The big carp are out as the lake comes alive in the spring
For me, and I expect many carp anglers, spring is my favourite time of year. The carp are finally fully awake after the winter and are on the hunt for food in the run up to spawning.
When I fish during the winter at Beausoleil, a handful of bait over my favourite big carp rig is all that’s needed, but as the carp’s appetite grows, now is the time to be more generous with the bait to get them moving around. It never ceases to amaze me just what carp can eat, but the golden rule as always is you’ve got to put it in the right place, piling it in where they don’t want it is a waste of money and it’s bad for the lake. As my experience as a fishery manager grows, so does my confidence with the winter feeding program of the carp. When we first took over the venue, I lacked the confidence to feed consistently through the winter and fish growth rate stalled. Following a very successful fishing session at the end of October, my confidence rose and I increased the feed rate of pellets to 30kg/week (as long as the air temperature remained at 7-8 degrees or higher). It wasn’t until my first session in mid February that I began to see the fruits of this labour.
Tracking the 30’s into the 40’s!
Keeping track of the growth of over 110 carp is just not possible but we do track the weights of all the carp over 30lbs (of which 34 are named). The first big carp of the year to grab my attention was Patch. Two years ago, Patch was first caught and named at 34lbs. In August 2012 it hit the magic 40lb mark twice, by Feb 2013 it’s up at 43lbs and by April it’s 44lbs 7oz!
Another big carp that’s getting bigger is Greyscar. He was first caught 2 years ago and came in at 44lbs 4oz. In March of this year he’s up at 48lbs 4oz. I’m sure he’s 50lbs right now!
It’s not just the big fish either, almost of the 30’s that we’ve seen this year have put on a pound or two over the winter. In fact the fishery has produced 19 different thirties and two different forties so far this year. We’ve also been able to name another seven that have hit the magic figure!
Obviously results such as these aren’t possible without the dedication and skill of our visiting anglers, many of whom choose to return, year after year. So if you were lucky enough to catch a 30lb carp or above this year, well done you guys!