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Le Moulin du Mee - The big freeze arrives at Le Moulin du Mee

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 After a wonderfully mild winter up to now mother nature has decided that we need to experience a touch of winter proper and here it is !! After several days of temperatures down to -10c and a heavy snowfall yesterday we find that both lake are now totally iced up. Thankfully we were able to put 100k of cooked maize out into the lakes the day before the freeze set in so along with the bloodworm and other naturals the carp have certainly got a full larder to graze on. To be honest the cold weather is probably a good thing as it helps to kill off a myriad of nasties in the water and in turn leaves a healthier environment for the carp once warmer weather returns. I have no doubt that the first carp of spring will be in wonderful condition and still sporting the vibrant winter colours that make them such a pleasure to see on the bank at that time. Personally I can't wait until the first warmth of spring to arrive and along with the sound of bird song I hope the warbling of my delkims will indicate that my first carp of the year is hooked. Happy days !

Posted by Jim Everiss on 06/02/2012 11:36 Categories : Le Moulin du Mee, Weather


Le Moulin du Mee - : Holes in the ice !!

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 We have just had our coldest night yet and the highest temperature we can hope for today is -5c so the big freeze continues and work around the lake must stay on hold for a few days yet. I took my usual walk around the lakes this morning and must confess that it was just about as cold as I can remember. The ‘breeze’ had such a edge to it that I was wondering which of my ears would drop off first ! The dogs seem to love the snow and appear to be completely impervious to the cold whereas I stumble along with cold feet, frostbitten ears and thankful for my warm carp suit. On that subject I will mention that I have had a Sundridge -10 carp suit for over 10 years in which time it has been used for numerous nettings, years of work amongst the brambles and scrub as well as the odd fishing trip and besides being warm and comfortable it comes out of the washing machine as good as new. These days it is good to find a product that can stand up to such heavy use and still remain in such good condition. I am sure that I will wear out long before my carp suit will.

Some interesting things can be found in these icy conditions and this morning I found a great many tracks left by foxes and badgers all over both lakes. Yesterday they were mainly around the margins of the lakes but by this morning the animals must have gained in confidence because their tracks were going right across the middle of the lakes. It will be hard times and poor hunting for them because all of our coots and ducks have moved off to the rivers and even the herons have deserted us for a while. The birds are so very quiet at this time and although they can be seen flitting in and out of the branches and undergrowth we have a distinct lack of bird song to accompany us on our walks.

Now here is a really interesting phenomena that I have never seen before ! Yesterday I noticed a hole in the snow and ice the size of a dinner plate and completely ice free. The rest of the lake is thick with ice and snow so what is the cause of this clear patch. Picture from yesterday below.

Last night we had the temperature drop to around -12c and the ice is getting thicker by the hour so you can imagine my surprise when I came across the same hole, this time with water obviously bubbling up !! The surrounding area seems to have less ice and the snow has also melted so we have reached the conclusion that it is caused by a spring rising at that point. It has never been seen before this winter so it remains a bit of a mystery as to why it should choose to appear at this time. Picture from this morning below.

Posted by David Gordon on 07/02/2012 11:57 Categories : Le Moulin du Mee, WeatherThe Latest


Le Moulin du Mee - The start of the big thaw ?

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Yesterday was bright, cold and caused all sorts of problems for us. We were without water for the whole day in the millhouse due to the icy conditions eventually reaching its fingers down through the ground and reaching the water pipes. Jimmy checked and re-checked all the pipes in the house and found them to be ok so there was nothing for it but to dig down through the ‘permafrost’ to find the pipes as they came into the house. The poor lad was up until three in the morning trying to resolve the issue without success…….me ? I was tucked up in bed !!! This morning we were shocked to discover that the temperature had risen to the heady heights of +2c and Jimmy eventually sorted out the water problem for us…..good lad.

My morning walk was very atmospheric in the murky conditions and a light dusting of snow accompanied me on my travels around the lakes. No sign of ice melt as yet but the light snow covering seems to be dissolving and that, hopefully, is the first signs that the thaw has begun. Lots of animal footprints, probably fox and martens, once again to be seen over both lakes but what they are hunting is a mystery to me as all our waterfowl have departed and other than a few coot paddling around in the main spring there seems to be very little prey about. The dead hair that we found yesterday has been taken so there will be at least one full stomach lying up amongst the undergrowth but I fear that a great many of the birds of prey are likely to be struggling for sustenance in these conditions. I have mentioned before that we have found the corpses of two buzzards that failed to weather the winter and this morning I saw a barn owl still hunting in the daylight, probably a last effort to find a meal. With snow lying for so long the voles and mice that the owls feed on make tunnels under the ice covering and so can go about their business without risk of being seen (or eaten for that matter).

We are hoping to be able to start on the tasks that need doing around the lake in the next day or so and I am expecting the arrival of the digger tomorrow – providing his diesel has melted of course – and Jimmy can get cracking on re-building the swims on the home bank once again. I will be carrying out my management roll with my usual candour so whilst the others will come in cold and tired I will be suffering from a sore throat from giving out the orders !! Happy days.

A picture of some fresh tracks in the snow on Poppy’s lake that I took this morning.

Posted by Jim Everiss on 14/02/2012 23:06 Categories : Le Moulin du Mee, WeatherThe Latest


Birch Pool Retreat - The thaw has started

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After -22 degree temperatures last week the lake has now started to thaw, we have a good supply of fresh water going in through the stream so fingers crossed it won't take too long for a complete thaw.

On a plus side it looks stunning, if a little cold lol.

 

Posted by Nikki Morgan on 21/02/2012 15:42 Categories : Birch Pool Retreat, WeatherUpdateThe Latest


Le Moulin du Mee - Open Water

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Yesterday was warm and sunny and finally we started to see some open water as the milder conditions produced the long awaited thaw. By late afternoon Poppy’s was around 80% ice free and Etang du Mee about 60%. We were working hard finishing the clearing of the area behind Poppy’s and have now reached the position that just a few more hours work and the task will be completed. The birds are starting to be heard once again with the chaffinches particularly noisy at this time along with the woodpeckers who were busily drilling into old tree’s in search of a tasty morsel for their their lunch. The egrets and herons soon put in an appearance and we were treated to the raucous calling of a skein of cranes passing overhead on their way north for the summer. This was quite a surprise as we never usually see them much before the second week in March so perhaps it is a sign that spring will arrive early this year. Whilst walking back along Home Bank we saw a good size pike just lying against a margin rock and at first thought it was dead ! Not so, as it spooked of at an alarming rate once it became aware of our presence. The pike will be preparing to spawn in the next few weeks so that there will be plenty of hungry baby pike around when the roach fry start to hatch. It is so good to feel the warmth of the sun on your back as you stroll around the lakes and it is a refreshing thought that in just another couple of weeks we can think about wetting a line. Happy days.

 

Posted by Jim Everiss on 21/02/2012 16:34 Categories : Le Moulin du Mee, WeatherUpdateThe Latest


Le Moulin du Mee - Spring has Sprung

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 Another lovely day with lots of warm sunshine accompanied by the chattering of birds and the squabbling of the ducks as they pair up prior to breeding. Jimmy has been getting on well with the swim rebuilding and ‘Sams’ is now ready to be backfilled and covered with fresh gravel whilst ‘Middle ground’ is just waiting for the boards to be fitted, probably tomorrow. Lottie has been busily tidying up all the shrubbery on the dam and I have continued with clearing the dead leaves, branches and general debris that seems to be produced every winter. We have found a nice crack in the boat so that has been beached up near ‘Sanctuary’ and will be repaired in the next few days. We have also located a leak in the dam of Poppy’s so that will need sorting before the season opens so we will have to arrange to have the digger for another day. There has been a lot of activity on the lakes with the odd carp showing along with plenty of pike and fry and we will be preparing another large batch of maize tomorrow to ensure the carp have plenty of readily available ‘energy food’ to supplement their natural protein intake at this time. With another week of fine weather forecast we will be taking advantage of the drying conditions to build the pathways round the lakes. Jimmy is also hoping to start work on the footbridges on the Home bank but I really think that he is being a tad optimistic and expect them to be under way sometime next week. All in all things are looking good for the start of the season with the only concern being the lack of any serious rain over the winter period. I fear that the water table all over France will be very low this year and many lakes will find summertime a real worry with low water conditions being suffered along with all the problems that can accompany it. Last year saw many lakes suffer mid season fish deaths due to low water and low oxygen levels so although our springs normally hold up well I fear that the aerator will be working long hours this year. March is often a wet month so let’s hope that we see a good few weeks of rain with the sunshine returning just in time for the arrival of our first anglers.

Posted by Jim Everiss on 27/02/2012 11:43 Categories : Le Moulin du Mee, WeatherUpdate


Vallee Lake 1 - Weed Clearance

Our weed clearing contractor has now been confirmed for week 26 on both Vallee Lake 1 and Lake 2.

We are hoping the weed will be minimal this year, however this precaution has been taken, and booked for this week in the event of any excessive weed present.

This would be cut and cleared from the lake within the shortest and most efficient way possible. We understand how frustrating weed can be and we think this is the best way to help you, the angler.

for any more information please contact carp-france.

All the best and tight lines, Mark & Nathalie.

 

Posted by Mark Collin on 27/02/2012 16:34 Categories : Vallee Lake 1, Weather


Etang Rendezvous - Warming up nicely

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The weather is warming up nicely now here at Rendezvous. According to the thermometer this morning the water temperature is 9 degrees and the fish are moving about nicely. Throughout the Winter, I stick to a 10 day feeding pattern, when the water temperature is 5 degrees or above, which over the years has lead to fish always gaining weight through the Winter which I'm really pleased with. I feed them with 10% protein Maize of the Winter which serves the purpose well, something to bare in mind if you're coming early on.

I was absolutely over the moon with the 61lb 4oz common which came out last September and hope to see a few more 60's pop out this season. I've put a pic of the 61lb common with this post - what do you think of the photo? 

We have invested in all new Nash Monster Carp Cradles and Monster Carp Slings for you to use this season along with scales which go up to 220lbs and plenty of tripods etc so you don't get caught out. 

The start of the season kicks off on Saturday, so we'll keep you all updated as to how things go.

Posted by Sandi Raby on 01/03/2012 11:16 Categories : Etang Rendezvous, WeatherUpdateThe Latest


Le Moulin du Mee - Summer today but winter is due to return !

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Today we have been basking in warm sunshine and working in shirtsleeves until the setting sun chilled things off. It really has been a glorious day or two we have been enjoying and, as usual a change in the weather such as this raises spirits with summer seeming not far away. The birds are filling the air with their songs as they start pairing up in readiness for the breeding season and we even had a Brimstone butterfly looking for nectar in the garden. The cranes came over in great skeins all afternoon and their calls can be heard even when they are still a mile or so away. The skeins circled over the top of our hill where they could be seen rising high on the thermals before setting off for Scandinavia where they spend the summer months. They were a long way away but I managed to get a few pictures using my new telephoto lens and thankfully the very effective image stabilisation ensured that some of the pictures came out ok. I have posted a few below for those of you that are interested.

The carp have become far more evident since the weather took a turn for the better and we have seen them on both lakes feeding over the maize that we have been putting out. We also saw several fish close in on Poppy’s lake where they were probably feeding on bloodworm. They were really stirring up the lake bottom so it would seem a fair assumption. We also had a dozen or so carp between the 2 spits on the main lake. We tend to regard this area as a sanctuary where they can escape from angling pressure but I am beginning to think that the attraction has more to do with the fact that this where our largest spring enters the lake. It means that the water is at a stable temperature all year so will be warmer than the surrounding water in the winter and cooler in the summer. Things are really looking good at the present and it is with great disappointment that I looked at the long range weather forecast today. It seems that next week is to be wetter (needed) but also very much colder with the chance of snow (not needed) on Tuesday. We shall see.

Some pictures of the cranes that I took today.

Posted by Jim Everiss on 01/03/2012 16:50 Categories : Le Moulin du Mee, WeatherUpdate


Etang Rendezvous - Welcome to sunny ....... or rather soggy, France

Gale force winds and very heavy rain. Water temperature down to 11c. But nevertheless we had the following catches:

Carp - best carp out mirror weighing in at 48+, the rest were 2x40+, 4x35+, 12x30+, 7x25+, 9x20+ and 5x15+.

Cats - only one proper cat weighing in at 58lb.

The highlight of the week was a 27lb grass carp which broke the lake record.

Total weight of fish 1,315lb.

Roll on summer!
 

Posted by Sandi Raby on 01/05/2012 13:01 Categories : Etang Rendezvous, Catch ReportWeatherUpdateThe Latest