The weather leading up to the arrival of this week’s anglers at Molyneux had been awful. On Thursday and Friday we had snow falling and settling to a few inches, and an icy North wind that was making the low temperatures feel so much colder.
Saturday morning and our first guests of the week arrived. Loretta and Brett, we were surprised that rather than a couple they were in fact Grandmother and her 12yr old Grandson, who was to be fishing.
This was a little awkward because our rules clearly state that nobody under the age of 16yrs old is to fish the lake unless supervised by an adult angler fishing in the same swim. This is purely due to the size of fish in the lake and, like all rules, for fish welfare and of course the angler’s safety.
We couldn’t of course ask them to go home, so I made sure that Brett understood to call me if he landed a carp and whatever time it was I would go out and help him with the handling, photographing and weighing of the fish.
Our other angler Jason, turned up a short while later, and after the initial cup of tea and chat we all wandered off for a look around the lake.
Brett was going to fish the cabin swim, where his Grandmother would spend the week, and Jason decided to fish Social 1 and concentrate on the back of the island.
The weather was still very wintery and chilly, with an evil Northerly wind cutting across the lake and through to our bones.
The guys got themselves set up and organised and were soon fishing.
Brett called me around 11pm to say he had a fish on but was struggling to land it. I shot along to his swim and found he had a good fish in close, but it was refusing to co-operate and plodding up and down the margin. I took the net and after a few minutes of Brett wrestling with it to keep it away from his other lines I managed to net it for him.
Immediately looking down on the fish I knew it was a very long fish, we took it up to the unhooking area, where Brett unwrapped his prize. A stunning orange coloured mirror, almost as long as his weigh-sling. I took some photographs and we weighed it. At 35lb’s exactly it was Brett’s largest fish by a long way. His previous pb being 19lb’s caught on a day fishing at one of his local waters. He had not even spent a night in a bivvy before this first night.
The following day was just as cold and windy, except there was rain to contend with as well. Both anglers gave their best but sadly nothing was to be landed.
Monday was slightly milder and more importantly stayed dry for the whole day. Still nothing came out. Monday night was the first night we have had this year where the temperatures didn’t drop below zero… Hopefully things were about to change for the better.
Tuesday morning at 3am Jason landed a cracking mirror of 38lb 12oz. He lost another at around midday, before landing a second at around 8.30pm, a 28lb 8oz mirror.
That night was much milder yet again, and at a little after 1am I was woken by the sound of my phone. Brett had hooked another fish. I shot down, and between him and Loretta they had managed to get this one into the landing net.
I broke the net down and rolled it up to lift. That was when I realised just how big the fish was. I lowered it onto the unhooking mat where we opened up the mesh of the net to reveal a proper lump of a carp. On the scales it proved to be 38lb 6oz.
At 7am, Brett had another, a much smaller common this time weighing in at around 10lb’s. I later learnt that Jason had lost a fish overnight.
At 3pm on Wednesday Jason landed the first Grasscarp of the year at a healthy weight of 31lb’s, in stunning condition. These truly are a lovely looking fish.
In the early hours of Thursday morning I was roused from my slumber again by a phone call from Brett. He had landed another big carp. I got dressed quickly, glanced at the clock and found it was 4am.
I jogged down to the cabin swim, where I broke down and rolled the net once more. Once again I was amazed as I tried to lift this carp. It was even heavier than the previous two, and by some way!!
I struggled to the unhooking mat, where I gently laid it down, I lifted off the mesh and there was an old friend….. Big Lin, our only named fish, and the largest in the lake. Brett had just broken his pb once again… but by how much… We lifted her onto the scales where they settled at 47lb 6oz, a new lake record, and a massive new pb for Brett.
Meanwhile Jason was having a mare, having lifted into thin air three times during the night after what seemed to be a run. I sat with him having a cuppa during the morning when he lost yet another. He lifted into a moving fish, felt a couple of knocks and it simply dropped off.
At 3.30pm he finally landed one, a lovely looking mirror of 31lb 9oz. Hopefully the spell was broken.
At 11.30pm he landed another mirror, this one 25lb 4oz.
At 5.45 am on Friday, Jason was to land another, this one a 23lb mirror. Then at 7am Brett landed another good carp. I shot up to his swim to help him and found another very chunky mirror in his net, this one weighed in at 37lb 12oz. He followed this up an hour later with a 13lb common.
Jason then caught a 16lb 2oz common at around 10am, the warmer weather was certainly making a difference to the catch rates.
At lunchtime Jason rang me to come and photograph a big mirror. I got to his swim, and together we lifted his sling from the water. He opened it onto the unhooking mat and there to my surprise lay Big Lin in all her Glory. Unbelievably she had been caught twice in less than 30hr’s, I had known her to come out twice in one week, but never quite this quickly.
She was weighed in very gusty winds which made getting an accurate weight difficult, but we settled on 46lb 12oz… a few ounces lower than the previous day’s weight. She behaved impeccably for the photo’s and off she went quite happily. The remarkable thing for me is that she is at record weight, yet appears to be carrying no spawn, her belly was empty. The irregular weather is obviously slowing them down. It will be interesting to see when they will spawn this year and what she weighs if caught just prior to this.
At midnight on Friday night I got another call from Brett, he had caught another, this one weighed in at 30lb 3oz. During the photo session, Jason called across the lake to see if I could photograph one for him.
I shot round there to find he had a 37lb mirror in the net, whilst we were attempting to photograph this one, another of his rods went into meltdown. He landed this one without too much ado, and found it to be another grass carp, this one weighing in at 22lb 8oz.
All in all a good week’s angling, despite the weather at the start of the week. The fish had certainly become more active during the course of the week, and some stunning lumps were caught….
Very well done to Brett who, for now, holds the Lake record with a weight of 47lb 6oz….
Wally, Molyneux Owner
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