New rules on rod lengths and landing Carp plus digestible Toppers
Aaron Hull lands a 36-12 Common
Friday 14 May 2021
Two updates in two days.............partially because Aaron Hull caught a lovely Common, but principally because I did not want to lose several key changes outlined here in one long normal update post
Firstly I want to start with some observations and rule changes. As always my concerns are almost always entirely driven by Carp care and guest safety.
Minimum Rod Lengths on Cherry Lake
Personally I do not understand the current fashion of moving towards shorter and shorter rods for normal Carp fishing. I get why a short rod helps when stalking but not when you are fishing 70 yards plus out. What we have noticed however is that we have growing incidence of Carp taking out anglers lines in other Lodges. Now whilst this has always happened occasionally, it has become more frequent. When it happens it is frustrating/upsetting for the impacted angler, it has also damaged the Carp as they have been wrapped up in as many as three other lines and dragged in. The only correlation we can see is with (a) inexperienced anglers and (b) short rods.
I do my best to steer inexperienced anglers away from Cherry Lake. Indeed this is one of the reasons why we still resist just accepting on-line 'blind' bookings, which frankly would save me from a lot of effort. I have also 'beefed up' the Cherry Lake fishing web page to stress the importance of fishing and big Carp handling experience. I am not sure what more I can do to ensure anglers have both a good time and that our precious Carp are well taken care of? I can however do something about rod lengths.
A minimum length of Carp rod to be used on Cherry Lake is 9 feet and should be of a minimum test curve of 2.75lb. We prefer 12 foot rods with a test curve of 3lb+.
Where a Bait Boat is to be used, then minimum rod length is 11 feet. In other words if you want to fish with shorter rods then you can only cast. It is difficult enough for experienced anglers to control 30lb+ Carp at 140 yards on 12 foot 3lb+ test curved rods. It is unnecessarily even more difficult with shorter rods.
Anglers must use the weigh slings to lift Carp out of the water
Increasing numbers of our guests already automatically use our weigh slings to lift the captured Carp out of the water. The landing net is broken down and the arms laid along the inside the weigh sling, with the Carp being lifted out after checking the fins are safely folded in a natural position against the Carp's body. As the Carp get bigger then taking this extra step, rather than simply lifting in a buckled net, is even more important. With immediate effect, all Cherry Lake carp captures need to be handled in this manner.
Anglers must be capable of lifting a 40lb Carp
Cherry Lakes has been deliberately set up to appeal to anglers/guests who like their creature comforts and can afford the fishing style offered by our Lodges. We attract guests of all ages with a good proportion older than me (60 this year!). On occasion we have guests/anglers who catch a big Carp which they or their companion cannot comfortably lift out of the water. This is not good news for either the angler or the Carp. Whilst Dave and I are frequently around we are not always on call. If both an angler and/or their guest cannot safely lift the Carp out of the water and return it safely, then I am sorry they will be asked to stop fishing. I cannot afford either a damaged Carp or even worse a guest injuring themselves by over-reaching themselves.
As a long term Carp angler (who has no doubt pulled a few 'strokes' in the past) I hate all these rules and to be seen as nit-picking! However I run a high quality English commercial Carp fishery and have I had to respond to issues as they have arisen. I am sorry if any of these changes upset past or prospective guests, I do hope that most anglers get why we have taken the above actions.
I mentioned in a previous post that we have also banned the use of plastic baits, of which the most commonly used is plastic pop-up corn. A broken off rig, with a plastic bait is always a 'live rig' and could ultimately damage a Carp. Bio-degradable baits must be used to avoid this risk.
We have managed to source through our boilie supplier some biodegradable and digestible Toppers. These come in pots of about 60-70, with a mix of the most popular colours of Pink, Yellow and White. They are available pre-flavoured in our Bio-Spice (fishmeal), Bio-Cream and Bio-Fruit varieties. Having used and caught on these I can vouch for their effectiveness. They also last for at least 48 hours on the baited rig, which is long enough for the vast majority of fishing scenarios. A pot of these Toppers plus a booster is available for £10.
I mentioned in yesterday's update that Aaron and Charlotte Hull started their visit to Cherry Lake Cottage with a real bang on Monday when Aaron landed aa 33lb Mirror almost at the same time as Charlotte landed a 35lb Mirror.
Typical of Cherry Lake, things then went quiet for them until Thursday evening, with the Carp showing all over the lake, when Aaron called me to say he had a big Common in the net. I recognised it immediately as the same fish as caught by Carl Booth recently at a similar weight. Aaron is the 210th member of Cherry Lake 30+ club and was pleased that his 35+ hoody fitted him perfectly!
Aaron went on to land another Common, this time of 25lb on Friday morning and left with a happy family. They have booked to return next year.
Gary Hutchins in Osprey Lodge had an amazing 24 hours starting on Thursday morning..........you will have to wait for me next update which should be very soon! Watch this space!