm Arden at the end of November. Despite some snow as well as high winds they shared a 17 fish catch which included 8 over 20lb+. Winter fishing at it's very best! Indeed due to the last lockdown, I was the only angler around when we had some snow last January. My first ever 'Snow-carp' was also the only one caught across the complex in 2021. Hopefully we can stay open throughout 2022 and if it does snow there will be some lucky anglers present.
Cherry Springs returned to form in 2021 after a difficult couple of years. The explosion in the number of Roach in the lake did not do the Carp any favours. Not only did they (the Roach) quickly hoover up the pellets which were meant for the Carp (resulting in the Carp losing weight and condition), the sheer bio-mass in the water meant the water quality was not as good as it should be. I am pleased to confirm that most of these Roach have been removed. A change to much larger and tougher pellets (meaning that the Carp had more time to find the food which was relatively Roach proof for several days), has resulted in both the condition and weights of the Carp improving. The new aeration system and applying Siltex to the lake also helped water quality and conditions for the Carp.
We had two new 30lb+ Carp during the year. Both were caught late in the season in October and November. Further evidence that our fishery management actions were working. Jav Alam's stunning Mirror of 30-06 can bee seen in thee lead photo above. I also think Martyn Collinge's 30-02 heavily scaled Mirror is a real cracker
We expect the Carp to do even better in 2022 and expect Cherry Springs to record a lot more twenties and at least 5 different thirties in 2022.
Cherry Pool continued to provide some great fishing for it's guests throughout 2021. This is our deepest lake by far (over 16 feet deep), and is absolutely full of Bream, Roach, Perch as well as good stocks of Tench and Crucian Carp. Frequently, if the big population of Carp are not feeding, anglers indicators are kept moving by the Bream. This year the lake has produced Roach to over 2lb, Bream to over 8lb, Crucians to 3lb+, as well as Carp to 22lb.
I rarely get photos from anglers fishing from Egret Lodge on Cherry Pool. So I thought I would finish this update by re-running the photo of Malcolm Williams with the big Koi at over 20lb's in 2019 This Carp is often seen but rarely caught.