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News at Golden Oak
4 anglers. Lake exclusive. Inc accommodation. Car crossing
Additional Stock Added
We decided to increase our fish stock after identifying a gap in the 20 to 30lb range. Our existing fish have put on so much weight that we are in the great position of having plenty of 30 to 50lb fish, and of course we have to mention The Boss at a magnificent 59lb plus. I wonder what he will weigh this spring?
The quality of fish supplied to us by Michel & Laurent Bigot at our last restock was truly remarkable, they have all done so well, so we placed another order with confidence.
The weather had been pretty awful, but I don't need to tell you about bad weather, do I? I really think Team Bigot have divine guidance... they picked the perfect slot between the torrential rain, ice, & hurricane strength winds. We'd asked a couple of friends to help out as we didn't want to push our luck weather wise - but it's amazing how quickly you can move when the sky goes that deep purple colour!
Laurent didn't disappoint us & we received a lovely selection of mirrors & some of the best commons we've seen. All the carp were between 5 and 6 years old, weighing between 20 to 26lb and in absolutely pristine condition.
Dick as ever, kept a close eye on the lake, adjusting the level as the rain fell and spotted some of the newcomers exploring. They are obviously a gourmet strain of carp as they are guzzling up Dicks Mix already! That’s it, boys, anyone for 2nds?
We managed to get some great still shots but we passed the camcorder to a friend & sorry, but everyone can make a mistake. We have lovely shots of water, lorry, Dicks left ear, weigh sling (empty at the time) goats, and grass! Don't give up the day job, Jacky!
Well what a wonderful year it's been!
We were lucky enough to meet so many lovely people who chose to spend their holiday here at Golden Oak. As well as the fishermen, so many wives, girlfriends and beautifully behaved children(the goats are still overweight!).
We thank you all, it has been so much fun meeting you & we have enjoyed every minute.
And now for a crayfish update...............
Dick continues to keep the traps baited, but we have had hardly any in the last few months, great success, but we can't become complacent, so we will continue with this regime. Our neighbours are quite upset, no more crayfish suppers. I have to admit that I am not a fan, but the locals loved them. When we first started trapping them, Dick was catching a couple of hundred a week! This only lasted for two weeks, the numbers diminishing steadily as the weeks went by. Last weeks total was 9! Some weeks we are getting less, but the traps are waiting for them!
Although we close through the winter, it is a really busy time for Dick and I. We spend our days clearing the banks, cutting back vegetation and having huge bonfires! There is a lot of maintenance to be carried out, and nothing can compare with a welly full of water in November! Yes, he (who must be obeyed) gets the waders.
Time passes very quickly, there are always animals to look after and of course the fish to feed, I think Dick is going into competition with me when it comes to cooking, his parti mix is quite superb! When it is cold, it is lovely to disappear into the kitchen, with the log fire burning( so much better than TV). After buying a large section of cow, I am busy making beef & onion pies, pasties, stews etc. There is something wonderful about beef that spends the first two days in red wine!
We will be restocking the lake again this winter, more news on this soon, watch this space!
Our Holiday with you and The 52lb'er
It was with eager anticipation that we arrived at Golden Oak Lake to start our holiday, myself, my stepson Kevin and our respective families. The website photographs hardly do it justice, everything looked fantastic, as we arrived late we decided to leave sorting out the fishing gear until the next morning, Joe set out the most amazing meal for us. Bright and early next day we set up the bivvies halfway along the lake and settled into some serious fishing. Our optimism was a little tempered when Dick told us that the weather forecast was for high temperatures for at least the first half of the week, they weren't wrong the thermometer rose to 34 degrees, needless to say the carp didn't want to play, Tuesday was even hotter ( thank goodness for the plunge pool ) and again no runs. That evening we made the decision to move closer to the dam wall, where the water is slightly deeper. Wednesday morning we moved the bivvies and fed the chosen swims got the baits out and waited, guess what 36 degrees.
That Evening at about 6 o'clock we had a shower of light rain for about an hour and a half, Kevin and I decided that it was probably enough to drop the water temperature a little. With that in mind we made the decision to fish through that night, we repositioned our baits, which turned out to be a wise move. I was woken from my dozing by the sound of my bite alarm, as soon as I got to my feet it stopped, then went again for a couple of seconds, after what seemed ages the alarm started screaming, I picked up the rod and set the hook " Fish On " I yelled. There followed 20 minutes of playing the fish in the pitch black, the adrenalin was pumping and I lost track of where the fish was. By this time Kevin was at water level with the landing net in the water, the fish swirled about 15ft out, I was back in control, with steady pressure the carp eased towards the net head first. Kevin said " it's a good fish". I walked up the bank until Kevin said " it is in the net and it is huge! I told him to stop winding me up but he insisted " I cannot lift it out of the water. Between us we got the carp onto the unhooking mat and IT WAS huge. Three quick photograhs then into the weigh sling, zeroed the scales which eventually settled at 52lb 14ozs, I couldn't believe it, my previous best was about 20lb. You can imagine the buzz I was feeling.
The next morning we spoke to Dick and showed him the photo, he said it was the heaviest fish taken from the lake, without spawn. Unfortunately it turned out to be our only fish of the week, I didn't care, Kevin's view was slightly different!
I would like to add that even with the temperatures soaring Dick did everything humanly possible to help us catch fish, but as he says he cannot put them on the hook ( I think if he could he would ). All in all a fabulous holiday, the ladies enjoyed the sun and all the facilities, my grandson ( 2 years plus) had a whale of a time, Joe kept him entertained, feeding goslings, goats and horses. A great place to fish and relax.
The season so far was all going so well & everyone was catching great fish on a fairly regular basis. The fish were in prime condition, everyone was happy, and then...our first blank of the season.
Kevin had fished the lake last year and hadn’t had any problems, but now we definitely had one. A crayfish invasion was revealed. We have always had a few, it’s the reason our carp are growing so fast, but never any real issues with them in terms of the fishing before. Very swift action was called for.
We found that the source of the invasion was through the river - after exceptional rainfall many more crayfish had come into the lake, this combined with the heat (crayfish are always more active when the weather is hot) brought on this significant change.
Dick knew that we had to have expert advice on what to do. So he contacted Angling Lines field tester Paul Cooper, whose advice was invaluable. Also Shaun Harrison at Quest Baits and Fox International for info on any products that would help. They all added information and very quickly we got a detailed picture of the situation.
Crayfish are not really a big issue to anglers, you just need to fish smart and tackle up accordingly, particularly if you are fishing in the shallows where they are often most active. Being a rich food source for carp if you fish where the crays are you are fishing where the carp will be too. We found in our enquiries that many lakes have them present and they are present naturally in most of the rivers in France too.
So following on from the advice, Dick has been trapping the lake 24/7 with traps for the last week. Initially he was getting around 30 to 40 crayfish per trap but it’s already down to 10'ish and the numbers are continuing to drop steadily. We are confident that they will be back under control very soon.
In the meantime we are now stocking a full range of plastic baits, Fox’s Arma Mesh in a variety of sizes and plastic shrink tubing also in different sizes, so your baits can be protected.
Duncan last week’s angler caught 10 carp, even though the crayfish were still at their height (fishing early mornings & evenings he also had the biggest, weighing in at 43lb 10oz)
Being the good angler that he was, we have taken a picture of a couple of his suggested rigs which you can see below.
However, an ill wind & all that...
Of course something good comes out of everything and now we have some very happy neighbours, who cook them! Quite the gourmet meal, we understand!