Cameron Branaghan. 35-03 L

Cameron Brannagan starts 2023 with a 41lb Common

He also lands Mirrors of 35 and 38lb
Tuesday 3 January 2023

We are officially closed this week as we finish off some tree work on Cherry Lake, Cherry Pool and Cherry Mere. We also have a netting of Cherry Springs planned as well as renewing the decks on Kingfisher. A busy week all round! I was not expecting to write my first post of the year for several weeks. Cameron Brannagan has however 'forced' my hand.

All of the lakes across Cherry Lake are good waters to fish through the winter and have a good record of producing throughout the colder months. The fact that the Lodges are also 'the best bivvies' in the world, coupled with discounted winter prices, makes us a good bet for winter carping. We have a lot of vacancies throughout January and February, so if you fancy the chance of a cracking winter Carp, give us a go.

Fishery friend Cameron Brannagan 'twisted my arm' and persuaded me to let him have a couple of days fishing between his football training sessions this week. Both Cameron and myself are very glad he did!

Fishing from Heron Lodge, Cameron had the lake to himself. With the conditions fantastic for early January (low pressure, warm southerlies, and a slow rise in water temperature), Cameron spent his first hour simply watching the water and was rewarded with seeing one fish show and several other signs of feeding fish.

Having placed his rod where he had seen the Carp show, he was quickly rewarded as his rod roared off some 4 hours later. He opened his 2023 account with this 35-03 Mirror pictured above. Solid PVA bags and a pop-up doing the trick for Cameron.

This particular Carp appeared in my 2022 catalogue as a new thirty when caught by Jason Barnes at 30-06 last July. A weight gain of some 5lb is very pleasing to see and continues the pattern we were seeing last year of good weight gains by our Cherry Lake Carp.

Cameron Branaghan. 38-00 L
Cameron Brannagan with 'Pac-Man', his second upper thirty, at 38-00

Cameron's second Carp came at first light the next morning from another of his carefully identified spots from the afternoon before. Again fishing with a PVA bag, the Carp, which is one of my favourites and known as 'Pac-Man', put up a good fight before gracing Cameron's net.

'Pac-Man', so called because of the distinctive scales on both sides of its wrist, is a reliable cold water feeder. Dave Cole caught him (I think this fish is a he!) last January at 35-03. Another good weight gain of 3lb over the year. Fishery manager Dave Bowen said the fish was in great condition and looked stunning in her winter colours, some of which has been 'lost' by the camera!

Cameron Branaghan. 41-00 L
Cameron with our fist 40lb+ of the year. A 41lb Common from Heron Lodge

Cameron only had to wait until 13.30 for one of his rods to take off again. This time he went even better and landed our fist 40lb+ Carp of the year. Not bad given it is only 03 January!

This time it was a cracking Common of 41-00 and it looked 'all there' and very heavy. This impressive Common is one of the easy ones to identify. Not only does it have a missing scale it has some coloured scale markings. She was last caught in June 2022 by Tom Etchell at a similar weight of 41-02. Whilst apparently only the same weight, this Carp was 'carrying' spawn last June and was at a temporary high. In January at 41lb she is a 'real forty' and with the frame to go a lot bigger.

As I mentioned above we have lots of vacant dates in our January and February calendar. If the weather stays mild get your rods out. We are taking plenty of bookings for the rest of the year, so if you are thinking of visiting us in 2023, please do not leave it too long to book......especially if you are one of our regulars.

A good way to start 2023. I trust this is a good omen for a good year ahead.

Happy New Year to you all.

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