Winter Report 2019/20
12 different anglers catch a winter 30+ from Cherry Lake and Cherry Mere
Friday 6 March 2020
I promised several updates ago to produce a 'Winter report', so despite the fact that it is bright and sunny outside and feels very Spring like, here it is.............................
This winter, which I am defining as being between 01 December and 29 February, has been a good one for winter Carp fishing across the Cherry Lakes complex.. We have had very few frosts (ironically until this week, the first week of March, when we have had three on the trot!), and very mild conditions. The relentless rain has ensured relatively warm south westerlies and low pressure. In short excellent sustained conditions for winter carping.
All of our lakes have produced when fished by anglers with some amazing captures. Several results really stand out for me.......
I think the most impressive was Ian Blackwell and Ian Taplin's record capture from Pochard Lodge on Cherry Mere at the end of January. They shared 44 Carp over a Friday to Monday stay. Their catch included 14 Carp over 20lb to 27lb. Wow!
They just edged out Gary and Rob Owen who shared a brace of 30's (32-07 and 30-08) at the beginning of December for the 'Cherry Mere prize', Gary and Rob accounted for two of the three Cherry Mere caught this winter. As you can see from the picture above Rob Owen was delighted with his PB.
Cherry Lake fished very well throughout January and February. It is sometimes difficult to know how well it is fishing because we have had spells with very few anglers fishing. The anglers who did venture out shared 15 different Carp, all but one of these being caught in the new year.
I always think the Cherry Lake Lodges are the 'ultimate winter bivvies' and the best way to go Carp fishing in the winter. Most of our guests feel the same.....but real 'hats off' to Nick Teague (34-04 Common see picture above) and Dean Goode (32-04 Mirror) who caught from their real bivvy's whilst fishing in the Cottage swim. Better (and tougher) men than me!
My favourite Carp, 'The Pretty One', was the first thirty of the year and was landed by Ryan Young from Grebe Lodge on New Years Day. A great start to the year from my perspective!
Charlie England who spent a lot of time on Cherry Lake during his February campaign was by far the most successful and accounted for 6 of these thirties. He really showed us what you can do if you are patient, confident and have a plan. In total he landed 23 Carp, 4 were doubles, 6 thirties and 13 twenties. A fantastic result and a great campaign.
Charlie's catch profile feels proportionate to the returns from other anglers. Generally in winter experience suggests that the Carp that are caught are bigger than the normal for the lake. This was the case for Charlie, with c 25% of the Carp that he caught being 30lb+. His catch was just bigger than the overall profile of the Carp stock for Cherry Lake. My current estimate is that we have around 60 (out of c300 Carp) thirties representing around 20% of the overall Carp stock.
The biggest Carp was caught by Jack Lyons when he landed 'Ruby' at 41lb. See the lead photo above. This was our first ever winter thirty. Well done Jack. We also had 4 other Carp over 35lb including 2 x 38's (both pictured above).
I was particularly pleased to see that 4 out of the 14 Carp caught so far this year were new thirties for us. A much higher number than I was expecting given that we have 43 different 30lb+ Carp in the 2019 catalogue. The biggest surprise however was Charlie England's 38-02 Mirror. This Carp also did not feature in the 2019 catalogue and was laast caught in September 2018 at 30-12 . An excellent growth rate from this reclusive fish.
Successful tactics varied throughout the period. Charlie was successful because he found some key locations and kept feeding and fishing them. Jack Lyon was successful because he cast to showing Carp. Very different approaches! The common link was that most anglers did not bait heavily. Small patches of crushed boilies with hemp, maggots and/or pellets with small boilies and pop-ups fished over the top being the best overall approach
Of the 15 thirties landed, eleven were landed in daylight hours with the 11-15.00 period probably being the most productive.
As always with Carp fishing..........you cannot catch them if your rods are hung up! Well done to all the anglers who visited and caught over this last winter. It is always good to see guests and particularly in the winter when it is otherwise quiet. Thank you for your support.