MTK 31-08 L.jpg

Not too long to go now! Back to normal in April

I sneak on Cherry Lake and land a couple of winter beauties!
Wednesday 24 February 2021

As I sit here in the office on a Wednesday morning, it feels very Spring like. We have an exceptionally warm (for the time of the year) southerly blowing up the lake. We have even seen our first Daffodil which has joined the Snowdrops (which are fading) and Crocuses in brightening up our days.

This feeling of 'a bounce in life', which I always get on nice days at the back end of winter, has been helped this week by Boris's roadmap. It is clear that we should be back to normal by the summer. We will be open in April and we are, according to the Angling Trust's website, expecting night fishing to be allowed from 29 March.

All this is good news except for all the guests who had booked to come this month. Over optimistically, I had hoped we could allow guests back this month. So I have just spent a 'painful' couple of days cancelling, re-booking and refunding disappointed guests. This time, because we are almost full until October, I have had to refund a higher proportion of cancelled guests because I could not find them an alternative. A lot of effort and heartache as well as bad for cash flow!

Our first Cherry Lake 30+ of the year.
Our first Cherry Lake 30+ of the year.

Given my ill-informed optimism about the timing of the lockdown restrictions being lifted, I thought I should, before we re-open, take advantage of an empty Cherry Lake to do some Carp fishing of my own. So for the last week I have done six day sessions in Osprey Lodge. Again my optimism has made it harder work than it needed to be. Fishing day only sessions is OK for me as my travel to fishing journey is very local!

I started last Tuesday, just after the ice had finished thawing out during Monday night. The water was very cold and typically for Cherry Lake no Carp were showing. As a result I endured a 5 day blank, with nothing other than a couple of line bites, and one run where I struck as the 'spool was whizzing' to meet nothing other than thin air (I think it was another line bite in hindsight).

I am pleased to say my spirits were lifted on Saturday afternoon when a lovely heavily scaled and coloured Mirror of 21-08 (see below) picked up my small pop-up which was positioned just off the deep channel which circuits the lake. A very welcome Carp indeed!

Apologies for a re-run of my 'Covid haircut' as well as stupid smiles.............not sure what these were about!

My first Cherry lake Carp of the year was very welcome. 21-08
My first Cherry lake Carp of the year was very welcome. 21-08

Monday was very quiet as was Tuesday until 4pm. I had literally just walked out of the Lodge door to start reeling in, when the rod which was positioned towards the house was off. After a tense couple of minutes playing the fish with the rod tip under the water and heavy side strain (not my normal style) as the Carp tried to kite to my right along the bank, this lovely 31-08 Mirror finally found it's way into the landing net.

I 'gained the honour' of landing the first thirty of the year. Interestingly this particular Carp was caught on 19 February 2020 at 30-02 by Clive Bashford, and would suggest this fish is one which is more inclined to feed in winter than some of the others?

I will continue to keep wetting a line, although I am running out of time to catch a winter 50 (winter officially ends on February 28th)! I expect the lake record holder 'Dick' to be over 50lb if she is caught between now and June.

Now a winter 50 would be a story! I will let you know how I get on.

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