Happy New Year from Cherry Lakes
Sunday 1 January 2017
Judith, Dave and I would like to wish you and all your family a happy healthy 2017, as well as of course ‘Tight Lines’ for the year ahead.
As it is the start of the year, I thought I would share some of my thoughts for the year ahead as well as provide a short report on last term.
We are looking forwards to the year ahead and hope it is our best year yet. In May it will be 4 years since we opened the first Lodges on Cherry Lake and Cherry Springs, and 5 years since we first let the Cottage. Over this time we have spent a huge amount of effort and no little expense in trying to achieve our ambition of being the UK’s premier Carp fishing holiday venue.
We have as always been busy this winter. We have undertaken a lot of tree work; extended the shelf on Cherry Lake to encourage the big reed bank to grow further along the bank; as well as introduced a further 20 Carp, including ten twenties to 24lb.
We hope the stocking of these new bigger Carp into Cherry Lake, plus a good number of smaller home grown Carp coming through, will keep the fish competing for food throughout the year, ensuring that not too many anglers suffer ‘blanks’. As I said in a recent post, we can pretty much guarantee the quality of your Lodges and the Cherry Lakes experience. We have not yet however worked out how to guarantee the fishing!
The fishing on Cherry Lakes, particularly since late August has been a little disappointing. The weather over this period has not helped and I know that many other lakes in this part of the world have also performed below expectations. We may have overdone the ‘blue dye’ this year as the weed has largely disappeared. Next year we intend to cut back significantly on the dye to give the weed a chance to recover, as we do not think this has helped the fishing. Having a reasonable amount of weed is also good for the overall condition of the water as well as the Carp. Getting the balance right between having sufficient weed and not being too much for many anglers will as always be a challenge!
As far as I can tell, eighteen different anglers caught 30′s this year. Since 2014 over 50 different anglers have caught Carp over 30lb from Cherry Lake. All of which are now proud members of the Cherry Lakes 30+ club. For many of these anglers the fish caught represent either their UK or overall PB. a figure which we take real delight in.
The biggest Carp, the ‘Big Common’ came out several times in the Spring but fell short of the magic 40lb mark. Her biggest recorded weight was 39-04 when landed by Geoff Smith in June. Who knows, this year she might punch through the 40lb mark and set a new lake record?
We believe we have at least 15 carp which are normally over 30lb+. They have on average been landed less this year, with several of the 30′s not being seen by Dave or myself this year (this does not mean they were not caught, but simply not witnessed or photographed properly). I guess the Carp do wise up. Hence the need to keep introducing new fish each year to keep shaking them up.
We did have at least three new thirties come through including this fabulous 31-12 Linear caught by Stephen Williams in September pictured below. Scott Kelly’s 31-04 Mirror was also another new Mirror caught in early September. Neil Goodman’s Ghost Mirror caught in June at 32-12 set a new lake record for a Ghost Carp. We have three different Ghost carp which have been caught over 30lb. Target fish which we are extremely proud of, as well as feel lucky to have them.
The Carp continue to grow well in the smaller exclusive lakes which are proving to be ever more popular. Disappointingly we did not see the big Common from Cherry Mere on the bank this year, although there were several reports of monster Common’s being lost at the net. I very much hope this Carp turns up, fit healthy and big this year! The home bred Carp in Cherry Mere are doing extremely well. The biggest are now around 5lb. Most anglers who catch these pristine Carp are delighted to have done so. Over the next year or two we should see our first home grown double form Cherry Mere. We have three year classes of Carp coming through on this lake. These ‘classes’ will be the last as the Perch population is now so big that all the fry get eaten!
Cherry Pool is now in rude health and has been producing some specimen Roach and Perch over 2lb as well as some lovely Carp. My favourite fish in this lake are the bigger Crucian Carp and we had a number of fortunate anglers to report catches of these lovely fish to over 3lb. We did have a lucky escape in May as the lake suffered, literally out of the blue, an oxygen crash which turned the water black and smelling stagnant. We are fortunate enough to have a number of oxygenators on site which once quickly relocated to the lake managed to save the day. Catastrophe narrowly averted!
Cherry Spring continues to be very popular and reported a bigger ratio of 20lb Carp caught than in previous years. Thanks to the stocking programme in the winter of 205/16, on average one 20lb+ Carp was caught in every ten Carp landed. We think this is about right for this lake and it will be interesting to see what this year brings.
Thanks to the help of two of our friends Dominic Morgan and Andrew Wells, we made three short videos last year. These have been put onto the website over the last week or so. We made these because many new guests said that the website did not ‘do justice’ to the actual experience of visiting Cherry Lakes and that they had ‘nearly not booked’. The three videos provide an introduction to (1) Cherry Lakes and the Lodges, (2) Cherry Lake Cottage and (3) Carp Fishing Holidays at Cherry Lakes. We hope these are helpful to the viewers. We had fun making them, although as you might see Judith proved to be much more of a ‘star’ than I did! If you want to see the videos please use this address: http://www.cherrylakes.co.uk/cherry-lakes-videos/
Judith, Dave and I look forward to welcoming our past guests and friends back to Cherry Lakes during the year ahead, as well as hopefully attracting some new guests for the first time.