Alfie Atkinson with his stunning 'Golden Mirror' of 7lb from Cherry Mere

Spawning starts early

Richard Haddingham's 41lb Common od Cherry Lake's 7th 40+ of the year
Wednesday 15 May 2024

Well what do I know!

Within two weeks of me saying that I thought the Carp would be at least a month behind in their build up to spawning due to the cold Spring, they go on their first spawning spree of the year at the first opportunity.

In most years, the Carp normally start spawning first in Cherry Mere, followed by Cherry Springs, Cherry Pool and then Cherry Lake in this order. Spawning rarely starts before the third week of May, and often Cherry Lake does not start until early June. This year it's been surprisingly different. I was shocked when Dave told me that the Carp were spawning on Friday! With the exception of Cherry Springs where there were reportedly only a few signs of spawning, the Carp were 'at it' for two to three days (Friday to Monday 09-11 May) across the complex..

Carp spawning
Carp spawning under my feet!

In most years we see several 'bouts' of spawning in the late Spring/early summer. I understand that once a female Carp has shed her eggs then she is unable to produce more and spawn again this year. The randy male carp, I believe 'can go again'. So the amount of future spawning activity remaining is very difficult to predict. My best guess is that we will see more spawning activity later this month and in June depending on the weather.

Just for fun I have included a shot of some Carp spawning under my feet (above) and one showing what a mess they made of the reed bed with all their thrashing around.

Reedbed destroyed
The Carp did a good job of breaking up the reed bed!

The spawning activity across Cherry Lakes is broadly similar, in that the Carp spawn in the margins. They use the reeds and tree roots (which unfortunately cause more injuries to the fish). Given this, and the fact that not all Carp are spawning, we simply ask any guests not to fish to he margins until they have stopped. Fishing though can be hard after spawning, partially I think because some of them simply need a rest, but also because they all enjoy as much 'caviar' (their own Carp eggs) as they can eat! Certainly beats a boilie!

Having said that there are some good Carp to be caught. The most interesting of which was the 'Golden Mirror' from Cherry Mere which was caught by Alfie Atkinson. This is not a Goldfish' but a genuine Mirror Carp with the full golden mutation. As I have said before, it is amazing that this fish survived its time as a very visible fry and survived to a point where it should be predator proof. This will make a real target fish when hopefully in a few years time it makes 20lb. Nice one Alfie.

Richard Haddingham. 41-00 R
Richard Haddingham with a 41lb Common from the Cottage swim.

The biggest Carp caught sine my last update was this 41lb Common from the Cherry Lake Cottage swim by Richard Haddingham. Richard who is a good angler and has done well in the past, struggled throughout his stay before landing this lovely fish on his last day.

Richard's Common is our 7th different 40lb+ Carp from Cherry Lake of the year. We have also had 29 different Cherry Lake Carp over 30lb caught, all of which are documented in my 2024 30lb+ catalogue. As I have been absent from the fishery a lot, I am sure I have missed a few. Regardless our running total of 30lb+ Carp from Cherry Lake is 36 year to date

Tom Hughes. 34-08 R
Tom Hughes with the biggest of 3 x 30's. This distinctive Common weighed 34-08

Tom Hughes returned last week for his annual visit to Cherry Lake and landed 6 Carp including three over 30lb's. Mirrors of 33lb and 34lb. The biggest was this very distinctive Common of 34-08.

James Hine also returned and had a cracking big shouldered Mirror of 31-12. I will include in a future update if I can get a photo which my limited technical skills can use! (Sorry James!)

As reported through Facebook we have had some great catches from Pochard Lodge on Cherry Mere. Not least by David and Justin Taylor who landed 21 Carp over a weekend including 12 x 20's and a 33lb Mirror. Again apologies for the absence of photos, because I could not use the suite of photos sent by Justin

Well done to all the anglers mentioned above, and apologies if I have missed your captures.

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