It was time again to partially drain down the lake this winter to sort through the biomass and carry out some essential maintenance.
To see the everything we’ve done during this drain down, check out the video below:
I took the opportunity to check out some of the features I know… and came across some new ones! I looked for a spot that Nik, who fished the last week of the season, had a few off, fishing from Point A. It’s located in front of a rock that you’ll find before you get to the bridge.
I found a two metre diameter feeding hole which was bang hard in the middle, and in the bottom of it was this huge branch that had fallen from the oak tree above. The carp had found something really good that they wanted to eat and excavated all around this branch. When Nik was here, the fish were crashing over this spot and he drove out his rigs with a bait boat.
We got the digger back in!
We always try and do our best to limit the accumulation of silt at the bottom of the lake and one of the jobs we can only do when the lake level is low is getting a digger in to excavate some silt out. We went around the shallows and near the bridge and dug out as much as we could in the time we had. It was great to see the wonderfully different coloured clays that were beneath the silt. The carp absolutely love this fresh scraped clay so they’re going to have a ball down there this year!
Not a lot of lost tackle
Each time we drain the lake, I know I’m going to find lost bits and rigs and I did again this time but to be honest, I didn’t find much. So a big thank you to all our visitors for following our rules and advice on mainline (20lb Nash Bullet or 25lb Berkley Big Game) and running rigs which mean less lost gear and less lost fish! I’m convinced that the switch over to barbless has had a significant impact with any hooks being shed by the fish before they reach the sanctuary of the snags. I only found 3 rigs around the bridge, one was a Ronnie rig which is banned.
Here’s where the cats like to hang out!
We were able to uncover the massive catfish holes round the back of the island. These holes are two to three metres diameter and they’re 50 to 80 centimetres deep! It’s an incredible feature that’s been carved out of the silt by the big catfish swimming in circles and literally excavating themselves a nest.
They’re quite difficult to find because you can pull a lead across them and you really won’t feel much because it’s very gloopy down there. The best way to find them is to go out in the rowing boat and very lightly tap with the prodding pole. If you’re looking for a hole like this casting from the bank then I would use a very light lead and literally just cast and cast and cast and if you go kind of soft drop after soft drop and then you get a firm thud, you might have landed in a hole and that’s a great place to drop a rig.
We didn’t catch all the fish in the net this year because there’s a very large silt hole in open water that all the big cats used to dodge the net! However, we weren’t looking to do a full inventory as we know what we have in terms of the specimen carp and the cats, we wanted to get some of the smaller fish and small catfish out and it’s mission accomplished as we got about 300kgs of fish out.
After the netting, it only took 2 weeks for the lake to fill back up so the fish have a few months of holiday now before the action starts again!