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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 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

Woody's Hooked in France - Feeding Programme

Just to let our anglers know of our feeding programme during the autumn and winter (when the water temp is above 4deg) we feed with cooked maize and wheat, with cranberry and caviar boilies, remember this when you come fishing and always remember to use at least one of these as hookbaits. As of now we have put in close to 750kg of feed to help the fish put on weight and keep them healthy, so you can be sure of some hard fighting commons and mirrors. All of the above baits are available from us at very competitive prices and all are freshly prepeaired

Posted by Alan Hawkins on 09/02/2012 17:41 Categories : Woody's Hooked in France, The Latest

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

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

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

Birch Pool Retreat - What a start

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Our friend Paul arrived last Thursday to give us a hand with the last few bits and pieces to get ready for our 8th season and my goodness has he been rewarded, some of the fish he has caught so far include a 49lb Common, a 46lb Common, a 39lb Mirror, a 37lb Mirror and a 31lb Mirror.........I do hope we can persuade him to leave before the season starts lol.

Posted by Nikki Morgan on 12/03/2012 09:49 Categories : Birch Pool Retreat, The Latest

Lake Juvanze - We're off and running..

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Opening week, 3rd -10th March was superb. The Welsh Carpers, Big Gav, The Beast, Lee and Wiggy braved the cold and were rewarded with a total of 23 carp. Their average weight was 33lbs and each of them caught a 40lb+ fish. These included fish of 40.4, 42.0, 42.12 and 51.8. The 51.8, a new personal best for Lee was the first capture of this particular fish over 50, so it really topped a fantastic opening week. Most of the fish came to Juvanze Specials or Live System boilies fished over pellets.


Posted by Jeff Collins on 14/03/2012 19:28 Categories : Lake Juvanze, Catch ReportThe Latest