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Catch Reports

October 2012

So the day has finally arrived when everything is handed over to the new operators of Moulinots, Terry and Wendy Wills (WT Fisheries). Kathy and I have lived our dream for the last 11 years, so many memories, so many new friends and so many bottles of wine given away, perhaps 1 day I will count up how many. I have more or less brought the catch reports up to date (about time too some of you will be saying), sorry if some of you guys didn’t get a write up but it is now time to pack our bags. Thanks for all the presents, good wishes and the memories, it really has all been emotional and something we will never forget. We know that the legacy of Moulinots will continue and is in the very capable hands of our friends Wendy and Terry!!! It’s goodnight from him (and her)!!

The ceremonial burning of my bivvy which as all my guests will know is rather unique i.e. bleached colour, contains plants and reeds inside (up to 15″ again), has a health warning entry sign and hasn’t been moved for over 6 1/2 months, has now been moved and burnt. Personally I would have auctioned it on Ebay. This year I have been asked many times am I still going to continue fishing in the UK and/or France, no guys I am giving up fishing totally, hard to believe maybe, but true! I have also been asked by quite a few of our regular groups if I would like to join them on future holidays at Moulinots, I am flattered by the invitations but have to decline. Anyway enough about me and on to some catch reports……

Last week (w/c 6 October) I caught a 48-08 mirror and a 43lb common, whoops sorry I am talking about me again! My “old” mate Paul Vickerstaff along with 3 of the regular Surrey lads graced the banks again and Paul used every underhand method to ensure that he finished up top rod and pip me in the pairs competition with 15 minutes remaining. Never before have I been forced to have to fish an area in the lodge swim the size of a postage stamp. There was so much pressure on me to cast accurately (something I have rarely done in the past) which resulted in 2 visits in the trees and 1 spare rod being launched into the lake being tangled by another rod during a hasty cast to a showing fish (in my swim) before Mr Vickerstaff was able to infiltrate that area also. The final insult was that Paul’s nephew Dale struck Paul’s rod to hook the winning fish, there is cheating and there is cheating! Well done to Paul and his partner Wayne Pullen (Kent) on spoiling my final competition and continue my miserable losing sequence, b–stards! Paul had 6 fish to 45-04, while Dale (still the holder of the largest common here) only had 1 fish which was a pb mirror of 52-04. Andrew Nash tried hard but only landed a 42lb common and the 4th member of the Surrey group Stuart Creed managed to catch 5 fish including the same mirror that his dad (Mark) caught in May, but only at a mere 55-04, no doubt Mark will be gloating about that. Please pass on our best regards to the others who were not able to make this trip i.e. Mark, Freddie (Neil), Chris & Jake Walton, PC plod (Ed), Chris Smith and of course golf guru Dave. The 2 Kent lads Stuart Curtis and Wayne Pullen on their 2nd visit to Moulinots (both this year) again went away smiling. Stuart had a 45-02 pb mirror followed up by a 49-08 pb common amongst his 4 fish tally and Wayne still in search of his 1st 40 got very close on the Sunday with a 39-08 pb mirror and is still in search of his 1st 40, there again he did go away with his 1st ever 50 catching a 51-08 common on the final morning, well done to both of you guys and yes it was a real shame we didn’t meet a few years ago, I could have trained Wayne how to drink wine!! Finally the flying English Dutchman Anthony Briggs on his ???th visit and again trying to catch that elusive 1st 50, once again he unfortunately missed out. Due to the weather conditions the shallows were never going to produce many fish, though Anthony did catch 2 mid 30’s before moving swims to deeper water but ended up with just the 2 fish. We would like to thank all of the guys for the support over the years and wish you every success in future visits. To my very good friend Paul, this may be the final chapter on us fishing together but the next chapter will be about the social to be planned for next year, we look forward to seeing you and some of the group in Cornwall. Any money I have lost in fishing competitions over the years will be recouped on the golf course so you had all better get some practice or in your case Paul get some beginners lessons. The barbecue was as usual a low key event with everybody agreeing that the fishing that night would be taken seriously and that there would not be a late night. I would like to say that this plan was well executed, but as usual it wasn’t!! A very enjoyable week (as usual), there were 26 fish landed which included 3 50’s and 7 40’s and a good average weight at 37lbs.

September 2012

The final week of September and always good to welcome back Moulinots supporter Simon “Buzz” Bullen, nearly man Gordon Wood, lake record holder (biggest fish captor and heaviest angler) Adrian Ford and other friends. Simon had 3 fish to 41-08, Ad only the 1 fish (55-08 mirror) and Gordon FINALLY caught a 50, well 2 actually. Struggling to catch anything before Wednesday, Gordon then landed a 48-12 pb mirror and I thought close again but no cigar (well not 1 of mine anyway, too expensive), but I was wrong! He caught both 50’s in the last 24 hours (approx), commons of 53-04 and 51-00, a great result and well earned my friend and don’t you ever call me cantankerous again!! 1st timer Mark Lewis and a regular visitor to France did what a lot of people do here, love the lake etc. and catch pb’s. It didn’t take Mark long (about 9 hours) to get a pb catching a 54-04 common and he followed up with another 8 fish including a pb mirror at 42-08. He is also now addicted to our house white wine! Returning to carp fishing after a long break, so I am told, Steve Bryant also had 2 pb’s (44lb common and 43-10 mirror) while wind up merchant (according to him, not me) Greg Wood (unrelated to Gordon and I wouldn’t wish that on Gordon anyway) had a new pb mirror of 46-04. In total 24 fish were caught including 4 50’s and 6 40’s, good average weight for the week of 37-07.

W/c 22 September and as on a lot of the previous weeks an emotional 1 for us knowing that this would be the last time that we would probably meet the guys. Firstly a special thank you to Graham Tree for presenting us with a dvd that he has compiled from film footage taken of previous visits to Moulinots over many years, very emotional for us to watch and a lovely retirement present. Unfortunately as much as we love the dvd, after careful review and thought, we do not think it is suitable to replace our existing promotional dvd (lol). Graham’s reward for all his effort was catching his first ever 50 (50-12 mirror) and 1 of Moulinots top anglers (behind me) Martin Hewett who hates my vintage wine, again reluctantly had to receive another bottle catching our chop tail common at 56lbs. For good measure he also caught another 11 carp, however I would like to read in the future how he performs in the lodge (swim)? The other Dartford lads Mel Meredith, Swell and Phil “pony tail” Gilham all tried hard but struggled catching 2, 1 and 0 fish. As you know I have relatives in Dartford and I hope we will all meet up for a social in the new year. Trevor Botterill (USA) had 3 fish (incl a 44-04 pb mirror) as did his friend Glen Baynton, but again the big fish were elusive to Glen. The old boy (me) managed to catch (and lift) a 53lb mirror, many thanks to Mel for coming round in the pouring rain to take a picture for me on a camera that wouldn’t work, at least the thought was there! Another very enjoyable week guys and like a lot of our many regular customers you will be missed!!!

W/c 15 September and Darren Bigmore’s group (Essex) that included a few new guys. A lot of bottles donated to the guys, 9 pb’s in total including Darren Bigmore (52lb common), Mick Tucknott (43lb mirror), Lewis O’Driscoll (48-08 mirror), Sam Cockle (36lb common) and Andy Cockle (49-10 mirror). In total 22 fish were caught which included 1 50 and 6 40’s.

W/c 8 September and welcome back the West Sussex lads (Craig Brown’s group), Graham Renn’s small group and Moulinots specialist Lee Ward (Bristol). As usual a competition was arranged and as usual the rivalry was intense. Roy Foster still smarting after a rare defeat earlier in the year, started the week as though he was going to break all records by catching 4 fish in the 1st 17 hours but then didn’t catch anything until the final Saturday morning. Surprisingly his tally of 5 fish was good enough to take the top rod prize though Andy Sopp did match Roy’s total but decided that he was not going to join the competition, ouch all that money you could have won! Alan Sands also came close to winning by catching 4 fish while Craig (probably resting on his laurels after the April win) only caught 2 fish this time, the same as Lee and I think Lee’s worst result in the 20 or so trips he has made to Moulinots since 2002. A cheap week for me with only 1 bottle of wine awarded, this went to Graham who caught a 54-09 mirror on the final morning. Another week where the big fish seemed elusive with only 2 fish over 40lbs being caught out of a total of 24 fish. A big thank you for Mark Longhurst from Kathy (and me) for the present, if we had known in advance about it, we would have allowed you a ride round the lake on the quad mower!

W/c 1 September and another former lake record holder returns and fails. Swindon’s Don Lea who we have known for many years only caught 2 fish this time, 25 short of his previous visit while Mark Surman also back on his 2nd visit this year caught 4 fish including a 43lb linear. The English lads living in Holland also back for a 2nd time this year repeated their usual feats, plenty of socialising and catching the occasional fish, with Kevin Doherty again leaving it to the last minute to catch a carp and again a pb (51-07 common), luck of the Irish I suppose? Ian Whitelaw managed more dinners than fish which must be a pb and Craig Bolton also left it to the last minute to catch anything (5.30 am on the Saturday). The barbecue was a low key event except for Hank (Brad Gray) and I continuing to entertain (by walkie talkie) into the early hours, the new footage of the dancing will not be shown on U tube due to a head banging incident, that lodge wall hurts!

August 2012 

The final week of August and how the mighty fall and I don’t mean at the barbecue, just ask former lake record holder Gary Pymont! Occupying 1 of the most productive swims he failed miserably only catching 3 30’s which just goes to prove that my previous comments about how he fluked the lake record on the previous visit was the truth! Possibly the success and publicity that he earned throughout the carp world in April just got to him, too much pressure and not enough angling ability. Never mind Gary you had your week of glory and I am sure you will enjoy another in the future m8. One persons demise is another person’s success and I am pleased to report that Gary’s lifelong buddy Steve Miller finally outfished his friend and was top rod of the week (another fluke) catching 8 fish including a 47-04 mirror and a 40-08 common. No wine for Steve this time just the satisfaction of seeing Gary struggle, which I also enjoyed. Dave “the hacker” Tucker not known for his fishing ability and even less for his golf, hardly troubled the scorer at either sporting event, just 2 fish and probably a couple of points more at Stableford, the only consistent thing was that he was the worst angler on the lake and finished last at golf, but as always he was good company especially trying to talk to me 1/2 way through my backswing! Cheese and port expert Alan Gosnell fully fit again after his miserable week in April (through illness or over eating) had a quiet week (well for him anyway) only catching 4 fish which was a disappointment after he started so well with 2 on the 1st day. God’s gift to women Mark “Grinner” Chambers decided to concentrate on his fishing this trip and it paid off, he caught 5 fish (including mirrors of 49 and 40lbs). New members of the group Brian Felton and his son Luke both had pb’s and animal lover James Morris had a week to remember catching 5 fish including commons of 45 and 40lbs as well as a 42lb mirror and a rare visit from a wild cat not seen at Moulinots before (a replica tiger placed in his swim at 2 a.m.). I think everybody on the lake was woken up by James scream, what a laugh! In total 32 fish were landed including 9 40’s.

W/c 18 August and the weather still very hot and not ideal for fishing but sunbathing and nice to see with 2 young ladies on the lake, now then, now then, now then! Only 2 pb’s achieved by Steve Cuthbert (45-02 mirror) and Stuart Brightman (55-13 common), while Dean Thexton had a 44-12 mirror, Stuart a 44-09 mirror and Hammers supporter (who didn’t get hammered all week or by Fulham on the Saturday) Sean Gray a 42-06 mirror, in total 23 fish were caught.

W/c 11 August and a new group of guys on the lake, plenty of sun but not many big fish. Paul Webber’s group caught 28 fish but only 1 50 and 1 40.

W/c 4 August and the last time I get to fish with my very good friend Frank Oakman, well actually I didn’t! Wealthy Yorkshireman Steve Price wanted to fish the same swims that I had planned to occupy with Frank so I decided to stay in the lodge swim (as always) and miss the opportunity to fish with Frank and grandson Luke, real pity that. Steve must have known something that we didn’t, he caught 17 fish including too many pb’s to mention except that his tally included mirrors of 43lbs, 49-06, 44-06 and a 43-00 common, well done. His stepson Stuart Corbett who we hardly saw all week (illness they tell me – lol) caught 4 carp including a 51-01 pb common and a 41-04 mirror. Adrian “Adonis” Moulder won the body building competition (as always) but struggled with the fishing (only 2 fish) as did his nephew George Bryant (3 fish) and friend Ashley Bull (3 fish incl a 45-14 mirror). Frank and Luke didn’t do very well either, probably their worst ever result with only 2 fish each and no monsters! I did even worse being the only person to blank, quite used to doing that though when Frank is on the lake. Kathy and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Frank and Pauline Oakman for all their help over the last 10 years and look forward to continuing our friendship outside of fishing. In total 34 carp were caught which included 1 50 and 8 40’s.

July 2012 (summary reports only)

W/c 28 July with very high temperatures at the start of the week and the carp feeding on naturals making it a difficult week though Kevin Stanzl did extremely well to catch 9 fish including 2 40’s while his son Dan also did well landing 5 carp to 40lbs. The guys both fished boilies over a bed of hemp which occasionally does produce good results but not always! In total 20 fish were caught including 3 40’s.

W/c 21 July and a very slow week with only 14 carp caught which included 3 40’s and 7 30’s, it seems like the fish are pre-occupied with naturals after all the on and off spawning this year. Having just got back from our holidays the lake is alive with small fry!

W/c 14 July and some improvement in the fishing, Billie Ellwoods small group had a total of 35 fish including 1 50, 2 40’s and 12 30’s, unusually high proportion lot of sub 30s landed. Star of the show was Billie’s 8 year old lad Jimmy who caught 6 fish including a 51lb common, 1 40 and 3 30’s, thanks for the photos Billie.

A week that 8 year old Jimmy Ellwood will remember and so will I, my favourite photo (left) in 11 years with my favourite fish (anywhere)!!!!!!!!!!

W/c 7 July, Rob Johnsons small group had 25 fish including 1 51lb mirror (Hank), 2 40’s and 8 30’s, apparently spawning was still a factor during the week.

After such a great week it was probably not surprising that we were due a hard week (w/c 30 June). Ray Bristows (Essex) group only managed 18 fish which included 1 40 and 5 30’s. I am told that spawning was still a factor and would assume that the carp have switched to naturals

June 2012 

Only 1 week to our July break and w/c 23 June we had 9 more new visitors to Moulinots and my nephew Paul Day (Dartford) who after 10 years decided to take full advantage of his uncles offer of a discounted price for a family member, I am all heart! The genorosity stopped though when I was also asked if I could supply Paul with fishing tackle, it would have taken me too long to work out the hire charges! Fortunately Paul does have a few friends and his mate Sean (not able to get on the lake) loaned his tackle to him and now probably wishes he hadn’t. Considering that my nephew hasn’t being fishing much in the last 10 years, the lack of practice didn’t stop him having an excellent week, 14 fish which included mirrors of 58lbs (pb) and 49-08 as well as a new pb common at 36-08. All that angling education in the past from his uncle and late Grandad finally paid off! Paul’s 2 friends Chris Knight and Dave Clary ably assisted by Paul (yeah right) also had a good week, Chris catching 7 fish (incl mirrors of 49-08 and 42-08) and Dave with 5 fish (incl commons of 45 and 43lbs). Michael Alexander and his son Sam had a tough week with only 3 fish landed between them, the largest a 44-04 common (pb) to Sam. Kent boys Wayne Pullen and Stuart Curtis faired a little better with Wayne landing 4 fish (incl a new pb – common of 38-14) and Stuart landing 13 fish which included commons of 48lbs (pb) and 44-10 and a new pb mirror at 38-08. Wayne did have the consolation of being top tic catcher (horrible things), attracting 3 from memory. Just a short pause with this report to say that I have been amazed by the catch reports this year, many records having been beaten which I thought would remain for years only to be broken several times. In particular the record for the angler catching the most carp in a week (which stood for 8 years) was broken in April, then May and has now gone again in June (yes June)!! The record for the total carp caught in a week i.e. 103 was also under attack and to be honest I am not sure whether the total number I recorded for the week is correct or understated? I have met many anglers over the years at Moulinots with mixed abilities and have always thought that it is a moderately difficult lake to fish, which is the way that I had set it up and what I want from a fishery. This year I am wondering what is going on?? When 1st timers arrive on a Saturday morning, I like to study how the guys treat the 1st 24 hours, they are all tired and I try and point out that the lake normally fishes slow the 1st 24 hours due to the vehicle movement and disturbance. Most people take the approach that the trip is a holiday, as well as a fishing marathon and not a sprint, so when I notice somebody really working hard (something that I know very little about) from the start, I often worry that they are putting themselves under pressure. 1 guy I need not have worried about is our new lake record holder Lee Wilmshurst (Herts) who came to Moulinots with a target and in my opinion unbelievably achieved it! He never stopped working hard and fully deserved the success he achieved, his friends Lee Simmons and Chris Cook had told me (off record) that Lee always makes the most of his fishing trips and they were right! Lee ended up with 31 fish and amazingly none were caught at night, his total included 4 40’s (mirrors of 43-01, 42-07 and 42-04 and a 41-02 common) and 11 30’s. All I can say Lee is that was the best exhibition of fishing I have seen at Moulinots, congratulations!!! Lee Simmons probably also set another record by catching 2 braces in a week, the 1st a common of 39-14 and a mirror of 45-06 and the 2nd with a 44lb common and a 32-04 mirror, the other 6 fish he caught were landed 1 at a time (lol). Finally Chris Cook managed 7 fish and like his 2 friends now leaves here with new pb’s. In total (after a recheck) I make it that 98 fish were caught (including my few) which included 1 50, 15 40’s and 30 30’s. The other strange things were that some of the carp were spawning at the start and end of the week and I also managed to pursuade Lee W to leave the lake and join us at the barbecue, well no point catching all of the fish in the lake on your 1st visit, something to aim at next time! Well done to everybody!

W/c 16 June and a warm welcome back to Pat and Richard Dowse (Essex) after a 5 year gap of visiting us. They were 1 of our original customers back in 2002 and I think that Richard was a little worried about coming back in recent years in risking his back trying to lift 1 of our bigger babies should he catch 1, which in itself is a little optimistic. It was very enjoyable looking back at the old catch reports and reminding me of how the fishery has progressed since the early days, in fact it was slightly embarrasing looking at the old weekly average weights, the number of doubles being caught and the size of the biggest carp caught. Pat (bless her) thought that Kathy and I had not changed since we last met in 2007, that’s Pat and us not Kathy and me! I was almost inclined to offer a free weeks fishing for that compliment, only a passing thought though. Pat performed well all week (even bbq night) landing 6 fish, her 1st fish a 37-08 mirror (pb) which by the end of the week ended up as her 3rd biggest fish, she caught other mirrors of 43-12 and 40lbs and for good measure a new pb common of 30-08, well done girl! Richard tried hard but had to settle for 2nd best to the Mrs, he caught 3 fish which included a pb common of 45-04. He also had to settle for 2nd place in the race back to the lodge swim from the dead tree swim, beaten by ……. yes me….. I wish I had timed the race as I am sure that since I packed up 60 cigarettes a day, I am now 3 seconds quicker on that stretch. Time trials will be taken later in the year. It just shows how time flies, since I last saw Pat she now has a lad in his 30’s (lol). Gareth on his 1st visit to Moulinots struggled to catch anything until the Wednesday but continued to remain positive and was rewarded with 7 fish, all bigger than his previous pb’s. His catch included a 45lb common and mirrors of 44-07 and 43-03 which left Gareth smiling like a cheshire cat for 3 days (check out the photos). Another returning previous visitor to Moulinots with Pat & Richard was Wayne Langford, again with a new family member, his lovely wife Natalie. Similar to Gareth, Wayne did not catch anything until the Thursday but I guess that his 1st fish a 58-08 mirror (pb) made up for the long wait. Wayne had 4 other fish and probably feeling a little guilty he finally let Natalie play a fish on her rods (a 26-08 pb common), anything to make sure she received a bottle of wine, why not nearly everybody else did! Also good to see Wayne’s dad Ken again, now he hasn’t changed in the 5 years since we last met, still a very young looking 70ish gentleman and more than capable of catching fish (4 this time). Richard Batman and his friend Steve Judd had 4 and 1 fish respectively, every 1 of them a new pb, the best of these to Richard with a 44-08 mirror. The other 2 guys in the group Matt Gogarty (another fast speaking Irishman) and Wayne Holland whom I rarely saw. They both had a couple of fish each, with Matt catching a 44lb common (pb) on the 1st day and similar to Richard B not understanding my fishery rules he thought that this is rewarded with a bottle of everything being given away at the barbecue for own consumption, even my port. The barbecue was as usual an eventful night, me in my element with 2 ladies to dance with and yet there is film footage of me and Wayne (Natalie’s husband) on the dancefloor, how did that happen and no it isn’t going onto Utube!! A total of 37 fish were caught which included the 1 50, 8 40’s and 15 30’s and a total of 16 pb’s.

W/c 9 June and time to test my memory on remembering names, 8 new people all from Stoke on Trent. Having done my Saturday morning speech and then recorded the guys pb’s, I knew from the start that this was going to be an expensive week and the guys didn’t let me down. The Bradburn brothers Dave & Phil did their best to make sure that my wine cellar was not totally cleaned out with Dave unfortunately failing to catch anything while Phil had 2 of our smaller fish. Comedian and international import entrepreneur Dave entertained us at the bbq with jokes for every occasion, don’t think I have seen anybody remain so positive for the whole week and not catch anything, really enjoyed that night just can’t remember the last couple of hours! In total there were 16 pb’s between the other 6 anglers, in fact the 1st 6 fish landed were all pb’s, probably a record in itself here? Top rod (most fish) was young Kyle Dewsnap who managed 19 fish including 3 40’s, an excellent result for a 1st timer, well done! Kyle’s grandad Paul got the week off to a good start with a new pb (45lb common) and followed up with 5 more fish, 3 of them being caught in the final 24 hours after a last ditch move to the shallows, it often pays to move swims here! Sean Glover who helped Paul organise the holiday, had 2 fish including a pb common at 36-07 while Mick Champion was probably thinking that a bl–k was on until he eventually caught 1 on the Thursday and followed that up with 5 more fish including a pb (common) at 40-04. John Tunnicliff fishing alongside Dave, imagine listening to somebody telling you jokes for 10 hours a day and for 7 days, worse than me playing Moulinots fresh fish FM on the radios, well maybe not, anyway John also only had 2 fish but both pb’s. Finally it was left to young Andy Simmons to make sure we had a respectable number of big fish on the bank. Andy’s previous pb’s of a 25lb mirror and a common too small to mention, were smashed numerous times! In total Andy had 12 fish of which 8 were over 40lbs and of these 3 were over 50lbs, it would be an understatement to say that Andy left Moulinots a happy man. He landed mirrors of 54-08, 52-00, 44-08, 44-00, 43-00 and 41-02, the commons were 50lbs and 42-06, great job Andy and good bailiffing Thursday night, not sure who looked after you though (probably Kyle). In total 49 carp were caught which included 3 50’s, 10 40’s and 14 30’s and considering only 4 fish were caught by the Monday morning a good recovery in the end.

W/c 2 June and my old friends Don Lea and Matt Nobbs (Swindon) finally back at Moulinots after a 5 year gap (from fishing not just here)! How time flies, as we all thought it was only 3 or 4 years ago since they graced the banks, my catch records confirmed it was 2007. Two of the other guys had also been here before 2007, Craig Thompson whom I didn’t even recognise as he had lost so much weight which I think Paul Stone had probably accumulated. Ok so let’s start with the returning anglers and after the spawning week, things quickly returned to normal. 2 records recently set by Gary Pymont were quickly under threat by Don who caught 11 fish on the Sunday and with me geeing him on to try and make sure that only decent anglers hold the records at Moulinots, took the challenge seriously. During the week I spent a lot of my hard earned money texting Gary (+ others) providing a breaking news service. In spite of Gary’s efforts to try and get me to come up with a reason to ban Don before the record(s) were broken, Don went where no angler has been before catching 27 fish (including a 45.08 pb common and 45lb pb mirror). Sadly Don had to pack up fishing on the Friday night as his wife had gone into labour and Don rightly had to rush back, not sure I would have done that! Very well done m8 and we wish you and your family all the best in the future. Part time fisherman Matt, or even sometimes not at all, also now a family man since I last saw him, spent most of his time watching the fish jumping rather than trying to catch them. My records show that Matt had 10 fish though I think it was actually 11, his catch included a new pb common of 40-04. Craig also managed a pb with a 46-08 common amongst his 6 fish total while Paul really struggled only catching 1 fish. His main contribution was assisting me in dealing with 1 of our few resident coypu which I managed to hook, thanks for that. Newcomer Tony Parsons fishing next to Paul and perhaps it would have been better if they had split up, caught 3 fish (all 20’s), fair to say though that the conditions were not really in their favour most of the week. Credit to them (did I say that) for moving into Don’s swim for just the Friday night, sadly the move didn’t pay off. Happy couple Michael McHugh and Lana Tasker probably set a lake record by not having an argument all week (if they did, I didn’t hear it). Lana who in her own words is relatively new to carp fishing and I noticed on the Saturday was surveilling my wine collection, was very quick to grab a bottle on the Sunday by the capture of a 39lb mirror (pb), 1/2 later Lana caught a pb common at 30-08. She managed to catch 2 more fish including another pb with a 42lb common (a new record for a common caught by a female angler at Moulinots), well done lass!! Michael I think was shell shocked for most of the week, only catching 2 fish until the Thursday but then seemed to take over from Don’s exploits, he caught 8 fish on the Friday including a new pb (38lb common). Finally 1 of the most enthusiastic carp anglers I have ever met Mark “Peter Pan” Surman made sure he was not going to miss out on tasting my wine, he only had to wait until the Sunday with a 31lb mirror (pb). Rather than make him wait until the barbecue which this week we did on the Wednesday (I think), I gave Mark a bottle on the Sunday and he was hooked on it the rest of the week, as a close friend of mine would say “Good salesman Walshy”. Mark ended up with 6 fish including a further pb with a 46lb common, well done young man! I have now received the photo of Mark’s common (thanks) and this fish is normally between 54 and 57lbs, it looks well spawned out as are some of our other large residents at the moment, they will be back to their normal weights by the end of the season. The barbecue was a low key affair (not), finishing in the early hours and with Mark not carrying out his duties as my designated bailiff, it was left for Lana to ensure that our safety policy was adhered to. The infamous Moulinots dance competition again lived up to expectations, though I can’t remember how many people took part or who won (probably me as usual), while the newly introduced fancy dress competition was won hands down by Mark (picture below).

Having not fished the previous week it was good to be back in my 2nd (or is it my 1st) home, the lodge swim and I caught my largest mirror from Moulinots (not a pb though) at 56lbs as well as 2 40’s, thanks to Mark for the photo, not the 1 above, the 1 below!!

In total 70 fish were landed which included 1 50, 9 40’s and 34 30’s, all of the fish I saw were well spawned out and well below their normal weights. Thanks guys for a very enjoyable week

May 2012

W/c 26 May and the end of a great run of catch reports, that dreaded activity occurred SPAWNING, something that 1 angler (experienced I thought) didn’t seem to appreciate that this caused the results to be poor as they are every year during spawning (whenever that takes place) and on every venue I have ever fished in more than 50 years!! My new guests who arrived on the Friday night were told “that the fishing was sh-t” has not been appreciated. Fortunately 1 of the guys has been coming to Moulinots since 2002 and took the comments with a pinch of salt. Most of the anglers accepted at the start of the week that fishing would be hard and kept their chins up with fish being caught more regularly as soon as the spawning had stopped. Well done to Nick Gent on his 48 common (pb) caught on the 1st day, only 7 more fish out until spawning stopped on the Thursday and surprise surprise 11 fish out on the Friday immediately after spawning ceased as I would expect. It is always disappointing for anglers coming to France and hitting a spawning week, unfortunately it is nature and totally outside the control of any fishery operator. In total 21 fish were caught including only 2 40’s and 6 30’s. Many thanks to Damon Goodall and Paul Sheppard for their fierce competition on the golf course, a very enjoyable day guys.

W/c 19 May and 1 of our small regular groups had booked the lake exclusively as usual. The theme of people doing the unexpected at Moulinots this year continued with Norman Ball (Birmingham) who told me he was 70 about 5 years ago and still is apparently, catching his first ever fish over 40lbs, only just though, it was a 54-06 common and if that wasn’t good enough he had another common at 56-10, the size of the other 3 are irrelevant now. I know that Norman would have liked to celebrate but being under doctor’s orders not to drink more than 4 units a day which we think related to a week, was given free water instead of wine, thanks Doc. Mick Waters and his son “Superman” Rob had a reasonable week with Mick catching 4 fish and Rob 7 including a new pb 48-04 mirror. They say cleanliness is next to Godliness so I must now have a new assistant Chris Yeoman (Birmingham) on his first visit to Moulinots. Thankfully we do not supply free shower gel, if we did the week would have been a financial disaster, Chris seems to like that as much as I enjoy wine, well almost! Whilst not showering, Chris did manage to spend a small amount of time fishing and was duly rewarded with 4 of our smaller residents but did achieve a pb common and mirror. We have been told that there is a water shortage in the local area now and that there is a hosepipe and shower ban now in force (only joking Chris). The Coen brothers Mick and Joe enjoyed their usual battle on who was going to be top rod with both failing this time (thanks to yours truly – I told you this is a strange year). Joe had 5 fish to 46lbs while Mick also had 5 which included a pb mirror of 47-09 and a 47-02 common. The final of their age long competition will be in August, non fishing guest tickets available, further details to be supplied. I don’t often refer to my own catch results as normally there isn’t much to report, but this time I managed 1 of my ambitions to catch more fish in 1day than I had acheived before. The same ambition should have been fulfilled the previous week but due to competition pressure, blunt hooks and bad angling I had lost several fish in 1 day, well 3 actually. This time without competition pressure, but with more determination, perfect weather conditions to fish the lodge swim and of course the same blunt hooks, I succeeded by catching 8 fish in 24 hours, double what I had previously achieved. Naturally I presented myself with a bottle of wine which unusually tasted good this time. The barbecue was a low key event, probably due to the fact that most of us are getting too old (except Clark Kent “Rob” and sweet smelling Chris). At the same time last year we made a live dvd in honour of our special friend Dennis Stanton who had been unable to travel due to illness and unfortunately Dennis had to cancel again this year at late notice on Doctor’s orders. After toasting Dennis’s good health at the barbecue, the next day we all had a very welcome and totally unexpected surprise with Dennis turning up Friday morning having travelled over night from Birmingham with his brother in law Alan. My first thought was that I owed him some money from 2 years ago or maybe he felt guilty owing me some money (lol), either way we were thrilled to see him and also looking so well!! Kathy and I wish Dennis a full recovery and hope to meet up again in the future. In total 41 fish were caught including 2 50’s, 5 40’s (all over 46lbs) and 18 30’s, yet another good week!

Next up w/c 12 May, the regular Surrey lads and another unbelievable week for various reasons! I think I will start with Freddie Mercury lookalike Neil Pentecost (do you remember him…Neil that is). He tried so hard here last time but couldn’t manage to hit the high notes or even catch a fish. As I do with all anglers I tried to help Neil to remain positive by playing 1 of his old hits “Under Pressure” every day and when that didn’t spark any life into him, I even appointed him in charge of my rods at tea times until 1 evening he managed to catch a fish on my rods, as another member of the group would say unbelievable (I must stop saying that word it is infectious, unbelievable)! Neil went on to sing “Another 1 bites the dust” 4 more times, clearing his throat with some wine attributed to a 48lb mirror, nice 1 Neil. If Neil was under pressure, it was even more stressful for Ian Casbon, bad enough fishing next to the unbelievable Mark Creed (who will get a mention shortly) but having to wait until the last 10 hours to catch anything, still hope the 44-12 pb common was worth it. Good news for 1st time Grandad Chris Walton (think the happy event occurred on the Sunday night and the baby was just over 7lbs from memory) and please pass on our congratulations to Jake. I think the anticipation and subsequent jubilation of the happy event affected Chris’s fishing ability which in a word was ….! As some of you know we often have hidden partner – pairs fishing competitions which we did on this week and once again I drew the short straw by being drawn with Andrew Nash. As an ex gambler (from many years ago), I thought that with Nash being on the favoured 1st point and my recent catches, we would be odds on favourites, certainly I would have invested a few euros especially knowing the opposition! I did my bit by catching 6 fish (including 3 40’s to 48lbs) during the comp while Nash weighed in with a couple of small fish, another 10 euros lost!! Obviously he cannot handle competition conditions, 2 fish before we started (incl a 46-14 mirror), 2 small ones during the comp and 3 more fish after the comp, I think he was on a backhander from the winners. Talking of backhanders and reminding me of 1 of the local cops (can’t describe him on here), policeman Ed Wragg had 1 of his best visits here catching 5 fish which included a 50-07 pb mirror. Fellow golfer Dave Pritchard who first put me onto Kevin Bloody Wilson, doesn’t seem to be consistent in his approach to following rules, ok at golf but no respect for fishery rules. I had to reprimand Dave several times for slight breaches of our fishery rules and no this wasn’t because he beat me at golf. Again I drew the short straw having Ed as a partner, big hitter but who knows where the ball ends up. Very enjoyable day at the golf course, the 4th member Mark Creed (Dave’s partner) beating me at golf…. unbelievable!! Group organisor Paul Vickerstaff did his usual trick, not many fish but once again good quality. Paul had 6 fish which included mirrors of 46 and 41lbs and a 41lb common, as always we had a great time at the barbecue and looking forward to the next instalment in October. Paul’s nephew Dale only landed 2 fish (both small) but once again I would like to thank Dale for his assistance during the week, make a good bailiff that lad!! Well I think’s that’s about it for that week, oh no, what about Mark Creed, how did he get on….for him, in a word, UNBELIEVABLE! This year there is definately a trend developing, the least able or likely anglers (lol) getting the best results continues. I can’t believe I am reporting on Mark being top rod, but it’s true! He had 10 fish which included mirrors of 55-13 (pb), 54-06, 45-14, 45-06 and 41-06 and a pb common of 46-15, in a word ……… Very well done Mark and we are all (except me) hoping that you can make it back in October. In total 51 fish were caught which included 3 50’s, 14 40’s and 13 30’s.

W/c 5 May and after the results from the previous week, I was a little concerned that the boys might struggle, shows how much I know! What I didn’t know was that Perry Irving (Essex) had brought a secret weapon with him (to improve the catch result) and one I that I had not seen before, his 13 year old son Jamie. Seeing Jamie reminded me of when I started night fishing (48 years ago…ok I’ll put the violin away), a big difference though on what I caught and what Jamie managed to land. Ably assisted by Perry, I have credited 21 fish to Jamie, some of the fish landed looked bigger than Jamie though there are some nice photos to prove he is a strong lad. Being under age and knowing that I operate a strict alcohol supply policy, I had agreed to give Jamie a can of coke every time he caught a fish above his pb, 21 cokes down, can you imagine my face at the end of the week (not hard if you know me, is it). Too many pb’s to mention except the 49-00 and 49-06 mirrors that he landed, a brilliant effort. A few words of wisdom Jamie, it may be many years before you have a week like that 1 and I know it will be different going back to the UK and catching smaller fish, but never lose sight or appreciation of whatever size carp you catch! Well done and hat’s off to Perry for his support to Jamie, not what I expected at all (lol). Perry did break the non fishing guest rule by catching a common on the Friday on Jamie’s rods, shame on you! Big common specialist Ricky Munday lived up to the title by catching 2 more of our known big commons of 57lbs and 53-06, still a few more left for you Ricky! In total Ricky had 22 fish (incl 3 40’s), 8 on the Sunday, what is it about Sundays, another great result, well done! Ricky’s dad Steve fishing next to him caught 5 carp to 48-02, the youngsters certainly shined that week. Dave White on his 2nd visist and incapacitated last time with a bad back, tried to repeat the feat this time by trying to lift a 53lb common, fortunately the other 5 fish he caught were smaller. Barry Ingleton on his 1st visit quickly beat his pb by catching a 44lb mirror on the Sunday (yes Sunday again) and 2 fish in total. The last angler to catch was Shaun Allan who managed 4 fish in the final 2 days (3 new pb’s to 38lbs) and I had 1 of my better weeks catching 8 fish to 47lbs. Another enjoyable week and fortunately Barry was on hand to help me finish my supply of port which was close to it’s sell by date (seeing is believing)! In total 79 fish were caught which included 3 50’s, 11 40’s and 31 30’s, another great week and surely this will not continue? Thanks guys for the gifts to Kathy and myself, Kathy still hasn’t started on hers whereas mine went ages ago!

March/April 2012 

W/c 28 April and as usual the West Sussex lads followed on from the Dartford group. Organisor Craig Brown who for many years has lived in the shadows of his fishing mentor and arch enemy Roy Foster, finally came out of the closet and settled the matter once and for all. It must be really annoying having 1 of your best friends beat you every time you fish with him at Moulinots, though it happens to me every week (normally all 10 anglers beat me, none of them are friends Craig had an unbelievable start, well not quite, as I had seen the same 2 weeks earlier, nevertheless he landed 8 fish on the Sunday which included mirrors of 54-02 (pb) and 46lbs and also a 55-06 common (pb) while poor old Roy had only caught 1 fish and too small to mention. By the end of the week Craig had caught 22 fish which included 2 more commons over 40lbs (49-10 and 45-08) and a 49-04 mirror, another fine effort on the Friday with 7 carp landed, well done m8 and about time! I have checked and rechecked Roy’s total which I still make a miserable total of 6 and I am still waiting to receive a photo that I took for him of the immaculate 44-02 common, come on Roy you can’t win all the time. Graham Bailey knows about that, he was the last person to catch and looked like “trailing” in last but he did manage to catch 2 fish in the final 12 hours. Another “happy” angler Mark “demo man” Longhurst had 2 fish and on Thursday (bbq day of course) was so concerned at the state of my bleached bivvy that he very kindly and secretly set up my umbrella inside my bivvy, a very kind gesture….not appreciated at all!! For good measure he also decided to expand the bbq activities to include joy riding on my new sit down mower, probably fun at the time (I wouldn’t know as I was practising some new dancing moves dressed in my new shirt bought by the lads and would not be disturbed), but slightly spoiled when I was told (apparently for the 2nd time in the morning) that the mower shed had been damaged while Mark was trying to repark the mower. I have decided that this activity will not be included in future barbecues!! Craig’s dad John once again won another bottle with a new pb common of 42lbs while Justin Jenner (2nd visit) hasn’t been lucky at Moulinots (so far) only catching 1 fish this time. Alan “Rivers” Sands had a good week with 6 fish topped by a new pb common of 55-10, I am told that Alan spends less time fishing the rivers these days but instead spends more time at the confectionery section at Tesco’s, something I can believe. The other member of the West Sussex team Ian Stevenson gave Craig a run for his money by catching 17 fish which included 3 40’s to 47-08, another fine effort m8! Finally Bristol anglers Lee Ward and Andy Wyatt caught 6 (2 40’s) and 5 fish (1 40) respectively. In total 75 fish were caught which included 4 50’s, 14 40’s and 24 30’s, a very good week and 1 of our best ever.

W/c 21 April and welcome back to the Dartford lads ably led by chief bartender Martin Hewett, though a couple of customers light from previous visits. Always a week to look forward to with drinks I have never heard of being consumed and very occasionally being offered to me, most of the time I learn about them whilst standing for hours at the bottle bank getting rid of them! The boys arrived in good spirit on the Friday night and quickly managed to sample all the cheeses left from the previous week and for good measure helped themselves to my 2 bottles of port, they will be charged on your tabs on your next visit later this year, nothing is free at Moulinots (lol). Firefighter Tim Wilmott who I hadn’t seen for a few years, quickly set the place alight by catching 8 fish by the Monday which I think is more than he has caught in total on all previous visits, unfortunately his efforts fizzled out and Tim only finished with 10 carp. He was probably happy not to be presented with another bottle of wine like the previous visit which was poured over him, what a waste! Martin’s main customer (at the bar) Graham Tree still desperately trying to catch a Moulinots 50 and outdrink Martin, unfortunately failed again, will you never learn Martin is a machine! I am looking forward to seeing the final dvd that Graham is putting together from film footage of the Dartford boys trips to Moulinots over the past years. I have looked at a provisional copy of the dvd and the final copy will definately not be used as a promotional “tool” for selling holidays at Moulinots, talking of tools, Tim’s impression of basting a turkey probably will be the highlight of the dvd. Phil “pony tail” Gilham (my partner in the pairs comp) didn’t have 1 of his better weeks, only catching 2 fish including a 42lb common, sure you will do better in October. It wasn’t all bad news though with John Chambers catching 11 fish including a pb mirror at 58lbs and 3 other mirrors over 40lb (49-00, 48-12 and 40), his brother Pip (Phil) had 3 fish including a 46-10 pb common and a 44-02 mirror not bad considering he was next to his part time fishing buddy Mel “breakdance” Meredith. As usual Mel paced himself through the week with his swim being rested (24 hours at a time) and as usual Mel only caught a couple of fish, perhaps more time fishing might result in more fish, just a suggestion! Martin’s plan of distracting everybody through the week so he can claim the top rod position and win the comp money didn’t quite pay off. Martin equalled John’s total of 11 fish which included a 52-12 mirror and 51-08 common and 2 other 40’s, but he was pipped in the comp at the last minute by Graham catching 2 fish just before the close of the comp, enough to make Martin drown his sorrows (with a little help from his friends). The weather was awful all week (similar to the UK), it seemed to rain all the time but spirits were not dampened, just consumed! In total 45 fish were caught incl. 3 50’s, 11 40’s and 14 30’s.

W/c 14 April and apologies guys for the delay in completing the detailed report for that week, unfortunately a lot of computer/internet problems to be sorted and getting over the shock of what happened that week were to blame. All of our customers know I keep accurate records of all carp caught as well as individual and group catch records, so when 1 person smashes most of the records, well I am almost speechless for once. Gary Pymont (Essex) who has been to Moulinots many times and usually been fairly successful, would be the first, well actually he wouldn’t, with friends like Alan Gosnell, Steve Millar and of course myself, we would be the first to say that Gary isn’t really a carp angler just plain lucky, 25 times this trip and 3 new lake records in the process!! I suppose we should have known on the Sunday that this was going to be a very special week for Gary. He caught 13 carp in 24 hours beating the previous record of 8 and by the end of the week he had established a new record of most carp caught by 1 angler in a week (25) in spite of not catching anything on the Tuesday and Wednesday. Probably the most impressive record was that he caught 13 fish over 40lbs and as a tribute to Gary, reluctantly I am proud to include photos of 10 of the fish that he caught over 40lbs. I know Alan and Steve won’t give Gary any credit for your catch report and in true Moulinots spirit, neither will I (lol)! Also reminded me of being back at school (yes I can remember that far back), I must write 25 times Gary Pymont has caught another fish.

Of course Gary, should you be lucky enough again to beat your own record when you come back in August, I will give you a free week, alternatively you might like another go at singing all the words to Mr Loverman but don’t bother to learn them as I may well have selected another record to sing to by then! Very well done m8! I know Gary’s friends will be really cheesed off reading Gary’s catch report (again), particularly Alan, makes a change from being cheesed out. Poor old Alan arrived with flu which he quickly passed on to Kathy (not sure how that happened) and she was ill for a couple of weeks, while Alan suffered in silence and didn’t even to get to taste any of the 3 kilos of different cheeses that he brought over for the week. The Dartford lads who were here the following week asked me to pass on their gratitude and asked that perhaps next time you bring another 6 bottles of port. Alan only managed 2 fish about the same number of beers for the week, you must have been ill! Steve Millar must also have been feeling sick by the end of the week having landed most of Gary’s fish and even tried to make sure that Gary wouldn’t beat the record by deliberately trying for a hook pull on 1 of Gary’s rods while Gary was busy playing a fish on another rod, that’s what I call a real friend. Kind hearted Gary let Steve fish next to him, well he was almost sitting on his lap and Steve did end up with 3 40lb + mirrors (48-03, 48-02 and 40-03). After all that practice Steve I will now let you net 1 of my fish next time you are here. It was good to see my old mate, 1 of our dvd stars and 1st ever guest to Moulinots (back in February 2002) John Welch (Essex), boy how you have aged in 10 years. John didn’t quite match previous efforts but did go away with a pb mirror of 48lbs, while his friend Paul Hayman (Surrey) who (unfortunately from my point of view) was drawn as my partner in the pairs carp competition, for some reason wanted to concentrate on catching tench instead of carp and therefore cost me 10 euros. He did catch 4 carp to 39lbs but only 1 of them during the comp, while the team captain (me) excelled by catching 6 fish and we were soundly beaten into 2nd place. Anthony Briggs (Dutch Ant) once again fishing his favourite area (the shallows) caught 9 fish, the best a 48.08 common and at last earning Anthony a long overdue bottle of wine and 1 which I had put aside for him many years ago. I can’t say the same about Paul White who kept up his record of winning a bottle every time he has been here, this time with a 48-05 common which he quickly followed up with a 51-10 common, he also had another common of 41lbs and 3 other commons, what is wrong with catching mirrors? Paul’s mate and newcomer to Moulinots Mark Camp had 7 fish which included 3 pb’s i.e. a mirror of 47-10, a common at 50-08 and for good measure he then beat that with a 54-14 common, I suppose the 44-11 common which you also had isn’t really worth a mention. I hardly saw the other 2 anglers on the lake Craig Ratcliffe and Mark Milbank who I think were trying to beat their own records which didn’t include fishing. Craig managed to stay accident free this trip and at last had a reasonable fish (42-08 mirror) while Mark didn’t manage to get his name into the catch report book, unlucky guys! In total 71 fish were caught which included 6 50’s, 18 40’s and 26 30’s, quite a week and well done Mr Pyman!!!

W/c 7 April or should I say w/c 6 April with all of the guests arriving on the Friday night (something we do not encourage) with the intention of getting a good nights sleep before starting fishing on the Saturday, not quite what happened though, it seemed more like a barbecue night except barbecue nights don’t finish at 5 a.m.! None of our customers on the lake were disturbed though, just me!! There were a few changes to the group this year leaving 4 Northern lads to compete with the 4 Southern lads and with several newcomers in the groups. With the distraction of Fred Simms and Ian Savage removed this year (lol) the guys were able to concentrate more on fishing and not spend most of their time trying to drink dry 1 of the bars in Bar le Duc. I am sure that bar is up for sale now. Though the weather remained cold, low double figures (daytime) and 0 to 3 degress (nights) the fishing was very good and the results far better than I would have anticipated. Starting with the Northern lads, newcomers Andrew Hughes and Dean Crust had 7 and 9 fish respectively. Andrews tally included a pb mirror of 41-10 which he again beat by a 47-08 mirror on the last night and also had a pb linear of 40lbs. Deans record was even more impressive, his 1st fish a pb (38-15 mirror), his second fish another pb (40-08 mirror) and later in the week beaten again with a 46-08 mirror, in the meantime he also had a 54-10 common, not bad for a 1st visit. Regulars Stephen “Alfy” Halford and Paul Jones had 8 and 5 fish respectively but surprisingly nothing over 38lbs. Southern newcomer Dave Kemp also did well on his 1st visit catching 7 fish which included a new pb mirror of 42lbs, 2 other 40lb + mirrors and a pb common of 48-04. Big fish specialist Ian Davis had 7 fish which included a new pb mirror (55lbs), other mirrors at 52-08, 49-08 and 47-02 as well as a 49lb common, well done Ian! Wayne “slim” Letchford (Dartford) who seemingly always does well at Moulinots spoilt his record this time, only catching 2 fish (commons of 38 and 39lbs) – nice photos though. Finally dance competitor Dan Smith (Essex) managed 6 fish, the largest a cracking 39lb linear. The total for the week (including my small contribution) was 57 carp caught which included 3 50’s, 13 40’s and 19 30’s. Unbelievably the Thursday barbecue finished at 6.15, pm that is but solely due to a few celebrations on the Wednesday night and a lot of people nursing headaches.

W/c 31 March and a complete change in the weather from the previous week with temperatures returning to their seasonal norm. The effect of the weather change coupled with very cold North and North Easterly winds really killed off the fishing. With only 7 anglers on the lake (plus me) and the guys choosing to make it more of a social week i.e. fishing close together, the lake was not well covered which I am sure prevented more fish being caught. Our regular British guys (living in Holland) Craig Bolton, Ian Whitelaw and Kevin Doherty finally managed to bring Craig Brown (Scotland) with them to Moulinots. Having discovered our lake from an internet search years ago and not having been able to travel with the others on previous trips until this year, I know Craig thoroughly enjoyed the week even though he only caught 1 fish which was a pb (42-09 common). Kevin not known for his large catches just the quality, did the same this time, catching 2 carp (44lb mirror and 48-04 common). Craig (Bolton) excelled, perhaps even surprising himself as well as everybody else by being top rod with 5 carp, probably the reason that Ian was put off his food and unfortunately failed to catch this time, you will do better in September!! Kent boys and frequent visitors to the dead tree swim (Wayne McGill and Vinny Ripley) also struggled with the hard fishing as well as trying to finish off their liquid and cheese supplies, fortunately I was on hand 1 evening to assist. Wayne managed 4 fish to 43lbs (common) while Vinny failed to catch this time. Finally Paul Bradnock (Devon) desperately trying to hide his Brummie accent had his worst trip to Moulinots only catching 1 fish. The barbecue was a very enjoyable evening with Mrs Bradnock trying to give me dancing lessons, hope that doesn’t end up on U tube. With my contribution of 2 fish, 14 carp were caught in total including 4 40’s.

Our first weeks guests arrived on the 24 March and after just an hour the 1st fish was on the bank, no monster (a 31-05 common for Neal Miller) but as often happens it cost me a bottle of wine, hopefully this is not a sign of things to come in 2012. As in the UK the weather was exceptional with daytime temperatures between 18 and 22 degrees, I felt like I was still on holiday except for the pressure of having to do my list of jobs, ever growing as usual. Neal followed in the path of many others trying to pursuade me to hand over another free bottle after catching a 42-11 mirror, he received my normal reply, no chance!! I will take the opportunity early in the season to remind all customers that only 1 bottle per angler is donated irrespective of how many pb’s are achieved, this is 1 rule that won’t be broken or amended. The catch result for the week was exceptionally good for quantity with 52 carp landed which included 1 50, 7 40’s and 13 30’s. There were a disproportionate number of 20’s than usual, this being due to a lot of the new fish being caught which for me was good news showing that they had survived the Winter. In the past a lot of the new linears haven’t made it through the Winter, so fingers crossed this year. 6 of the 7 anglers had landed fish by the Tuesday with the luckless Tom Lamb who blanked on his 1st trip, again under pressure to catch. Obviously I tried to help him remain positive by telling him that he would be in a fairly exclusive club if he blanked a second time.. This must have spurred him on as he ended up with 10 fish, well done m8. Tom’s dad Richard on his 1st visit, had 12 fish (not 6 as previously stated, sorry) to 43-08 (pb mirror) while brother James had a bit of a struggle only catching 1 fish until Richard let him fish his swim on the Thursday and James ended up with another 4 fish. 1 incident to mention was when Tom went into the lake at night to help Richard try and land a fish, I do have a picture of Tom getting out of the lake but due to censorship rules I cannot post the picture on here, thanks for the picture Richard and I can only assume that the water was freezing (lol). Wayne Barcham was top rod with 11 fish to 50-08 (pb common), James Fouers had 5 fish to 40-04 and Craig Maskery 4 fish to 38-04 Yours truly was the worst angler (as often is the case) with only 2 fish, both 40’s though including a new pb linear (after all these years) at just over 40lbs and of course a bottle of wine as per my rules.

Summary of 2011 season and Winter 2011/12

Another long and successful season over and once again time for our “short” Winter break, it always seems to go so quickly and in no time we seem to be back in France getting ready for the new season and of course trying to bring the news reports up to date. In 2011 there were 61 50’s and 205 40’s caught (both records for 1 year) though the total quantity of fish caught was down on the previous couple of years. Although the fish weights were good with an average of around 35lbs for all carp caught, it was slightly disappointing that there were not any 60’s caught in the year, though the lake did produce a new record common at 59-14, the last record that I held now gone, good! There were too many personal bests (and free bottles of wine handed out) to count, though I do know it was an expensive year. Before starting our Winter holiday(s), we purchased a further 40 carp (to 43lbs) which included some stunning linears and scaley mirrors. The reports from France were that it was a very severe Winter, -21 deg I am told and presumably the golf courses here were closed unlike Cornwall, Spain and Madeira. I won’t bore you about our holidays, no hole in ones to report (this year) and no improvement in putting, though the overall game was good, my handicap is now up to 14, so you guys who normally play me at golf when on holiday here, WATCH OUT!

On our return to France we (well Kathy anyway) carried out the usual pre season tasks for getting the lake and facilities ready for 24 March opening date while I had a couple of days assessing the fishing, the things I do for the anglers. My catch report for the couple of days was the same as the way I finished 2011, nothing to report!

We wish everybody a successful 2012 and look forward to welcoming back our regular guests and the new people who have booked with us.

October 2011

W/c 22 October – summary – 12 carp caught incl. 2 50’s, 3 40’s and 5 30’s (detailed report to follow).

W/c 15 October – summary – 9 carp caught incl. 1 50, 1 40 and 4 30’s (detailed report to follow).

W/c 8 October – summary – 35 carp caught incl. 3 50’s, 5 40’s and 15 30’s (detailed report to follow).

W/c 1 October – summary – 14 carp caught incl. 3 40’s and 7 30’s (detailed report to follow).

September 2011

W/c 24 September – summary – 8 carp caught incl. 1 50, 2 40’s and 3 30’s (detailed report to follow).

W/c 17 September – summary – 19 carp caught incl. 4 50’s, 4 40’s and 9 30’s (detailed report to follow).

W/c 10 September – summary – 36 carp caught incl. 3 50’s, 9 40’s and 9 30’s (detailed report to follow).

My memory is not as good as it used to be (probably old age), so I will start bringing the overdue news reports up to date by working backwards. W/c 3 September and time to entertain or be entertained by Rob Johnson’s group from Essex. Four of the group were 1st timers here and my first impressions of these guys when they arrived on the Friday night were mixed. Bad boy “Hank” alias Brad Gray was certainly 1 guy that I was going to keep an eye on as I had been warned that he had already been banned from 2 venues this year. Apparently engaged by the NHS and whose duties include bringing people around after operations, he certainly didn’t seem like a bother boy! I made it clear to him that there would not be any yellow cards, just red ones, so he would be well advised to lie low. Somehow the communications must have broken down, or he misinterpreted what I had said, as the next day there he was baiting his swim from a lilo. Anyway apart from failing the legendary moonshine tasting test (down in 8 seconds and back up in 5) at the bbq, he was no trouble at all. Even his fishing ability wasn’t bad, Hank caught 4 fish including a new pb (53lb common) and also a pb mirror at 48lbs. Fishing alongside Hank was Dan Tucker who for some reason decided that my swim would be better than his to fish, even from 130 yards. Dan also managed 4 fish but unluckily or was it retribution, they were all 20’s. Chris “ironman” Skelt also starting the week near the social corner and then moving to the shallows, also caught 4 fish which included mirrors of 40-04 and 37-12 and a pb common at 33-08. The other newcomer, ex Warwick angler and Specialist Tackle (Collier Row) employee James “Frank” Blake really impressed me with his collection of tackle, rigs and baits and I was even more impressed by his fishing ability. Whilst not on the phone to his fishing idol/guru (already given you a clue who that is), James landed 11 fish which included commons of 53-03 (pb com), 49lbs and 46-06 and a mirror of 49-08, excellent m8 and hope you got your toothache sorted. Now to the regulars, Rob didn’t manage to get his favourite swim (the cut) this time and looked like a fish out of water having to fish from a different swim. Well reknown in the past for his water exploits (playing and landing fish), Rob (ably assisted by the other lads) was quickly in the lake on Saturday morning removing weed from the shallows before commencing fishing. I would like to thank all of you for the hard work, I don’t expect anglers to have to work on their holiday but any assistance is more than welcome and appreciated! Not 1 of Rob’s most productive visits in the 10 years he has been coming here, but he did end up with 5 fish including mirrors of 43-03 and 41lbs. Russ Britain enjoying a week away from his weight watchers course had a hard start failing to catch from the well fancied 1st point until the Wednesday afternoon and then ended up celebrating the evening with me down the lodge. Perhaps an evening to forget or in Russ’s case one he will probably never remember anyway! Fortunately his luck turned round and he managed another 4 fish including a 48-08 common and 40-02 mirror. Brothers Danny and Mark Waters both had good weeks, Danny landing 4 fish topped by a new pb (51lb mirror) while Mark didn’t quite catch James tally of 11, only catching 10 carp but they did include 2 50lb commons (53-0 and 50-12), well done guys. With the exception of the ringers consistently going off on the walkie talkers (which will be disabled next time), an excellent week and probably why the guys have rebooked several weeks in 2012 and 2013. In total 48 fish were caught which included 5 50’s, 9 40’s and 19 30’s.

August 2011 

W/c 27 August – summary – 26 carp caught incl. 4 40’s and 12 30’s (detailed report to follow).

W/c 20 August – summary – 39 carp caught incl. 1 50, 3 40’s and 17 30’s (detailed report to follow).

W/c 13 August – summary – 19 carp caught incl. 1 50, 6 40’s and 7 30’s (detailed report to follow).

W/c 6 August – summary – 54 carp caught incl. 3 50’s, 18 40’s and 17 30’s (detailed report to follow).

July 2011 

W/c 30 July – summary – 24 carp caught incl. 1 50, 2 40’s and 13 30’s (detailed report to follow).

W/c 23 July – summary – 19 carp caught incl. 4 40’s and 6 30’s (short report to follow).

W/c 16 July – summary – 23 carp caught – 23 carp caught incl. 5 40’s and 11 30’s (short report to follow).

W/c 9 July – summary – 28 carp caught incl. 1 50, 6 40’s and 13 30’s (short report to follow).

W/c 2 July – summary – 31 carp caught incl. 9 40’s and 9 30’s (short report to follow).

June 2011 

W/c 25 June – summary – 21 carp caught incl. 1 50, 3 40’s and 11 30’s (short report to follow).

W/c 18 June – summary – 18 carp caught incl. 1 50, 5 40’s and 8 30’s (short report to follow).

W/c 11 June and some late changes to Mick Waters group (mainly Midlands) and the Coen brothers (Essex) who book the lake exclusively each year. Our very good friend Dennis Stanton was unable to travel due to health reasons and Kathy and I wish you a full and speedy recovery and we hope you enjoyed watching the dvd made for you on barbecue night? Though the night was absolute chaos and unrehearsed, I couldn’t stop laughing when watching the film footage the next day, perhaps we should send this dvd out instead of our fishing dvd, 1 way to lose business (lol). Without you being here and no Gary either, taking into account my full work schedule, I had to struggle to cope with Norman Ball. Old Norman (with his Charles Atlas chest) kept his chin up and took centre stage on bbq night closely followed by Karate kid star Mick Waters, all I can say is what a night! For the 3rd consecutive week the fishing was hard except for the up and rising star in the carp world Mick Coen, who in the past I have taken the pi$$ out of and am now being made to start eating my words. Mick had 7 of the 16 fish caught, no monsters, with the biggest a mere 38-08 mirror while brother Joe only caught 1 fish, oh dear! Newcomers Mick Daniels and Carl Manning both left with pb’s, Mick with a 41lb mirror and Carl with a 32lb common, Carl also had 2 other fish. I used the week to continue testing the new baits made by Essex Carp baits and caught a 53lb mirror (on FIA) on the Saturday night, sadly I couldn’t wake anybody up to take a photo. I would like to thank Rob Waters for his contribution as film director on bbq night but not for his lack of contribution to the fishing catch report (only joking). See you all and Dennis next year!

W/c 4 June and welcome back to Craig “Rats” Ratcliffe (after 1 year of convolescence) and Mark Milbank. I had great hopes for Rats this year after failing to catch on his previous 2 visits, he had taken this trip more seriously by bringing baits that actually catch at Moulinots rather than baits I had never heard of and also ensuring that he didn’t repeat the tree head butting accident in 2009. Focused all week with both eyes (sometimes a little bloodshot) on the lake, Craig almost set a record that nobody wants, 3 blanks in 3 visits, but thankfully finally caught 2 hours before packing up on the Saturday morning. The size of the fish will remain our secret, all 23lbs of it, at least you are in my book of fame! Mark only caught 1 fish a pb 45-08 common and was awarded our customary free bottle of wine to go with the other 2 or 3 dozen they consumed in the week. 3 West Yorkshire lads who had booked on recommendations of members of the NCFF forum, arrived on the Friday night and quickly made it clear that they were here for a holiday not just the fishing! I didn’t know at the time they they were fitness freaks, especially Steve Adams and Richard Morris who went on a 3 mile run (Richard on a jog) every morning, at their age, risky! The more sensible member of the group big Russ Miles decided to miss the athletics training, instead joining in the unscheduled diving, paddling and swimming event! Not sure what the result was, oh yes Steve with a pb 32 mirror and a lot of wet clothing all round! All rounder Steve also managed another pb later in the week (42-08 mirror) and a mid 20 common in drier conditions, top rod, top athlete, what a beast of a man! Russ had a mid 20 mirror and Richard could only practice his firemans lift on the guys but not the fish, better luck next year! I will be busy practising a comeback to athletics over the next year, you have been warned! Regular visitors to France, brothers Colin and Chris Johnson (Middx) on their 1st visit here, only had 1 fish each, the largest Chris’s 45-08 common and the other newcomers Dave Hallybone and Ray Albone (Beds) did slightly better with Dave catching 2 fish (commons of 58-14 and 44-08) and Ray with a 37-03 mirror. Overall the fishing was again disappointing for quantity, only 11 out of which there was 1 50, 4 40’s and 2 30’s with the average weight at 36-15. There was no sign of any fish spawning during the week and virtually no sign of any fish bottom feeding, so I have to assume that they were continuing to feed on naturals? Look forward to seeing all you guys next year!

May 2011 

The last week of May and quite a while since I can remember a new group managing to get on a May week here. The booking was arranged as a stag do (3 months early) by Kevin “Delboy” Ingell for his friend Mark Renshaw, fair to say (I hope) that the group was comprised of some “old school” carp anglers and some relative beginners at carp fishing. The anglers were welcomed by the fish in heavy spawning mode, not what you want to see after driving through the night. It was always going to be a hard week though the first 2 fish caught were 50’s, a 51-15 pb mirror for Henry Alger and a 50-08 mirror (pb) for Bob Copeland, still waiting to receive the photos please! Apart from the spawning the weather didn’t help either, 28 to 30 degrees at the start of the week then dropping down to 15, I am sure the carp didn’t know whether they were coming or going and I wasn’t sure whether the fish had actually managed to finish spawning and judging by the results the following couple of weeks, I still don’t know! Only 7 fish landed in total the whole week, 1 of the worst weeks in June in the 10 years I have been here, though 2 of the other guys did manage pb’s i.e. Tony “big spender” Harrington with a 39lb mirror and Foxy (John Fox) with a 26-08 mirror, how can that be worth a bottle of wine? Socially a very enjoyable week, well there wasn’t much else to do! What is reassuring is that though the fishing was hard/impossible, most of the group have booked for October 2012 when I am sure they will be more successful.

W/c 21 May and a mixture of regular customers and newbies, apologies to the 3 English lads living in Holland for errors on previous reports, only 1 of them is actually English (Craig Bolton), 1 is Scottish (Ian Whitelaw) and the other is Irish (Kevin Doherty), hope that clears the record. Craig caught 3 carp, all commons and all pb’s with the largest at 47-08, Kevin as usual left it late to catch a big fish which this time was a 45-01 mirror and Ian never got out of the starting blocks, he might be Scottish but certainly no Alan Wells (former Scottish Olympic sprinter). As usual we enjoyed a couple of good social nights, 1 of them on the Tuesday night provided by Wayne McGill (Dartford) ably supported by Vinny Ripley at a new venue i.e. the social corner. Plenty of cheese, wine, spirits and other goodies available, almost as good as our barbecue night. Wayne got off to a great start on the 1st day landing a 50-09 mirror (on a pop up) and had 2 other 30’s in the week, while Vinny finally joined the 40’s club by catching a 40-08 mirror and 2 other fish. Kent newcomers John Bond (4 fish to 32-08) and Lee Brown (2 fish to 39-08) managed to avoid a free bottle of our vintage wine, sadly a feat also repeated by Chris Hill and Trevor Dromfield who only caught 1 fish between them though I know they enjoyed the holiday. Finally our only Danish angler Teddy (accompanied by his lovely lady Linda) on his 2nd visit to Moulinots was top rod with 8 fish to 43lbs. Having caught 5 fish in the shallows, Teddy moved to the 2nd point and caught another 3 carp, good angling on a difficult week certainly affected by spawning. I managed a couple of fish, the 2nd a 43lb common caught at 4 a.m. on the last morning, just what I need before the new guests arrive. In total 28 fish caught which included 1 50, 5 40’s and 12 30’s and the average weight a disappointing 34lbs 1oz.

W/c 14 May and again nice to see our regular visitors from Surrey led by the old vicar himself, Paul Vickerstaff. Quite a week to remember though Paul probably has a few gaps to fill in after going to sleep in my swim. I am sure however that he will remember the 5 fish that he caught which included a 56lb pb common and mirrors of 41-08 and 40lbs. Mark Creed also had a better week this time, probably due to spending less time playing with the ducks and actually watching the water for a change. Mark caught 5 fish to 48lbs, 4 of them foul hooked (only joking). The old bill’s Ed Short, not participating in the wine tasting this time (by my choice), caught 2 fish to 39-13, at least moving swims did pay off for you. Newcomer and another golfer Dave Pritchard landed 2 fish including a new pb mirror of 40lbs, I am not going to mention who won our golf match, better luck next time! Andrew “big spender” Nash was really struggling in the shallows not having caught anything, but then yours truly helped him out by letting him fish the lodge swim and Nash caught a 38-08 mirror and a 43lb pb linear and my reward was that Nash bought a bottle of water, probably another pb. Several highlights and great moments during the week, but the main one was Paul’s nephew Dale Vickerstaff catching a new lake record for a common with the fish weighing in at 59-14 and a few days earlier landing a 47-05 mirror, excellent fishing and having taken the only fishing record which I held, you are banned (lol)!!

Dales 59-14 record common and a rare bottle of champagne from me!!!!!

2 years since I last saw MJ’s lookalike Pako Jacko (alias Dave Smith), but well worth the wait. He arrived fully equipped this time, all of the latest fishing gear, white glove and hat, impressive, as was his fishing! 6 fish landed including a pb mirror of 51-07 and a pb common of 44-02, you can’t BEAT IT! Jacko’s son Chris didn’t beat his dad but tied, also catching 6 fish which included a pb mirror of 45-08 and pb common of 42-04. Finally on the fishing report, Mark’s son Stuart and Neil Pentecost’s lookalike Freddie Mercury both failed to catch but remained cheerful all week, better luck next year. In total 33 fish were caught which included 3 50’s, 10 40’s and 9 30’s, the average for the week 36-06. On a final note, the 2 social evenings i.e. the Thursday barbecue and the Sunday night were both memorable evenings (I think). We must do a “has Moulinots got talent competition” next year, PJ to enter for his dancing and singing must be a contender, MC for his body building, Neil for his Queen impersonation and PV leading the passing out parade. Look forward to the next instalment!!

W/c 7 May and 3 different groups of guys who book the lake together, drink together, some play golf together and when actually at the lake, occasionally fish together. They are known as the “Uniques”, I don’t think that I have ever met such a laid back group about fishing in the 9 years I have been here. Not sure where to start this report but I do know how to finish it, with a report on the catches. During the week I had the pleasure to play 2 games of golf with guru Fred Simms and relative beginners Aaron Simms and Peter Hirst, head to head stuff me against Fred etc. etc. For you golf followers (and there are a few who come over to us), I managed to lose the 1st match after being 3 up with 4 to play, seemingly and usually a winning position, then age, dehydration (the bar was beckoning) and bad play took over, but I have to give credit to Fred for grinding away and winning on the last with a cracking 2nd shot. The 2nd match was just as close, again with my superior skill quickly gaining me a 3 hole lead but once again Fred crawling his way back and going into the last hole 1 up. To be honest he did win the 2nd game also, but very generously offered me a draw on the last green, of course I bit his hand off to accept the gesture, what a gentleman and not a bad player!! Hopefully Aaron and Peter will have finished their round by the time I finish this report? Some good golf was played by all! Whilst not on the golf course or having a social at the lake (but not fishing), the lads went out a few times to a local town and made quite an impression with 1 of the bar owners, so much so that when they didn’t turn up at the bar on the Friday evening to celebrate Steven “Alfy” Alford’s 40th birthday, the bar owner drove 20 miles to Moulinots to find out what had happened to them. Presumably based on the amount that the guys had spent at his bar during the week, he was licking his lips at the thought of a record turnover for a Friday night, never mind m8, I got the benefit by selling a bottle of wine and 3 bottles of water to the guys (lol), a record for me, the worst turnover, only joking!! The barbecue as always was a good night and thanks to Big Wayne Letchford for ensuring that it finished early. Sure there is something I haven’t mentioned…….oh yes…. the catch report. Top rod was Neil Brookes with 9 fish to 38-12 who very sportingly gave up his swim to Aaron Simms who was on for a blank and Aaron repaid the gesture with interest by catching 2 commons of 51-08 and 49-08, oh dear Brooksey what can I say m8! Matt Howard on his 1st visit here, must have thought that Moulinots is an easy water after catching 3 fish within 4 hours of setting up including a 45-08 pb mirror, sadly that was the last piece of action for him all week. Alfy again managed to miss out on a pb though he did land 4 carp including 2 mirrors of 41-08 and 40-09, I think both of them came out of my swim? Hope you enjoyed your surprise birthday present from the Mrs. Ian Savage who failed to catch on his 1st trip, did better this time by catching 2 carp including a 46lb pb mirror, well worth a bottle of wine to go with all the other beverages he sampled all week. Peter Hirst resisting the urge to join the other lads on a trip to a bar, was rewarded with a 40-08 mirror and then promptly joined the other lads. Fred Simms didn’t quite match the heights achieved on the golf course, only catching a 37lb common and Wayne Letchford (Dartford) a Moulinots specialist, had his worst trip only catching 2 fish and probably his worst hangover after joining in the festivities. You should stick to what you do best Wayne, fishing!! Wayne’s 2 friends Dan Smith and Ian Davis both had a good week with Dan catching 8 fish including mirrors of 52lbs (pb) and 40-02 while Ian had 4 fish which included commons of 56-08 (pb) and 40-04 and a pb mirror of 49-12. In total somehow or other, 36 carp were caught which included 3 50’s, 9 40’s and 19 30’s, the average weight was 37lbs, well done lads.

The beginning of May and welcome back to the Moulinots veterans Lee Ward and Andy Wyatt from Bristol and Craig Brown’s group of 5 West Sussex lads and the Essex boys Mark Woolford and Dave Mason. Sadly Craig’s dad John couldn’t make the trip, perhaps a little worried about the prospect of having to lift some pretty big fish at his age (73?), hope to see you on the September trip though John. Occasionally a little bit of history is made here and this was to be 1 of those weeks with Craig beating his arch rival Roy Foster for the 1st time in I think 13 visits by catching 8 to Roy’s 4. Craig had 3 on the bank before Roy troubled the scorer but then Roy did what he seems to do best (lately), going for quantity rather than quality and quickly levelled the score. Not to be outdone or buckling under the pressure, Craig finished well, his week topped with a 51lb mirror, well done Craig about time!! Specimen hunter Lee on about his 16th visit only managed 3 carp, if there was any consolation to him the fish were 50-03 and 41-09 mirrors and a common of 46-01, perhaps you should get together with Roy and discuss notes? Lee’s mate Andy had an excellent week catching 11 fish which included commons of 53-10 and 44-04 as well as a 43-01 mirror, though it wasn’t quite good enough to earn the top rod award. Of all people Ian Stevenson better known for his cycling acrobatics than his carp fishing ability, had his best week at Moulinots in 7 years by catching 15 fish which included 7 fish over 40lbs i.e. commons of 54lbs, 48-12, 42lbs and 40-08 and mirrors of 51-04, 46 and 42lbs. This equalled the best result for most fish over 40lbs by 1 angler in 1 week, glad to see you are getting back on track Ian (know you will like that comment), excellent m8. Alan “Rivers” Sands managed to eat 42 chocolate bars (not a pb) and also land 4 fish to 48-10 and Mark Longhurst, under extreme pressure to become the 1st person this season not to catch, avoided that distinction by catching 2 fish late on in the week. Dave Mason had 3 fish which included a pb common at 47-15 and his mate Mark caught 4 to 41-09 but he didn’t participate on the dance floor this year, probably worried he would crack the patio! This time I managed to avoid losing any money in the competition by dropping out before it began, I probably fished less than 48 hours but still managed 4 fish which included 2 45lb mirrors, maybe I will compete in September. In total 58 fish were caught which included 5 50’s, 15 40’s and 23 30’s, the average weight was 37lbs, well done lads!!

April 2011 

The final week of April which as usual had been booked by the Dartford lads though this time they were unable to book the lake exclusively and were accompanied by 2 of the 3 “Italian brothers”, sadly 1 of them couldn’t make the trip due to an operation, wishing you a speedy recovery Rob. Louis and Marco Cuomo didn’t match the success of their 2010 visit, with Louis catching 4 fish to 43-12 and Marco only managing 2, but I know they enjoyed the holiday and the banter with the Dartfordians and maybe even me? Before I continue with the catch report, there were 2 incidents which I was not happy about i.e. 2 fish landed trailing lead core rigs. I know by the state of the rigs that these have been used this season. As a word of warning to all customers, regular or newcomers, breaches of my fishery rules will not be tolerated!! If any of the anglers feel that my rules are unacceptable then please fish another venue whose rules suit your type of fishing, but please do not come back to Moulinots again unless you are willing to abide by my rules. Failure to comply with my rules will result in termination of your fishing holiday at Moulinots with no money being refunded. It is sad that I have had to bring this subject up as part of a news report on a special week.

Ok so back now to a more pleasant subject, the catch report!! Top rod was John Chambers with 15 fish including a pb 56lb common, a 52lb pb mirror and 4 other 40’s, excellent angling and just reward for the effort he made to locate the fish. Graham Tree again went on the 40’s trail catching 5 this time including commons of 49-04 (pb) and 48-10, he also had 6 other fish but still hasn’t managed that elusive 50, stick with it Graham you are getting closer. 50’s were not elusive for some of the other anglers however, Mel Meredith displaying some good angling skills (for a change as well as some good break dance moves) caught 6 fish including a 53lb mirror (pb), Martin Hewett getting 2 50’s (pb common at 54-12 and a mirror of 50-12) amongst his total of 6 fish and Phil Gilham (still with his pony tail in tact) also landing 2 50’s (pb mirror of 57-08 and pb common of 52-04) amongst his total of 6 fish, the other Dartford member Matt Robinson had 6 fish including 2 40’s. In total 59 fish were caught which included 7 50’s (a new record for 1 week), 16 40’s and 24 30’s, the average weight for the week was 37-10. I won’t mention the fishing competition except to say Mr Hewett has taken another 10 euros from Kathy’s purse and Mel actually contributed onto the scorecard (1st time ever?). A very enjoyable week except for….. what I have said above!!

W/c 16 April and firstly welcome back again to the Hughes family (Cliff, Steve & Dan) and Andy Sapsford. When it comes to catching fish at Moulinots, I think they are jinxed!! I know they were very disappointed only catching 5 fish between them, the only good news was that Steve managed a new pb with a 47lb common on the 1st day, but after that it was a real struggle, sorry guys!! I am happy to report that previous fellow strugglers Dave Hankin and Neil Sharpe (Cumbria) did better this time, especially Dave who caught a new pb mirror of 53-14 backed up with other mirrors of 45lbs, 43-12 and 40-06 while Neil had 2 fish, though we won’t boast about the size! The other 3 anglers on the lake from Essex i.e. Perry Irving, Steve Munday and his son Ricky had the majority of the fish in the week. Perry had 7 fish including a 46-04 common and mirrors of 48-08 and 47lbs, Steve had 6 fish to 41-12 and Ricky was top rod with 10 fish including a new pb 54-04 (common) and a 47-10 mirror. In total (including my small contribution) 36 fish were caught which included 2 50’s, 10 40’s and 14 30’s, the average weight for the week was 36-10.

W/c 9 April and the next group (mainly from Essex), Dave Tucker and his 6 friends (didn’t know he had so many) called in at our house on the Friday evening to deliver some bait (thanks Dave) and to have a go at me for booking their hotel at Sainte Menehould on the wrong date i.e. the previous Friday, fortunately (as always) Kathy had managed to resolve the situation and get the guys into another local hotel at short notice. Fair to say that this group had never really done that brilliant at Moulinots in their past visits, most of the guys had caught a few big fish but no reasonable totals achieved, until now!! Chris Felstead under real pressure on his 4th visit and having previously had 2 blanks and only caught 1 fish, made amends this time by landing 4 fish which included mirrors of 50-02 (almost double his pb) and 48-02, well done Chris, so the rumour that you can’t smile is only a rumour after all. Fishing next to Chris was Paul (Pugsey) Beresford who again only managed 1 fish (37lb mirror), maybe next time eh? It was good to see old Fred (eye, eye) Boynton as good looking as ever, though better behaved than the previous visit and also a better angler! Fred had 3 fish including mirrors of 44-10 (pb) and 43lbs but sadly for me failed to match his previous supplies tab, only buying 1 bottle of wine this time, probably due to the fact that he was always on his mobile, must have cost him a fortune! Dave struggled at the start of the week but after some advice from the fishery manager (me), moved swims and quickly had 2 fish at the same time, both landed, the largest a 47lb mirror and followed up with a 44-08 mirror the next day. Fire fighter and probably the most dedicated angler among the group, Steve Miller was smouldering most of the week, poor Steve just couldn’t get going in spite of changing swims and having to spend most of the week landing fish for his mate Gary Pyman. Gary not normally known for his generosity even gave up his swim (after catching 12 fish to Steve’s 1) to Steve and of course no joy for Steve while Gary caught another 2 40’s from Steve’s swim, well if it isn’t your day (week)! I am pleased to say that Steve kept going and going and eventually went back to his own swim on the Friday and caught another 3 fish in the last 24 hours, well done m8! Alan Gosnell (my usual drinking and cheese partner), gave as good an account on the lake as he did at the bbq. Alan managed 8 fish including mirrors of 53-10 (pb) and 47-07 and commons of 46-12 (pb) and 42-05. Last but not least, well he was actually 1st, top rod Gary (again). With some anglers I can see signs why certain people are so successful at Moulinots, possibly it is their watercraft skills, bait presentation, rigs etc. etc. but in Gary’s case I haven’t got a clue what to attribute his success to, maybe it is not getting up early in the morning and disturbing the swim, closing his eyes whilst casting therefore perfecting the pub chuck, who knows?? Anyway whatever works for him, it works! Gary had 15 fish including a 52-08 pb mirror and 4 other 40’s (to 48-10), top angling m8, looking forward to receiving the photos of the bigger fish and also confirmation that you really don’t like port! In total 44 fish were caught including 3 50’s and 14 40’s, the average weight again over 36lbs, well done lads and about time you had a good week, see you next year!

W/c 2 April and for me the 1st shock to the system of the year, work!! It probably explains why I have been ill since Wednesday, almost totally speechless, partially due to a really bad throat and perhaps accompanied by the thrill of seeing so many big commons caught! 1st visitors this year were Gareth Cook’s regular group from Sussex (4 anglers) and Neil Taylors group (also 4 anglers) on their 1st visit here, though very experienced French campaigners. Unlike other reports I will start on the final result which was that a total of 33 fish were caught which included 5 50’s (equals our lake record), 7 40’s and 14 30’s, the average weight of all fish caught was 36lbs 13ozs. Photos of nearly all of the largest fish (over 35lbs) are on our gallery page.

I am waiting for 1 other unusual picture to be sent by Gareth Cook, can’t wait!!! Apart from more training on fishery management provided to Gareth during his visit, Gareth needed no advice or assistance in ensuring that the bacardi bottle he had brought for the week, was demolished on the Sunday night in a small celebration (7 hours)! This unscheduled party was mainly in honour of Mark Chevalier (Essex) catching 2 commons of 55-04 and 54lbs on the Sunday afternoon and he also added another small common of 48-13 later in the week, while buddy Paul Crane (Kent) also started the week well with a 48-04 pb mirror on the Saturday afternoon, 2 bottles of wine down in the 1st 24 hours and not sure how many down by the time we called time at the party, but certainly a Sunday night to remember, I think?? Paul also had 3 more fish in the week with further mirrors of 41.0 and 41-12 and another pb with a 54-04 common. Their trip organiser Neil (Essex) must have wondered why the name of this venue (as well as me) are not welcome on a certain forum (which I am not allowed to mention the name of …lol)…. I could suggest the real reasons, but I will leave that to your imagination and your friends. Neil also caught some decent fish i.e. 2 30’s, a 40-05 mirror and a pb common at 55-10, while 4th member of the group Gary Wilson didn’t manage a pb (this time) but was top rod with a creditable 8 fish which included 5 30’s, bad luck Gary but somebody has to keep the average weight down, something that I am sure Gareth and his friend Wayne Silcock will second! Paul White as usual only caught big fish here, only 2 this time but they were 50-03 (pb) and 42-01 mirrors, still waiting for that elusive pb common, what was it to beat Paul 27lbs, next time m8! Steve Brooks accompanied by his lovely 3 year old son Lenny, again managed a pb here catching his 1st ever 40lber, only just though, a 40-01 mirror. I wish all the anglers would behave like Lenny, at least my wine was safe. I think he is the youngest person that has stayed at the lake and a credit to Steve and his wife!! Good luck when you start school Lenny. The barbecue was a low key event, I think that we all agreed beforehand that it was not going to be a repeat of the Sunday and to discourage everybody I made a speedy exit home (due to illness) shortly after we finished the port and cheese, perhaps too speedy? (Final comment to be made after I hear from Gareth).

Winter 2010/11

Time for another well earned break (over now at the time of writing this), rods and fishing gear away and golf clubs de-rusted, polished and hopefully going to perform better than the previous Winter, which they did! 1 hole in 1 in Portugal and 1 win in a club competition at Falmouth etc. etc., I won’t bore you, this is supposed to be about fishing and the fishery. Before we went back to the UK we purchased 21 carp to 39lbs and a further 18 carp to 33lbs were stocked while we were away, that was the total stocking in the Winter. Apparently it was a long cold winter here with the lake being frozen for quite a while, glad I was away suffering the less severe UK winter. On our return to France (mid March) we visited the lake to determine the jobs that needed doing before we were due to open and as usual my workload was considerably more than Kathy’s! To be honest there wasn’t a lot of work required just the usual maintenance to the track, swims and general tidying up with a few bonfires to keep us warm. While we were away parts of the lodge bank and the bank adjoinging the stock pond at the other end of the lake had been reconstructed due to a number of holes (coypu) being found, some of the shrubs and trees unfortunately had to be removed, though based on previous experience the vegetation and reeds will quickly reappear. Naturally whilst working I did have a few sessions (fishing) to see if I could break my bad run at the end of 2010, what a bad advert I am for the place, a total of 5 nights and 8 part days and still nothing, just as well the anglers can catch here or I would be in trouble.

October 2010 to 2 November 2010 

September 2010 

The last week of September and welcome back to another group of regulars led by lake record holder Adrian Ford, you know the guy who caught our 1st 60 earlier in the year. I was keen to see whether his last visit had been a fluke, but I was quickly put in my place as Ad caught 2 30’s the 1st evening and by the end of the week had landed 9 fish including mirrors of 44-02 and 41-0 and 6 30’s, you will be shown a little more respect next time, not a lot though! Kevin “Rocky” Spence not having caught anything up until breakfast Friday and feeling the pressure, landed a 52-03 pb mirror and then had a further 3 fish, told you Kev it isn’t over til the fat lady sings, well done m8 and it was nice to hear your voice on the walkie talkie (this time). 40’s specialist Gordon Wood had his worst ever week in a lot of visits, only 2 30’s this time, obviously you need to get some coaching from Ad. 1 happy story to tell was about Stuart Neale who was only able to fish until the Wednesday due to work commitments and the last time here after fulfilling his ambition of catching a 40lb common, didn’t get a picture. Fortunately this time Stuart managed to avoid pressing the delete or format button (too technical for me) and got pictures of his new pb mirrors of 46lbs and 41-08 as well as another 36lb mirror, good angling Stu but you had better email me copies so I can put them on the website in case you erase them again. Larry Pyne once again increased his pb by catching a 44-04 mirror his only fish this time. Simon “Buzz” Bullen caught 6 fish which included 4 30’s, not his best trip here! Finally Terry “Forrest” Wills a fitness freak and what an athlete, puts me to shame! Having given up smoking (something I am going to try in the close season) Terry likes to run 5 miles every other day so he told me and sure enough he wasn’t lying. I was so jealous that as the week went on and reminiscing about my days as a top athlete in the 60’s, I finally decided on bbq night (after consuming a bottle of wine) that it was time to dig out my running shoes (sandals) and show him how a real athlete performs not over 5 miles though, 200 yards (ish) was plenty to try after a 40 year gap. With the starting blocks laid at the dead tree swim and the finishing line established at the lodge swim and the stop watch set, over the walkie talkie came “on your marks (or mark in my case I suppose) etc. etc.” and off I went like a scene from Chariots of Fire, though I don’t remember the guy nearly falling over at the 1st bend, there again he wasn’t running in sandals and on mud/grass. Though very surprisingly not out of breath at the finish and with arms raised like a winner crossing the finishing line, I will now admit that the legs were beginning to go the last 195 yards and the time, a very creditable 32.8 seconds, not bad for a near 60 year old! I nearly forgot to mention that Terry had 4 fish which included mirrors of 47lbs (pb), 44-10 and 40-04 and Tel I will be doing a lot of Winter training, golf though not running, never again unless I do actually pack up smoking! The final totals for the week were 30 fish which included 1 50, 8 40’s and 16 30,s and of course 15 miles 200 yards (ish)!

After a lengthy run of good weeks, I suppose it was inevitable that we were due a bad one and w/c 18 September was it. High air pressure, light winds, a full moon week and green algae on the lake, all factors playing a part in the low catch of 7 fish for Nigel Sladdens group of 8 Kent anglers. All of the guys had been to Moulinots on several occasions before, Steve Hollomby (the lake record holder with the most fish over 30lbs) nearly walked away empty handed this time but managed a 43-08 common in the early hours of the last morning. Steve Griffith did the same with a mid 30 mirror. Matt Cannon also ony had 1 fish (41lb mirror) while Nigel was joint top rod with 2 fish, the biggest at 38-10. Star of the show was “tiny” Phil Cross, who on previous visits had never caught any of our larger residents but this time had a 55lb pb mirror and a 47-12 pb common so not all bad news but almost! None of the fish were caught on any of the usual better productive baits here (cell & new grange), 2 of the fish were caught on pop-ups (which normally don’t work), a very strange week and disappointing for everybody except perhaps Phil.

Having been busy the last few weeks wearing my accountants hat (it’s that time of year), time to resume getting the news reports more up to date. Apologies to those who have been eagerly waiting to read them and also to those worried about what I might write about them. W/c 11 September and 10 anglers comprising of 4 groups and not always easy to please everybody on swim selection, though the job was made easier for me (and most of you know I hate hard work) by everybody agreeing that the 3 groups of 2 would fish as pairs, leaving Darren Bigmore’s group of 4 from Essex on their 2nd visit to draw for the swims left. After the great catch results the previous week I think most (if not all) of the guys expected a difficult week, they needn’t have worried, especially Mark Tucknott who drew the worst number out of his group and then was not able to choose any of the 3 swims that he fancied which were taken by his mates. Fortunately his new best friend (me) was on hand to suggest where he should go, something I did on his last visit but this time I was referring to swim choice. I often say to people don’t worry what number you draw as quite often the person with the worst of the draw ends up the top rod and this was almost another week where this occurred but not quite, with Mark catching 8 fish (2nd best of the week) which included a 51-11 pb mirror and a 42lb pb common, well done m8. Eating machine Darren still showing a healthy appetite for big fish, didn’t quite manage a pb but his 4 fish tally included mirrors of 53-06 and 40-04 whilst his son James though only catching 2 fish had the consolation that they were both pb’s, a 45-08 mirror and 32-06 common. 4th member of the group Aaron Smart and probably suffering from malnutrition having existed on pot noodles all week (so I am told), only had 1 fish, a 42-12 mirror, no wine prize for you my son this time, though you more and made up for it at the bbq! Glen Baynton on his 3rd visit here and the 1st time fishing while we were not on our holidays, had to endure my humour and music which was probably worse than the endurance test trying to catch 3 fish, the biggest at 44-01. Glen’s mate and 1st timer here Trevor “Yankie” Botterill, a water pipes contractor in New York (we get all sorts here) only caught 2 fish but like James they were both pb’s, a 41-10 mirror and 32-08 common, perhaps you should leak this news to the press (sorry I know I get worse). Ian Main (3rd visit) caught 4 fish, the largest at 39-04 mirror and had the audacity to ask for a bottle of wine for a 22lb pb common, what a nerve! Ian’s friend Dave Humpage ably coached by Ian landed 7 fish improving his biggest mirror by 13lbs (twice) with 2 at 46lbs but couldn’t repeat the double like a few of the other lads, still you know Dave all you need to do next time is to catch a common to taste the wine again. Finally to another newcomer here and also fair to say to carp fishing (his words not mine), Andy Beeston on his 1st visit to France which had been arranged as a 50th birthday present, certainly had plenty to celebrate. Andy’s 1st fish on the Monday was a 50-07 common, a mere 32lbs bigger than his previous pb for a common, I remember him saying “if I don’t catch anything else all week…”, well he did!! His next fish, a new pb with a 50-11 common and for good measure his 3rd and only other fish a 41-07 pb mirror (as he was packing away Saturday), what can I say, complete luck and of course happy 50th (all of them)! I know that you did come with a bigger pb than your friend Gary Rushton who I understand had more previous experience, but in the end experience will always beat luck (lol), Gary had 9 fish topped by mirrors at 51.01 and 43-05. In total 47 fish were caught which included 5 50’s and 10 40’s, so all in all another good week. Last comment for Mark and I know you will love this, at the time or writing this report (24/10), the last fish I have caught was on 12 September, a record to beat all records!!

W/c 4 September and time for another meeting with Craig Brown’s 6 West Sussex lads, Moulinots specialist Lee Ward (Bristol) and Graham Renn’s group of 3 (Yorks) and our 1st visitor from Denmark (Teddy) and his lovely girlfriend Linda. Starting in reverse order with Teddy (fishing the shallows), he had a good 1st visit catching 4 fish which included a 43lb pb common and mirrors of 44lbs and 41-08. Graham caught more 40’s in this trip than the rest of his other visits here and a lot of other lakes he has fished in France added together, he managed 4 which included a pb common at 43-10 and mirrors of 45-07, 42-08 and 40-06, in total he caught 8 carp and none from his bait boat!. Son Patrick continuing with bait boat tactics (against my advice as usual) also caught 8 carp including a new pb with a 42-06 mirror and 3rd member of the Yorkshire group Andy Sopp also enjoyed a new pb catching a 45-15 mirror, might be tough up North but you found it pretty easy here. The emphasis on this weeks report is the competition that was fished by the rest of us and after 5 years of resisting fishing the competition arranged by the West Sussex guys, this time I thought I would take part, after all a lot of pride (and £30) at stake fishing against 2 of the best anglers that we have had here i.e. Lee Ward and Roy Foster, the other lads are not bad either! The problem was that I judged the competition as a sprint and not a marathon, like a top greyhound out of the traps, by Monday afternoon I had already lapped the other guys, catching 8 fish (including 5 40’s, the smallest at 46lbs), my best ever week for big fish and where were the competition favourites, Roy had only caught 3 fish and Lee almost in a daze never having seen me performing like a carp angler before had only caught 1, none of the other guys were any closer to me, 5 fish up, 200lbs+ in front and the biggest fish, what a dream start, but not game over as I was already beginning to think and as the week progressed winning was becoming a distant dream. Lee then got his act together and by the end of the week had caught 10 fish including 1 50 and 5 40’s, 1 more fish than me though I did land 1 more 40, both of us falling 1 short of the 7 fish over 40lbs record. Craig Brown also came with a late run also catching 9 fish including a new pb with a 51-08 mirror which landed the biggest fish of the week award.

Craig’s 1st 50 (1 more than Roy)!!

Alan Sands the ex match fishermen did his best but only managed 6 carp which included a 40-08 common. Craig’s dad John (a young 70 something) who has struggled in recent visits, had a much better trip this time catching 4 fish which included a 45-13 mirror and 42lb common. Newcomer Juston Jenner on his 1st visit with the lads was my main competitor for the 1st 3 days catching 3 fish and sadly never managed to add to that result. Think that leaves the winner to talk about, no surprise really, Mr Foster who ended up with 18 fish and the biggest weight, though not 1 of the fish was over 40lbs, got to say Roy I hate you, no sorry I mean well done but try and catch a few bigguns next time! In total 85 fish were caught (our 2nd best week) and 25 of them were over 40lbs (a new lake record). A great fishing week and the last time I enter a competiton, bad loser, not at all, just no staying power!

W/c 28 August and nice to welcome back Aiden Townley and Chris Suttle and 4 other Yorkshire lads on their 1st visit. I was really hoping that Aiden had a good week after suffering a year of personal tragedies that would destroy most people and I am pleased to say Aiden did have a week to remember. He caught 7 fish including a 51lb pb mirror backed up by another at 47-15 and also had a pb common at 38lbs subsequently beating that 1 with another at 44-10, we are really pleased for you m8! Chris who I think is a secret alcoholic, stayed sober enough to catch 4 fish including a 42-04 mirror and 2 upper 30lb mirrors, no pb’s this time except perhaps bottles consumed. Scott Simpson, an all round angler set 4 pb’s during the week with mirrors at 40-13 and 46-04 as well as landing commons of 32lbs and 36lbs, Scott caught 6 fish in total, not bad for a relative newcomer to carp fishing (lol). Peter “Fat boy slim” Hall (a year younger than me, which makes him old also) faired better at the bbq than on the lake only managing a new pb with a mirror of 33-10, though there was 1 contraversial moment on the Fridat afternoon. Left in charge of his son Wayne’s rods, off goes 1 of Waynes alarms and the next thing I spot is Wayne sprinting (well not quite) back to his swim and though I could not see what was going on, the report was that while trying to get his breath back quickly snatched the rod from Peter and landed a 55lb mirror, so whose fish was it? Poor old Peter with a hernia as big as a lot of peoples stomachs, to be truthful would have struggled to land and lift the fish so maybe it was safer that Wayne took control. Wayne also had a pb common on his own rods at 45-05. The last member of the group Andy Moss, was also the last person to catch on the Friday morning thanks to the magic of the Noddy hat that we give out each week to the person struggling the most, Andy’s reward a pb mirror at 31-05, well done m8 you showed great patience and looked good wearing the hat if only for a few hours. See you guys next year! In total we had 24 carp which included 2 50’s and 7 40’s, the average weight for the week 36-10.

August 2010

The final full week of August and time to meet the group with the Italian connection i.e. the Cuomo brothers (Rob, Marco & Louis) and their 2 associates James and Darren (sorry I don’t have your surnames) who booked the exclusive use of the lake. The week started the same way as the previous week had finished with the weather remaining hot and no fish being caught until the Monday morning. Darren who spent most of the week trying to wind me up and for a youngster failed miserably, only had 1 fish a 45-14 pb mirror which at least provided some consolation to having to try and compete with the banter aimed at him all week! Talking of aiming, 1 night reminded me of a scene from the Italian Job, no vehicle involved just a muskrat. We don’t have many of them at Moulinots, but the few we do have enjoy a boilie or 2 especially at night. Rob managed to hook 1 after dark and radioed for assistance so naturally I gathered my .177 rifle and sprinted down to the dead tree, on arrival took dead aim…. and missed, “I told you to blow it’s bloody head off” was the timely comment, the laughter was rapturous, shortly after the animal was humanely dealt with, must get some night vision goggles from the army lads next time. Ok back to the catch report, James caught the 1st fish of the week but then failed to locate the fish again until the Friday when he caught a further 4 fish, he failed to locate the shower all week, feel very sorry for Darren who had James for company on the way home, not sure the sniffer dogs would have been trained to identify that smell. I promised birthday boy (bbq day) a big fish and sure enough on his special day it arrived, not sure whether it was my magic charm or simply that the bbq was late, either way while the food was being cremated a message came over the radio that Louis was into a fish, well 2 actually! I drove round and by the time I got to his swim he had 1 fish on the bank and a 45-10 pb mirror in the net, nice birthday present eh? For a guy who had never caught a 30lb carp before, he had a quite a week in the end catching 10 fish topped by a 50-10 mirror, other mirrors of 40-08 and 39-10 and of course the 45-10 already mentioned, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Brother Marco was top rod with 12 fish including a pb common of 46-02 and pb mirror of 43lbs and other brother Rob also had a great week with 10 fish including mirrors of 44-08 and 41-08 and a pb common at 39-10, 34 fish between the 3 brothers, an Italian job well done!! My reward for the birthday presents and patience in having to deal with Darren (which was good fun m8), 2 49lb commons within an hour of each on Friday night, quite a week. In total 41 fish were landed including the 50, 9 40’s and 16 30’s, great finish to a great month for big fish (4 50’s and 30 40’s, includes fish caught between 28th and 31st August), roll on September!

On the home stretch now with the news reports almost up to date, last week (14 August) and 9 anglers fishing, sadly Phil Matthews had to pull out of the trip, hope work improves soon for you m8. Phil’s mates Adrian “Adonis” Moulder and his nephew George Bryant on their 1st visit caught 4 fish between them (all pbs), Adrian’s biggest at 47lbs (more than double his previous pb) and young George (17) who fished hard all week catching a 31lb pb mirror. The Coen brothers Joe & Mick (Essex) back again on their 2nd visit this year again excelled with Joe once again the top rod with 6 fish and Mick catching 4 (best a 40-08 mirror). Northern lads Warren Neville & Steve Cuthbert (West Yorks) on their 1st trip after recommendations from members of the Northern Carp Forum (NCFF) both achieved pb’s with Warren catching 5 carp (4 pb’s) which included a 44lb mirror and 41-14 common and buddy Steve just a 27lb mirror (worth a bottle though). Mark Woolford (Essex) also back for his 2nd trip here this year and accompanied by non fishing wife Carol Ann (Cat), started slowly but ended up with 5 fish (4 30’s to 39-09). Another angler John Clifton (Lincoln) caught 4 fish beating his pb’s with a 43-06 mirror and 28-08 common while his friend Roly Dodge had 2 30’s, all of their fish being caught in the 1st 3 days. By the Tuesday following approximately almost a foot of rain, 34 fish had been caught and we were all expecting a bumper week, then the hot weather returned and only 4 fish were caught the last 84 hours, typical! Though not a pb (but my biggest mirror from Moulinots) I caught a 55-08 mirror on the Monday night and thanks to Adrian and Mark for taking the trouble during torrential rain to assist me, I have even got a photo for a change. Exotic dancer Cat entertained us at the barbecue whilst hubby Mark threatened to get off his chair to join the entertainment, fortunately Adrian performed admirably in his place, though I think he needs a little more practice with some of the moves. In total 38 fish were caught including my 50 and 6 40’s, another good week considering the weather. We have now had over 150 carp over 40lbs caught this season and I think fish weights are down at the moment following the long hot summer. October could produce some interesting results!!

W/c 7 August and following a late cancellation only 5 anglers on the lake. Ryan White (Bolton) accompanied by his non fishing wife Heather had a good result by catching 6 fish including a pb mirror at 43-02 and pb common at 28lbs. Andy Edmonds group of 4 (Herts) all caught on their 1st trip with 3 of them joining the ever increasing list of guests receiving free wine. Although Andy (on this occasion) managed to avoid the highly sought after free wine for a pb, he more than made up for this by sharing at least 3 bottles of my wine (what a cheek). Andy had 7 fish which included mirrors of 46-09 and 40-10, son Nathan (too young for the wine, so Andy drank that as well) had 3 fish including a pb mirror and common but still awaits his 1st 30, something I will guarantee next year and if not I will give your Dad another free bottle. Graham Routledge caught 4 fish which included a pb mirror at 47-13 and a 40-12 common and Mark Simmonds also caught 4 fish, the largest at 55lbs. In total 25 fish were landed which included 1 50, 5 40’s and only 5 30’s, my contribution being the 1st fish a 21lb common and nought else! See all of you guys next year.

The 1st week of August and back to my work duties and my 2nd home (bivvy) and a full lake of anglers consisting of 3 groups. Surprisingly and something I do try and encourage, the anglers agreed amongst themselves where they were all were going to fish without having to do a draw. Newcomers Chris & Donna Williams (London) on a 3 week fishing holiday with Moulinots being their final week, doubled up in the dead tree swim which does provide the best view of the whole lake. You are a lucky man Chris to have a wife who loves carp fishing, sleeps in a separate bivvy and gets up early to watch the water for you whilst you just carry on snoring and you think I have a good life! Chris only had 1 fish all week (46-05 common) whilst Donna showed him her angling skills by catching 4 fish to 39lbs, a result perhaps aided by a change in bait towards the end of the week. I am sure that baits regularly used at Moulinots produce more fish than baits rarely or neved used here before. I am not sure how many times over the years I have heard the phrase “I have used this bait on a lot of venues and it always works” and at the end of the week I am not sure how many times I have said “perhaps you would have caught more fish using the regular baits at Moulinots”, always worthwhile trying both, guys you are only here for a week and I am sure that the odds favour you if you at least bring some of the proven baits, or better still buy some from me. 3rd time visitors Mark Cowhig and Jamie Munro (Surrey) joined by brothers Cliff & Gary Barnes (Kent) on their 1st visit also struggled to get amongst the fish with Mark catching 3 fish to 44lbs, only 1 for Cliff (pb mirror of 34-08) and 1 for Gary (small but pb mirror) and Jamie no score (not even on Mark’s rods this time). It was left to the Army lads to give the weeks catch report some respectability. Kent (Chappie) Chapple who was here with the army lads back in 2006 (or was it 2007) and single then (those were the days eh?) showed that married life had not adversely affected his angling skills, in fact I think they have improved. Chappie caught 7 fish which included 3 pb’s during the week, topped with a 47-08 common and a 42-08 mirror, Sergeant Major Shaun Callaghan had 6 fish (including 2 pb’s – 49lb common and 42-09 mirror), Alan Blackie (Artillery) had 5 fish (3 pb’s in the week topped by a 49lb mirror backed up by a 44-03 mirror) and Paul Wellman (not sure what his role in the army is, I dread to think) he caught 5 fish which also included 3 pb’s (best a 40-07 mirror and a 37-08 common), night Paul!! Of course the commanding officer (me and still only a Colonel) led by example by catching 6 fish which included 50 and 40lb mirrors. Having demonstrated my marksman skills on several occasions this year, the bbq night presented a good opportunity to test myself against the elite of the British Army. The results were very worrying as 2 of the army lads couldn’t even hit the plastic plate at 25 metres, whilst Paul and I settled for an honourable draw. I am not sure what happened after the bbq except following all of the excitement I decided to practise my jungle combat skills, I didn’t find the enemy just a bank, brambles and bushes, thanks to Paul and Mark for bringing me back from the front line and also to Donna for her 1st aid skills. I won’t be playing A Night to Remember (Shalamar) again!! In total 38 fish were caught which included my 50, 10 40’s and 15 30’s, 13 pb’s and just 1 mystery, Mark what happened to Philippes whiskey?

July 2010 

The last week of July and the final week of our well earned break before back to the real world. With Cliff still in charge and joined by our friend Neil Sharpe (Cumbria) as well as Phil Gilham and Swell (Dartford), John and his son Jack Collison (Kent) and 3 other guests who will remain anonymous. Though only 10 fish were caught again blamed on the hot weather, the wine cellar took a battering with Phil catching a 49lb pb mirror, Jack catching a 43-08 pb mirror and 47-08 pb common, Cliff (2nd bottle in 2 weeks) catching a 44lb pb mirror and 1 other pb for another guest. The 3 unnamed guests only caught 1 fish between them on their 1st visit and presumably and understandably were disappointed, but they would not have been as disappointed and angry as I was to discover all of their rubbish had been left by their swims, perhaps an explanation would be nice!! Thanks to the army guys who helped me on the Saturday morning to remove the abandoned rubbish. Enough said on that subject! Finally thanks to Cliff for managing our lake again and well done to Millwall last season.

3rd week into our holiday and time for a change of bailiff (Cliff Hughes – Suffolk) and hopefully 1 that can catch fish (sorry Frank), though on past results here, well I was a little worried but with hindsight need not have been. Not sure how many times Cliff has fished here but it is fair to say that he has nearly always failed to see our bigger residents in his landing net, but not this time! With only 2 guests on the lake Lee Cobb and his friend Mark, Cliff led by example catching 7 of the 9 fish which included a pb common at 53lbs, another common at 49lbs and a 40lb mirror, it was a shame that nobody was on hand to assist him in taking photos, but with 2 of the 3 fish being caught at between 4 and 5 a.m. not surprised that nobody was awake, even more surprised that Cliff could hear his alarm at that time in the morning. Bet them bones were creaking? Mark had the other 2 fish and unfortunately Lee didn’t catch. Again the weather continued to be very hot.

W/c 10 July and weather wise more of the same, very hot. Frank and Luke had another hard week only catching 4 fish, obviously lost of ideas without me on the lake. Russ Britain also on a 2nd week with Frank did much better by catching 13 fish which included 1 40 and 5 30’s, Frank’s friends (didn’t know he had any) Ian and Ashley Perugino both had pb commons and mirrors, 33-12 and 35lbs for Ian and 36lbs and 44-08 for Ashley. In total 29 fish were landed but size wise 1 of the worst weeks I can remember for a long time with only 2 40’s and 13 30’s caught, maybe the big fish were back in spawn again or maybe they were affected by the continuous hot weather. I would like to thank Frank and Pauline for managing the fishery during our holidays and Frank maybe be the pressure of running the fishery affected your fishing, which is what happens to me a lot of the time.

W/c 3 July and the start of 4 weeks holiday for Kathy and me down in Cornwall, golf and more golf (for me anyway). The lake was supervised in our absence by our UK contacts Frank and Luke Oakman accompanied by their grandson Luke. Wayne Letchford’s group of 6 from Dartford had booked the lake and this time included 1st timers Adam & Sarah Fisher who from the catch reports and feedback had a good week. They only caught 4 fish but they were all 40’s with Adam catching a pb common at 47-02 and a pb mirror at 44lbs while wife Sarah had a pb mirror at 48lbs and another 44lb mirror, not bad for a 1st trip. The reports for July will not be up to my usual standard as I have no idea what went on at the lake except what was caught. In total there were 20 fish landed including 6 40’s (a 44-04 mirror for John Taylor and a 42-08 mirror by Russ Britain from Essex) and 9 30’s. Frank and Luke had their worst week in 9 years only catching 3 fish between them with Luke catching the biggest at 39-08, I assume Frank spent too much time on lake maintenance and rig inspections and not enough time fishing (yeah right)! Wayne was top rod with 5 fish but no monsters this time. The average weight of all the fish was 34-12. I am told that the weather was extremely hot with temperatures over 30 deg all week.

End of May & June 2010 

The last week of June and nice to welcome back another group of Essex lads led by moonshine taste expert Dave Tucker. The week didn’t get off to the best of starts with Dave breaking a tooth on the journey down and I met the lads at a bar on the Saturday morning while Kathy accompanied Dave to visit the local dentist, apparently Dave’s French is worse than mine. To add salt to the wound, I had to break the news that the fish had resumed spawning. When we arrived at the lake the fish had stopped spawning and the lads were keen to help me remove some of the weed in front of 2 of the swims, even before setting up their stalls around the lake. So fully equipped with 4 boats and 6 able bodied men, plus myself and old Fred (1 eye) Boyton, a full assault on the weed patches was launched and a couple of hours later all of the weed was removed, great job guys and the weed hasn’t reappeared anywhere since (this note written 17/8/10). The temperatures all week were very hot (28 – 36 deg) and I was surprised that any fish were caught. Paul Beresford had a 40-08 pb mirror on the 1st night but nothing else, Dave had 2 cups of moonshine but only 1 fish. Gary Pymont had the 2 smallest fish of the week (which will remain our secret) whilst Steve Miller who had a great previous trip didn’t get his net wet and his impersonation of John Travolta was as bad as his fishing, sorry Steve. Alan Gosnell my wine and cheese assistant had 2 fish and 2 hangovers, the fish were a 41-02 mirror and a 36-08 common, can’t comment on the size of the hangovers! Chris Felstead avoided the ducks this time but did manage to catch here (AT LAST), only 20’s Chris but now you can only get better. Top rod was Lee Pearce who managed 5 fish including a pb common at 46-08, a pb mirror at 45-04 and another 42lb mirror amongst his tally, well done Lee. Every know and again (I know I have said this before) I meet a real character and Fred joins my shortlist. I never try to mock the afflicted, disabled or under priviledged, but in Fred’s case I couldn’t help myself, what a smashing fellow! A new event was to unfold on bbq night, a 100ft pine tree which was considered dangerous near the lodge was to be removed by tree surgeon Fred! We were all excited at seeing this event, chairs were positioned near the tree 10 yards away as Fred assured us that he could drop the tree on a sixpence. The tension and excitement were huge, the problem was the event never took place! I had contacted a local French guy to borrow the necessary equipment for Fred to fell the tree, when the guy arrived (assisted by a tractor etc.) he decided he was not going to let anybody use his equipment, maybe 1 look at Fred was the problem or perhaps it was because I told him that Fred had lost his sight due to a tree falling on him (only joking). Anyway what an anti climax, we were all very disappointed but didn’t let it spoil the bbq. Fred was probably the most disappointed of all of us and I think the final straw was on the shooting gallery when he was at a complete disadvantage trying to sight the target by closing 1 eye (his good 1)!! All in all a very good week (again) and I look forward to seeing most of you guys on our last week of the 2010 season. Nearly forgot, Fred caught 2 fish including a 31lb pb mirror and how did he damage an eye, you won’t believe it, he was shot in the eye with an air rifle (True), but not here!! In total 17 fish were caught including 6 40’s, I had a 45lb mirror which accounts for the 6th 40.

Another rare visitor to the lake (the 1 on the right…..Kathy)!

W/c 19 June and 4 of the Northern Carp Forum lads returned for their 2nd visit accompanied by 4 of their Middlesex friends visiting Moulinots for the 1st time. The weather continued to be hot and the fish resumed spawning again towards the end of the week. I think it is fair to say that the boys spent almost as much time socialising away from the lake in local bars and watching the 2 World Cup games as they did fishing and why not, after all it is supposed to be a holiday. The only complaint was that I didn’t spend more time socialising with them, I know my limitations though and I couldn’t have kept pace with them. The Northern lads proved too good for the Southerners (this time) catching 14 fish compared to 6, but to be fair the Southern lads fished a lot less hours with Fred Simms and Peter Hurst playing golf on I think 4 days and Ian (it’s all gone Wonkey Donkey) Savage trying to lead everybody astray by saying forget the fishing let’s go and find another bar. Fred landed 2 fish including a 57-08 pb mirror, Peter only had 1 fish (a pb 48lb mirror), Pete’s brother Paul who was struggling in his own swim was offered my swim and had a 34.05 mirror on the last morning, the things I have to do and please the anglers (or try to). Social animal Ian’s fishing can only be described by his favourite saying – it’s all gone wonkey donkey, bad luck Ian! Now for the Northern section report, Neil Brookes caught 5 fish including a 47lb pb common, a 43lb mirror and 3 30’s, Steve Alford had 4 fish to 39-10, Paul (Lance) Jones had 2 (or was it 3) accidents on his bike but faired better with his fishing by catching 3 carp including a 44lb pb common and a 39-06 pb mirror and finally thanks to Neil giving up his swim, Michael Spaven caught 2 fish. I had 1 of my best big fish weeks by catching 4 40’s in the 1st few days but then gave up due to the hot temperatures and lack of alcohol. In total 25 were caught including 1 50, 9 40’s and 10 30’s, the average weight a respectable 37lbs, not bad for a group of part time anglers. When we meet next year, I promise that there will be a couple of changes, firstly I will spend a little more time socialising with you (but not entering any drinking competition) and Fred you will be cut a few shots, the word bandit mildly describes your current handicap! Glad you had an enjoyable week.

Our latest resident (we think there are 5 of them) – pinemartin (thanks Alfy)

W/c 12 June and a mixture of regular and new visitors to Moulinots, it was a pity that the fishing didn’t match the weather and the social side. With the temperatures in the 30’s and the fish spawning it was always going to be a difficult week, however all of the guys remained positive which made my week easier. Wayne Mcgill (Dartford) failed to get his name in the catch book this time but did provide the customary cheese and wine party in the dead tree swim which was very enjoyable (as always). Wayne’s friend Vince Ripley on his 1st visit did slightly better by catching 1 fish, the consolation for him was that it was a 38-05 pb mirror. A similar report for Ian Whitelaw and Craig Boulton (Brits living in Holland), 1 fish for Ian (a 44lb pb mirror) and Craig matching Wayne’s result. Phil Matthews (Oxford) group which included 5 newcomers had a mixed week, not sure how Phil convinced everybody including himself that he would reluctantly take the 1st point but it worked! He finished joint top rod with 4 fish including a 44.08 pb mirror and 46-10 pb common, have you ever thought of being a con man Phil and I hope the guys didn’t do you too much bodily harm on the way home. Ian Baker who seemed to be suffering from depression (as well as a permanent hangover) until the Wednesday, made a spectacular recovery by also catching 4 fish including a pb 42-02 mirror, the recovery from the effects of trying Philippes moonshine took slightly longer! Mark (The Horseman) Claesons got the week off to a good start with a pb 42-02 mirror on the Saturday and caught the last fish on the Thursday, the rest of the time entertaining all of us with “Tales of the Horseman”, impressions of famous people (Phil Collins was a good 1) and what he was trying to do with me at the barbecue will have to remain private! Presumably his wife Gemma already knew Mark was bisexual, but sorry Mark I am not!!! Ryan Ward and Robert Lang failed to score at the lake but they did do better at our golf match. The competition was fearce, what a nail biter, all 3 of us with a chance of winning teeing off on the 18th, but there are players and there are hackers. I can’t remember Rob’s drive but I do know that it went forward, as usual my etiquette was perfect and I know the assistance I gave to the guys on where to hit the ball (on the 1st 17 holes) was appreciated, but when it comes down to the wire it is every man for himself. Ryan trying to protect a 1 shot lead from Rob seemed to be nervous on the last tee, so I tried to reassure him by suggesting that he should mind the trees on the left, but he didn’t listen and hacked the ball straight into the trees, now my turn and of course a 220 yard drive down a tight fairway setting me up for a relatively easy par 4, game over and bad luck Ryan and Rob, though Rob you did win the B competition that we were also playing and Ryan you were last in that 1 also m8. A very enjoyable round of golf though and better luck next time boys. Finally Daniel Webb (a non golfer) probably wished he had come with us, unfortunately like some of the others (including me, well you can’t be good at everything) failed to appear in the catch report. See you all next year and let’s hope the fishing and the golf improve. In total only 12 fish including 5 40’s and 6 pb’s.

W/c 5 June and welcome back Gordon Wood’s group of 6 on an exclusive lake booking, rich man our Gordon! A new chapter in the Moulinots history was created by a slimmed down Adrian Ford (Kent) on his 2nd visit who landed our 1st 60 (60.02 mirror). I have tried unsuccessfully to match this fish with photos of fish caught in the last 3 years, if any of our anglers think they can match it with a fish that they have caught here, please send me the details. Big Ad was chuffed as we all were, it was just reward for him helping me with some maintenance work at the weekend and a tribute to his mate Terry Wills for angling instruction prior to his visit. We all enjoyed a superb celebration party on the Monday night which far exceeded the events on bbq night. Ad, slightly or more accurately totally worse for wear, politely excused himself from the party and was not seen again for 24 hours, as big as you are my friend, the Governor will always win at a wine tasting (guzzling) event! Well done Ad. top man! Now talking about top men, Stuart Underwood who in the past has not been known for massive catches, somehow this time took the top rod prize, which of course wins you nothing, was top rod for the week. Like many of our anglers, Stuart was in search of a pb common and I think in the end had 5, the largest being 41 and 42lbs, for good measure he also had a 44-08 mirror, so I have to accept that there must have been a certain element of skill attached, well done Stuart. Time now for that cantankerous person (me according to Gordon) to report on Gordon’s catch, which for him was well below par, only 5 fish with the largest a mere 39lb mirror, typical really that he should grab what for most people is the most productive swim and he fails miserably! Dave Clutterbuck, whose cough is worse than mine (that takes some believing doesn’t it), tried to force me to change my rules by asking for 2 bottles of wine, 1 for his pb common at 39lbs and 1 for his 37.08 pb mirror (5 fish in total), waste of time really, as I only change rules to suit myself not cost me more money, everybody knows that except Dave apparently! Stuart Kelly had 4 fish including a 44.04 mirror and Mark Winfield landed 7 carp including a 40-13 pb common, an expensive week for me (as usual) which could have been lightened had Gordon kept his promise to share the bacardi he had bought for me, no wonder I might be a bit obnoxious next time. In total 35 fish were caught including the now famous 60 and 6 40’s, well done all of you!

BREAKING NEWS ADRIAN FORD (Kent) New Lake Record 60lbs 2oz Mirror

Monday night 2 bottles of champagne and free wine donated (by Kathy & me) and 1 helluva party!

W/c 29 May and always good to see the Coen brothers (Mick & Joe), father and son Mick & Rob Waters, Dennis Stanton & a younger Norman Ball (70 a couple of years ago but apparently now only 67). These guys met at Moulinots last year and decided to book the lake exclusively for this year. The guys had suffered a hard week in 2009 with spawning at its peak and fish very difficult to catch and I was a little worried that history would repeat itself. A strong team talk was handed out on Saturday morning and the guys were told what I expected from them i.e. 50 fish for the week. This seemed to work as the guys got off to a great start by catching 13 fish on the Sunday and by Monday night had reached a total of 22 and up to 28 by the Tuesday night. Whether it was the extreme pressure that I had applied on them or the downpour Tuesday night, things changed (for the worst) with only a further 8 fish being caught the last 3 days and the end of the week was capped with more spawning. The Coen’s seemed to be having their own competition with Joe and Mick having their best ever catches here, Joe catching 10 carp (3 40’s to 44.08) and Mick a very creditable 9 carp (including a pb common at 44lbs). Storming Norman again started like an express train but ended up like a damp squid (probably the split in his waders) landing 7 carp including a new pb (38.08 common). Dennis plugged away for his 3 fish but again did not manage to catch 1 of our bigger carp, though this time he did land a 37.12 pb common. Mick Waters also had a pb common at 39lbs and 1 other fish whilst son Rob only caught 1 fish, the smallest of the week at 21lbs. At least Rob it didn’t give you a hernia lifting it! Though the fishing was good at the start of the week and deteriorated, the entertainment at the latter part of the week sort of made up for the fishing. This year we have not been able to treat the weed as in previous years due to EU regulations banning the use of herbicides. We were aware that this action was going to be taken and as an alternative measure we purchased approximately 200 small grass carp to try and minimise the weed growth, unfortunately this year this has not been 100% successful. Several of the swims i.e. cut, 1st & 2nd points and the shallow end of the lake were all becoming more difficult (but not impossible) to fish. Many of the French fisheries have been buying grass carp to solve their weed problems and trying to get hold of the grass carp proved difficult (and expensive) and by the time we were able to buy some, the weed had already become too established and in too great a quantity for the grass carp to control. We had kept back a small quantity of chemical from 2009 and during the week I decided that first I would start clearing out some of the weed manually (many thanks Dennis, Joe, Norman and Rob who kindly helped me) and then apply the chemical once a swim was considered fairly clear. Hopefully the grass carp will do better next year, but we do have an effective Plan B in reserve (being kept secret) if needed. Dennis and Rob were so keen to help that they both jumped into the same canoe and managed to sink it, Dennis of course remaining sitting on the canoe even after it had sunk, a true Captain! I will continue to try and ensure that the weed is controlled this year, though anglers must be aware that 1 man (aged), a canoe and a rake is not the best (but the only) method available at the moment. The barbecue was a great success by the introduction of a musical quiz to accompany the now well established Dave’s Disco and if that wasn’t enough a dance competition called “Carp anglers do have talent?” Without any prior rehearsal all of the guys participated and although my method of scoring (or not) was questionable, especially deducting points every time somebody tried to interrupt me (which was frequently), I think that Dennis ending up the winner was fair. Mick W nursing a hernia, went through the pain barrier to perform his 45 second act, well it couldn’t be described as a dance and considering that my music supposedly wasn’t Mick’s cup of tea, by the end of the evening he was asking me to do some cd’s for him, sorry Mick it is against copyright regulations. Norman’s breakdance effort, though admirable, was more likely in him breaking a bone than scoring any points, nice try though Norman! A thoroughly enjoyable evening and not sure I could repeat it every week, too much hard work! In total 36 fish were landed including 5 40’s and 11 30’s (6 of them 39lbs) and for a change I got to fish the dead tree swim and caught 3 fish including the biggest fish of the week, a 45lb common.

May 2010 

On to another week already, how they are flying this year, only 5 more to our holiday. 1 of the things I really enjoy about running the fishery is meeting new people and new characters and w/c 22 May there were 4 new people and 1 unique character i.e. Nathaniel Sorelipic Vicentijebic and yes that is his real name, almost. Entrepreneur Nathan on his 1st carping holiday to France and at the start of the week I thought maybe even his 1st attempt at carp fishing, made quite an impression on his arrival, quite lippy and full of himself though showing signs of anxiety on how he would handle the fishing and how long would it be before he caught a fish. It was clear that Nathan was not like any other carp angler or even angler that we had welcomed before. Perhaps his Eastern European upbringing may have explained some of it, I finished off my usual Saturday morning speech by saying that in the unlikely event that he caught a carp, he must put it back! He also learned a little more about rigs during the week after unfortunately losing a few, 1 of his so called friends suggested that to tie a rig he should put the hook behind his front teeth and pull on the hooklink, success, Nathan managed to hook himself in the bottom lip and there was no way that the hook was coming out without assistance! My eyes are still watering and sides splitting at the thought, painful! I could perhaps write a lengthy report, as I did last year about another angler, but people couldn’t understand what I was talking about, so I won’t try again now. I did have many pleasant hours with Nathan discussing his past difficult upbringing and how against all odds he is where he is today. I sort of felt sorry and at the same time proud that 1 of life’s underpriviledged human beings had turned his life round and was here fishing (dangling) at Moulinots. Before I close on this story, Nathan much to everybodies surprise caught 4 fish and ate 0, a special bottle of wine was awarded for his 36lb pb mirror and served with caviar. It was an honour to meet you my friend and to keep my loyal promise to you, I won’t tell the whole world that you were the 1st Gay Serbian ever to fish here!

Group leader Wayne Conroy (Bucks) also deserves a mention, again not necessarily for his catch report. 1 morning I witnessed 1 of the best ever dives towards a rod I have ever seen, Wayne’s buzzer went off (though I didn’t hear it) and the next thing I saw was Wayne in horizontal mode trying to grab a rod, any rod! Not sure this method is in 1 of the Korda dvd’s but it certainly worked, he landed the fish as well as 6 others. Wayne had come to Moulinots in quest of 1 of our big commons, didn’t quite manage 1 of them this time but a consolation was that he did catch 2 above his previous pb (39-11 and 36-10). He also landed the only 40 of the week on the final morning with a 46lb mirror. If Fulham ever decide on a new goalkeeper I will use my influence with the Club to make sure they contact you, but you may have to lose 4 or 5 stone 1st.

3rd member of the group Aide (the exterminator) Chittenden formerly an extra in the film “Enemy at the Gates” realised on Thursday night why he never got 1 of the 2 main parts as his shooting skills are worse than mine! Thanks though Aide for your assistance during the week, Aide only had 2 fish during the week. Final member of the group Steve (T head) Jefkins, who spent more time drinking tea than I do wine, which takes some believing, caught 4 fish (to 33-08). The fish were spawning at the start of the week and for the 1st time this season most of the big fish were elusive. Only 17 carp landed which included 1 40 and 8 30’s, the average weight a mere 31lbs 9ozs, terrible! A very enjoyable social though through the week, thanks guys!

W/c 15 May and at last some warm weather, the previous weeks had seemed like March, the 1st year I can ever remember fishing with the bivvy closed and the sleeping bag zipped up, must be my age (lol). Nice to welcome back Steve Harwood after I think 4 or 5 years, don’t think you have aged since I last saw you. Certainly you haven’t forgotten how to catch fish here, Steve landed 5 fish which included mirrors of 50-08 (pb), 45-09, 44-0 and 42-05, the other fish wasn’t bad either a new pb common at 39-12. 2 of Steve’s friends Nigel Hadland and Paul Jeffrey, on their 1st visit to Moulinots also had a good week, Nigel managed 7 fish (all pb’s) which included 2 40’s while Paul in between chatting with everybody (or trying to, using a walkie talkie) also had 2 40’s in his 5 fish total, the biggest was a 47-05 (pb) mirror and he also had a pb common at 39-02. The biggest fish of the week was caught by Matt Lovett, a 51lb mirror (pb), fully deserved after Matt’s efforts during the week and after moving swims and trying something completely different, a pop up 6″ off the bottom, never again will I say pop up’s don’t work! Andrew Capaldi on his 1st vist had 2 fish, both small by our standards, but he did go away with a new pb (29-02 common) and Matt Wilmer (like me not enjoying the hot weather) sneaked a 32lb mirror. Once again we had 2 people not catch i.e. Mike Wilmer and Les Barker, though I know they had a good social (all week). Fishing the same double swim as they did in 2009, the result was unfortunately the same, you will not be allowed to fish that swim together again next time!! In total 22 fish were caught which included 2 50’s, 8 40’s and 6 30’s, the average weight was an encouraging 38.08lbs. The fish started spawning on the Friday following the change in the weather, though I thought it would start the following week, what do I know about fishing? We are now rapidly approaching a total of 100 fish over 40lbs being caught this season and I think a new lake record in the next few weeks, watch this space!

W/c 8 May and good to welcome some old and very old faces back to Moulinots. Starting with the latter i.e Paul Vickerstaff and Mark Creed (Surrey), well what can I say, about their fishing not a lot unfortunately! From memory I don’t think either had a run all week, though Paul’s alarm did bleep once with the vibration caused by Mark walking along the bank, big lad old Mark! Paul did a lap of the lake after the barbie Thursday night, why I have no idea and probably neither has he! Enjoyed your company guys and hopefully next year you will do better. It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the other guys, Paul’s nephew Dale, fishing the shallows and isolated from a social with the other guys, ended up with 10 fish (all caught up to the Wednesday) which included 2 40’s, excellent fishing m8! 2 newcomers Neil Pentecost and Ian Casbon on their 1st ever whole week’s carp fishing, suffered in silence until the end of the week. Just like to thank Ian for forcing me to move out of my lodge swim (after 8 weeks) by allowing me nowhere to fish and piling in bait where I was fishing, unwelcome tactics at the time but I am enjoying the change of scenery and a couple of mid 40’s that I have caught, cheers Ian! He was rewarded with a 44.08 pb mirror (caught in my swim of course) while Neil also went away with a 45lb pb mirror, it was all worth it in the end. Father and son Chris and Jake Walton fishing together, combined to catch 5 carp, not sure who had what on whose rod? Biggest fish though was Jake’s 43.08 mirror, or was it Chris’s? Andrew Nash managed 6 fish including 2 44lb mirrors which I know pleased him, which is more than I can say for Nash having to buy a case of beer, must be a pb that Nash and I didn’t give you a bottle of wine. Finally Stuart (Nobhead) Creed trying different tactics this time by staying awake a lot of the time, somehow managed to catch 4 fish which included 48.02 (pb) and 44.08 mirrors and a 42lb common, so there is hope for you inexperienced anglers yet! Stuart did have the last laugh though by fooling me with the picture taken below, to be honest I had no idea what was going on, nice 1 Stuart and you are now banned from fishing here (lol)!!!! The final total for the week was 30 fish which included 11 40’s and 11 30’s and the average weight was 36lbs 6ozs.

The final result for w/c 1 May and a total of 45 fish were caught including 1 50 and 14 40’s, the average weight was a fraction under 36lbs. Unusually Rob (long cast) Johnson from Essex only managed joint top rod this time by catching a respectable 11 fish which included 3 40’s (biggest a pb mirror of 47.02). Using slightly different tactics than previous visits, Rob restricted the number of visits into the lake (to only 2 from memory) and also tried to fish everybody elses swim whilst remaining in his swim, 1/2 way markers will be in place next time (only joking). I think that is 8 bottles of wine in 8 trips here, but who’s counting, I am!! Not to be outdone by his poacher friend, James Bricknell also landed 11 fish including a pb mirror at 49lbs (so far James I have spent 16 minutes updating the gallery and the news report so far) and 1 other 40 and 3 upper 30’s, well done to both you guys. Wayne (Big Daddy) Letchford (Dartford), who I am sure is after a season ticket (sorry we don’t do them), once again got amongst the bigger fish by catching mirrors of 48-10 (pb), 47-12 and 44.04 amongst his 7 fish total. Wayne’s son Alfie must have wondered what’s it all about (sure you older guys will know where I am coming from, sorry) with his Dad keep promising that he could land the next 1, yeah right, counting is not 1 of Wayne’s pet subjects. Poor Alfie only had a 24-04 mirror but the consolation was that it was a pb, enough to make you sick Alfie eh? Danny (breakdance) Smith was into my wine on the 1st day with a new pb mirror at 48-12 and another mirror at 43-04 amongst his total of 6 fish. Gary Troke (Dartford) reminding people that he was on holiday (think we knew that Gary) only had 1 small common whilst 1st timer Ian Davis sadly failed to catch. Brothers Danny & Marc Waters (Essex) only had 3 fish between them, Danny catching a 44-04 common (pb) and a 38-06 mirror (pb) whilst Marc had a 48lb mirror. For you swingers it is worth having a look at Marc’s website! Finally Russell Britain (Essex) had 4 carp including 2 40’s, 1 of them a beautiful 40-06 linear a fish I had not seen for years! The barbecue included a new 3d show (the 2 Danny’s and me dancing), all of the other guests had gone by the start of the show, which was probably just as well! Another enjoyable week guys, thanks.

W/c 1 May and another interim report with breaking news. After the results of the previous 2 weeks, I have been anticipating a new lake record, there were a few candidates that I know that could possibly beat the 56lb barrier. With 5 different 50lb commons caught so far this year, our known big common had still not been out and with all of the big fish having put on weight since October I was expecting something special and Tuesday (yesterday) I was not disappointed. At 8 a.m. off screamed 1 of my rods and 20 minutes later and maybe the best fight of my life, the big common was in the net! 3 of the anglers came round to witness and assist and to be honest I needed the assistance, out of breath, shaking and waiting in eager anticipation to see what it weighed. Russ Britain (Essex) weighed the fish for me (too heavy for me to lift) and the scales hovered between 57 and 58lbs, my scales don’t show ounces, so 57lbs has been recorded. A new pb common for me and a lake record, this is 1 occasion when I awarded 2 bottles of wine to the captor (me), the boys enjoyed a few bevvies with me after dinner and it was almost like a barbecue night. This week there have been 37 fish caught including my 50 and 12 other 40’s, last weeks record might be in danger. I would like to thank all of my customers who have contacted me and congratulated me. Here is 1 of the photos …

March/April 2010 

Finally w/c 24 April has come to an end and what a week!! The boys have established a record for catching the most fish over 40lbs in a week, the final total was 22 which included 3 50’s and the main contributor was Martin Hewett with 7 also a new lake record, a very memorable week and 1 which I will always remember (until of course it gets beaten or I start to lose my memory through old age). Excellent fishing lads and it now gives you a new target to beat. In total only 41 fish were caught, so considering that over 1/2 of them were over 40, I think that most anglers would be happy with that? In the last 2 weeks then, 7 50’s and 31 40’s, I am now beginning to wonder just how many big fish we have, obviously more than I advertise on the website? If the weather hadn’t turned hot on the competition days i.e. Wednesday (25 deg) and Thursday (28 deg) the results would have been even better. Ok so back to Martin who as usual (or seems like always) finished top rod and took some more of my hard earned money in the pairs competition, he caught 12 fish in total for the week topped by a 55.04 mirror (biggest fish landed so far this year) the other 40’s were 49.04 (pb common) and mirrors of 44.08, 44.02, 43.12, 43.08 and 40.08. His competition partner Phil Gilham only managed 3 fish this time (best a 44lb mirror). Back to the 48 hours pairs competition (for a moment) yours truly weighed in with a 41lb mirror and my partner Pip Chambers who normally tends to use the visit as a camping rather than a fishing holiday, caught the same number of fish as the other 6 anglers in the competition by catching 0, still you did have the rods out Pip and we did finish 2nd! I must admit that when the draw was made and I was drawn with Pip, I was mortified, I even thought of withdrawing, 10 euros lost even before the competition had started! He had the last laugh though, his weekly total was 4 fish (51lb pb mirror and mirrors of 46lbs, 43lbs and 41lbs) and trust me, you guys who know Pip, THIS IS TRUE!! His brother John also joined the 50’s club with a cracking pb 50lb common (not 1 I recognise so presumably another 1 that has reached the 50lb barrier) and 6 other fish (a 45lb mirror and 5 20’s), sadly this brought the average weight for the week down to just under 38lbs, must do better next time John! Matt Robinson, the quiet man amongst the group, had 4 fish with 2 of them (mirrors of 43.0 and 46.04) both breaking his previous pb. Mel (the scrounger) Meredith started well with 2 fish on the Sunday morning but only had 2 more in the rest of the week, but hopefully the 45lb common, the 41lb mirror and not having to receive a free bottle of wine this time will be of some consolation. Just checked the forward diary planner and there is a good chance Mel, you might be able to cover for us on our 2016 holiday. Graham Tree when not socialising with Martin or sleeping had 3 fish (best 40.04 common). Hope when you add all this up, the total 40′ comes to 22? If that wasn’t enough, the guys were generous enough to let me get off early on the Thursday (barbie day) to watch Fulham achieve history, 2 bits of history in the same week, happy days, except the guys didn’t take pictures of all of the 40’s, well you can’t have everything!!

After the previous week I cannot believe how well w/c 24 April has started! The 7 Dartford lads have already had mirrors of 51.0, 44.0, 44.02, 43.0 and 46.0 and commons of 50.0, 49.04, 45.0 (x2), 10 fish over 40lbs out of a total of 16 fish caught and that was at Monday teatime. Won’t count our chickens but it is looking likely that this may be a lake record for most fish over 40lbs caught in a week (record currently stands at 18). I certainly picked the wrong 24 hours to go home!!

Week commencing 17 April and the sort of week every fishery operator in France dreams of, difficult to know where to start but I suppose the achievements by regulars to Moulinots, Lee Ward and Andy Wyatt (Bristol) must take the top billing (sorry Gareth). Lee’s 3 50’s are a new lake record for the most 50’s by 1 angler and Andy’s 54+ common is a new lake record common for Moulinots, the other fish aren’t bad either!! Lee’s catch was topped by a pb mirror at 54.06, the other 2 50’s were both commons (52.11 and 52.07), for good measure he also had a 47.02 common and a 47.10 mirror amongst his total of 7 fish, excellent m8 and nice to know that after all the help and tuition I have given you over the past 9 seasons, it has finally paid off for you. Fishing alongside Lee (they were doubled up in the dead tree swim), Andy also enjoyed his best ever week for big fish and established a new lake record for a common at 54.04 and all of you who have been to Moulinots or seen the pics will agree that this is probably not our biggest common. Not to be outdone by Lee, Andy also had 4 40’s (mirrors at 46.11, 46.05 and 46.02) and a common of 46.05 amongst his total catch of 9 fish. All of these fish were caught up to the Thursday and both guys were in the running for topping the lake record of 6 fish over 40lbs (1 angler) in a week, but the swim died and no further fish were caught. Seeing the fish that you caught, really made my week, thanks, in all the years I have been fishing, I have never witnessed so many big fish in 1 week, anywhere!! Englishman Anthony Briggs from Holland, not seen for a few years here, but with very good catch results in his previous 2 visits, just failed to take the top rod award (which is not accompanied by any trophy or prize as you would expect) by catching 9 fish including 2 40’s to 44.06. Manchester’s Graham Beard started the week poorly (and I don’t mean with his bad hip) not catching anything until the Thursday, but then experimented with different rigs and landed 4 fish to 42lbs (mirror) in the last 48 hours. Gareth Cook’s friends Paul White and Adrian (Ady) Hunter (all 3 from Sussex) on their 1st visit based on Gareth’s recommendation, both started slowly with only 1 fish in the first 4 days. Things improved for them, maybe Ady’s change of luck was due to lot’s of casting practice (in the trees). He tried to convince me when he arrived that he had never caught a 20lber before (what some people will try and do to get hold of a bottle of my vintage wine), I was almost taken in by this blatant lie, his friends told me his pb was 36 (or was it)? Anyway it doesn’t matter now as Ady had fish of 43, 38 and 37lbs (mirrors) and left me plenty of work this week to do removing rigs from the trees. Paul managed a pb 44.10 mirror as well other mirros of 41, 39.08, 38.08 and 33.02 (which was his smallest fish). I know you enjoyed it which I presume is why I have the pleasure of your company in October. Cliff Hughes (Suffolk) after many visits and in search of 1 of our bigger commons tried to increase his chances by catching all of the small ones first, 4 fish all commons and all 20’s, so the first part of his plan worked, but sadly that was it. Ian and Graham Wheeler (the blow up bed boys) tried hard but only managed 3 fish between them, I know what it is like watching other people catching big fish while you guys are catching the small ones, it happens to me almost every week! Finally and by no means last, well actually last in the fishing, Gareth Cook!! After drawing number 1 choice of swims on the Saturday morning, I know Gareth had great expectations and like the majority of our regulars opted for the 1st point, normally a very good choice. I had warned Gareth that this season so far the swim had been fishing poorly (so future visitors be warned). The alarm bells should have been ringing, not that he would have heard them though! After bringing a bottle of my favourite tipple, he should have been rewarded with a better week, instead he spent most of his time landing other peoples fish and taking photographs, as I told him at the time the price for a non angler would have been only £25! I suppose the only good news is that he would make a very good pest control officer, photographer and gillie, cheers for your help though m8 and better luck next time (October). Almost forgot to say that he did catch 1 carp on the last night, but we will keep the weight a secret in case he misweighed it!

Week commencing 10 April and nice to welcome back Laurie (Lol) Gulbraith and Perry Irving (Essex) and 3 of their friends (1st timers to Moulinots). Lol still searching for his 1st elusive 40 at Moulinots once again sadly didn’t manage it, though he did catch 4 of our smaller stock, whilst Perry was once again top rod with 10 fish to 41-08, some I hate to say caught using a baitboat!!

Bill Taylor who had never before caught a 30 managed 3 topped by a 48-12 mirror amongst his total of 6 fish, not bad for an angler only fishing with 2 rods! Gary Day finished like a train the last 24 hours taking 4 fish (6 for the week) including a pb common of 42.02 which beat his previous pb of 38lbs caught on the Sunday and for good measure he also caught a 36lb mirror on the Monday. 5th member of the group who had booked the lake exclusively, Steve Johns landed the 1st fish of the week a few hours after setting up and 165 hours later he was still on 1 fish. Better luck next time Steve as I know you tried very hard all week. The barbecue was the quietest affair I have ever known with everybody (well perhaps except me) keen to get back fishing, though I did try and continue the entertainment over the walkie talkies. The total for the week was 28 carp including 3 40’s and 14 30’s, not too bad for 5 anglers considering the weather was extremely cold and several frosts.

The second week of the season and back again (10th trip for some of them) Craig Brown’s group from West Sussex and also Mark Woolford and Dave Mason. If the end of the previous week had proved difficult, the start of Craig’s week was dire! The 1st fish wasn’t caught until Tuesday afternoon by Alan Sands and by the Thursday morning the overall total was still only 3 fish. The reasons for this, certainly the 3 nights of sub zero temperatures didn’t help, neither did the water temperature (around 10 deg), the volume of small fry available as a food source and I think the amount of rain causing the ph level to keep changing. Fortunately things picked up on the Thursday with 6 fish being caught, topped by a cracking 49.04 mirror for young John Brown (age 71), but sadly no wine for John as many years ago (when was it?), John had a 52lber, nevertheless well done John after quite a few fruitless visits you certainly deserve that mirror! As usual the West Sussex lads had their own competition (I opted out as usual) and it proved no competition at all with Moulinots 40’s lake record holder Graham Bailey catching 7 fish from the shallows, though no monsters! Mark Longhurst had a new 42lb mirror and the only other 40 caught was by Ian Stevenson (a 41.08 mirror). Craig and Roy Foster to apply their secret knowledge about Moulinots after helping with the vidange in November, only catching 1 carp and Craig catching 1 less than Roy. Mark and Dave unfortunately didn’t catch though both tried hard (to empty my wine cellar)! The barbecue was a good night with a bodged up music quiz (sort of) now added to the itinery and shortly a new dvd being available of me trying to dance to Billie Jean (thanks Craig). In total then only 15 fish caught including 3 40’s but as usual a very enjoyable week.

John Brown 49.04 mirror.

Ok now to what happened on the 1st week of this season which started on 27 March and a nice quiet week with only 6 anglers, it’s a long season and nothing like building up gradually at our age. Julian Barber (Twaddlingon on the carp forum) finally managed his 1st ever 40 anywhere in France after numerous trips and his 2nd to Moulinots, Jules caught a 48.02 mirror and 2 other carp, well done m8 fine reward after keeping me up until 3 a.m. Saturday morning boogieing to my new ipod music and drinking the present bought for me, while Jules wife Wendy received dancing lessons (free of charge believe it or not)! Hope you didn’t get too many bruises doing the bump? The other group of 5 lads, which included James Fouers and Craig Maskery (Sheffield) on their 2nd visit managed 12 fish between them with James landing a pb common at 48.06 and Craigs’ largest fish of the week a 42.14 mirror, but no bottle of wine this time, perhaps if you had cast out a little further? The Lamb brothers (Norwich) James and Tom had mixed fortunes on their 1st visit here, James broke his pb 3 times with mirrors of 39.10, 40 and 48.09, whilst sadly Tom’s swim was in silence all of the week (sorry about the pun “Silence of the Lamb”), like the film though Tom has said there will be a sequel. Now the 5th member of the group Wayne Barcham (Norwich) made an immediate and also a lasting impression here! The 1 I prefer is the 3 pb’s that he caught, mirrors of 51lbs, 40.08 (looks like the same fish as James 40) and 32.10, good fishing Wayne, but ………………

As I do every week, I remind anglers to drive on the right on their way home, Wayne certainly did that! I assume he was looking at his sat nav as he exited the premises and though driving on the right of the track he was actually trying to drive along a ditch and guess what, the van got stuck. An hour later and with the assistance of a tractor Wayne was on his way again, hope you got home ok. I won’t put a picture of the van on here, instead here is 1 of the 50. See you guys hopefully later in the year!

The final total for the week was 24 fish which included 1 50, 6 40’s and 9 30’s, if we hadn’t had frosts on Wednesday and Thursday night, which killed the fishing, the total would have been a lot more and finally did I mention the rain, if we didn’t have a lake where we can control the water level, we would have been flooded!


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