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Le Moulin du Mee - The Bleak Midwinter!

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 And bleak it is at the moment with last night seeing us experience a temperature of -17c and the forecast for the next week looking little better. In fact next week will see a slight rise in temperature accompanied by more snow so winter really has embraced us with a vengeance. What the freeze does give us the opportunity to do is study the various springs that lighten the surface of the lake as the covering of snow on the ice melts. Strangely the ‘bubbling hole’ that we saw a few days ago has now iced over but 2 more have appeared close by. We also have our main spring, that flows from between the 2 spits on the Château bank, not only staying ice free but early this morning it had vapour rising from it which illustrates just how much higher the water temperature here is than the air surrounding it. I have posted a couple of pictures below that you may find interesting.

One thing we can be thankful of is that the cold temperatures will ensure that with the water clearing the carp will be exhibiting some superb colours when they come into the spring. Backs should be darker and the orange and gold of the tail and fins will be richer than ever. Spring is my favourite time for so many reasons but especially for the fabulous condition that the carp are in. A slow down in activity at this time may mean that weights are perhaps slightly lower than if the mild spell had remained with us, but that is more than offset by having carp that are feeding hard and glowing with colour. As soon as the ice melts we will be feeding the lake hard, firstly with maize but moving over to pellet and boilies once the water temperature reaches double figures. With both feed items being rich in fishmeal and the lake having such a rich larder of bloodworm and other naturals we can look forward to April and May with a realistic expectation of a new lake record or two. With the removal of most of the catfish the carp will be a lot more relaxed in their feeding habits and the big beds of bait should ensure that the carp stay around the baited area’s far longer than they did last year. It would appear that with great numbers of cats being attracted to the beds of pellet last season the carp would be forced to move off and feed elsewhere. That usually meant that the bloodworm beds became the regular feeding ground of the carp whilst the pellet and boilie patches were home to myriads of catfish. All is looking good……all we need now is a thaw !!

Posted by Jim Everiss on 09/02/2012 16:39 Categories : Le Moulin du Mee, UpdateThe Latest


Hooked in France - Fish Health

As part of our ongoing fish health programme, every fish caught in march and april will be injected with a powerfull antibiotic called baytril, this is just a preventative measure to help protect the fish from any infections/viruses which sometimes they get from being dormant during the colder weeks and it gives them a boost,i will issue our anglers with walki-talkies and every time they bank a fish i will come down and inject them,some people say that this is a bit over the top but our fish are a vey valuable asset and need to be looked after, after all without them we wouldn't be here

Posted by Alan Hawkins on 09/02/2012 18:16 Categories : Hooked in France, Update


Le Moulin du Mee - Perhaps a Thaw

Today is as cold as any we have experienced this year so it is with baited breath that we await the thaw that is forecast to start tomorrow. To be totally accurate we have got snow forecast tomorrow but the following days will see temperatures climb to the heady heights of +5c. I would imagine that it will take a good week or two before the lakes are completely clear of ice but at least we will be able to get back to work around the lakes. It has been very frustrating to have got so much of our planned work completed before the freeze set in only to find that 2 weeks of Siberian like weather has put us right behind schedule once again. We did plan on having a digger in for a day yesterday and got up well before light to ensure that we were quite ready to get started the moment it arrived. By 10am we had given up and a phone call soon confirmed our fears that all was not well. It seems the diesel was frozen in the diggers tank and after a good hour of effort it remained cold, silent and refusing to work !! Sounds a bit like me at the moment !!!

My morning walk was a cold one. In fact a very, very cold one with the sunshine marred by a bitterly cold north easterly wind that threatened to take my ears off. There were lots of animal tracks on the lakes and signs that wild boar had travelled along the stream in their search for food so although all is quiet during the hours of daylight it would seem that we have plenty of nocturnal activity around the lakes. The birds are struggling for survival in these conditions and they go about their search for food in almost total silence with just a rustling in the undergrowth to show where they are. The silence is only broken by the ratatatting of the woodpeckers and it is at these times that I really look forward to spring when the place is alive with the sounds of natures awakening. I yearn for the arrival spring so much that I have even resorted to watching some of our video’s where you can hear the cuckoo’s, the nightingales and all other sorts of birdsong as well as seeing the lake surrounded by fresh greenery and all bathed in warm sunshine !! Reminds me of what is just around the corner ! Happy days.

Posted by Jim Everiss on 12/02/2012 15:00 Categories : Le Moulin du Mee, UpdateThe 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


The Retreat - What's New for 2012

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Following the popularity and improved catches from the use of our bait boat in recent years, The Retreat now has a rowing boat for hire. It's hoped that with these two possible tactics to improve your baiting up, the fishing will be even better. Don't forget that bait can be purchased onsite, which the fish are used to and will further optimise your chances! The bait boat can be hired for 80 Euros per week and the rowing boat for just 50 Euros per week. Leaving you so much more room in the car for your other tackle!

The gardens have been relandscaped to improve the view of the lake from the gite and BBQ area. The area around the lake has been totally pruned back to make casting easier, whilst leaving a few major trees where the fish like to hold up. 

 

 

Posted by Craig Neary on 21/02/2012 18:55 Categories : The Retreat, UpdateThe 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


New Breathalyser Law in France

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 We've had several people contact us regarding the New breathalyser law in France. Here is a small article we found in the Telegraph which sums it up:

Drivers planning on heading to France this summer are being reminded that they will be required by law to carry a breathalyser in their car, writes Chris Knapman. The new measure comes into effect from July 1, and applies to anybody travelling through France. It means that at minimum, they will have to carry a single-use breathalyser with them. From November, those failing to do so will be fined €11 (£9.30).

The idea is that drivers can test themselves to check whether they are over the limit before setting off, although they should note that the legal limit in France is lower than the UK - 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood compared with 80mg.

Motoring organisation the Institute of Advanced Motorists is advising drivers to take at least two breathalysers so that if one needs to be used there is still a spare in the car if you are stopped.

We have found the cheapest ones on Amazon for £2.82, so it's wise to pre-order. The link to the Amazon one is: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Neewer-Electronics-Accessories-DIGITAL-ALCOHOL/dp/B004BIE2T2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1330426409&sr=8-1
 

Posted by David Gordon on 28/02/2012 10:52 Categories : Update


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