Carp eggs with their nuclei developing can easily be seen on the Willow Tree root

Warmer and some spawning

Three 30's landed including a fantastic new one!
Thursday 3 June 2021

The weather has been good this week up until today (Thursday), with the water temperature in Cherry Lake reaching 20C. As a result I have been getting a lot of questions about whether the Carp have spawned or not. Hence I will start this update with spawning news.

The first lake as always to show signs of spawning Carp was Cherry Mere. I have written before that this lake always warms up the quickest and is often warmer than the other lakes. They had a 'good thrash' over the course of 4 days until Wednesday. Now whilst it is always the younger smaller Carp which spawn first, with the older boys and girls taking longer and need more of a build up towards it (sound familiar!!), it might prove to be the case that all of the Carp have spawned in Cherry Mere. They have certainly stopped now.

Cherry Springs was the second lake, followed by Cherry Pool, for the Carp to start spawning. The Carp could be seen to be spawning in the margins, principally against tree roots, over three days. having spent a lot of time watching them, I am less optimistic that they are finished.

The Carp on Cherry Lake are always the last to spawn. This, I think, is principally because the Carp are bigger. It might also be that the water needs a little longer to warm up, but given the lake is only around 6 feet deep on average, I think it is more to do with the size/age of the Carp rather than the water temperature relative to the other lakes. Unfortunately it was not until yesterday morning when we started to see some Carp actually spawning, both against the reed beds as well as tree roots. With the change of weather on Wednesday afternoon this came quickly to a stop. There is a lot more spawning activity still to come.

One thing for sure though is that the Carp have been very easy to watch on all the lakes. I always find it fascinating to watch groups of 4-6 Carp charging around (some kind of Carp foreplay?) and how close they come to the banks of the lake. When they are like this (charging around the lake), very aggressive line bites are the norm. These will often take line off the clutch/bait runner and look like a proper take. Not only can 2 or more fast moving pre-spawning Carp catch the line as they are so closely huddled together , I don't think they care about feeling line. Given how much the Carp actually beat themselves up on the reeds/tree roots (and it sort of breaks my heart to see all the missing scales etc given how hard we work to keep them in good condition), hitting anglers line is not really an issue for them at this time.

Until I started running Cherry Lakes, I would not have been sure how to recognise Carp spawn/eggs. Across Cherry Lakes, finding and harvesting Carp eggs is very easy. Our lake margins have a high number of trees, and particularly Crack Willows. The roots of which frequently dangle in the margins and are great for the Carp's spawn to attach to. The Carp eggs can easily be seen in the photo above. Indeed, these eggs which are approx 2-3 days old, already appear to have black nuclei in the centre of the individual eggs, which are presumably the Carp starting to form and grow. I hope you like this shot!


This Mirror Carp can be seen spawning against the Willow Tree roots.

The fishing has a result of the Carp's focus on spawning dramatically slowed down across the complex. I would also like to thank all of our guests over the last week for responding quickly and positively to our requests not to fish in the margins during periods of spawning activity. By being sensible we can keep guests fishing in open water, where the Carp which are not ready to spawn will often be hanging out. The only thing they have to put up with is the line bites mentioned above.

Whilst it has been very slow this week, I do have three Cherry Lake 30's to update you on since my last update. Long term regular Steve Keen, set his new Cherry Lake best when he landed a 35-02 Mirror in the early hours of Wednesday. This is a lovely dark Mirror was caught by fishery manager Dave at a similar weight of 35-10 at the end of March (see my Latest News update of 07 April). This fish, along with two others he lost, including a 'real big one' at the net, all picked up our Bio-Spice fishmeal boilies with a yellow topper.

Steve Keen with his new Cherry Lake PB of 35-02
Steve Keen with his new Cherry Lake PB of 35-02

James Smalley stayed in Heron Lodge last weekend and struggled until Sunday evening. When he did call me it was certainly a Carp well worth waiting for. He landed a fantastic Linear Mirror at 30-02. I was delighted to see this fish which I immediately knew was a new 30+ for us. in the flesh this Carp was absolutely stunning. His beauty (I think it was a male fish) did not fully translate to thee photos. We had to move the cradle to the upper deck, because the low sun 'rippled' off the surface of the lake and impacted the photos. James is now the 218th member of the Cherry Lake club.

James Smalley with a truly stunning  Mirror of 30-02 from  Heron Lodge on Cherry Lake
James Smalley with a truly stunning Mirror of 30-02 from Heron Lodge on Cherry Lake

The third Cherry Lake thirty caught since my last update was caught by John Smith, who was also on his first trip to Cherry Lakes and was staying in Cherry Lake Cottage. During the course of his week he landed 4 Carp including this Common of 35-12. Very nice indeed and unsurprisingly John, our 219th member, has already booked his return date for next year. Well done to al the above.

John Smith with a 35-12 Common from the Cottage swim.
John Smith with a 35-12 Common from the Cottage swim.
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