Friday, September 28, 2007

mid September catch report and other ramblings

Oliver with a beautiful 35lbs linear mirror

The week started well with all swims producing good fish. Oliver and Javier from Barcelona had opted to start their campaign on the reliable Twin waddies swim – two dried river beds; and were enjoying some great action.

Javier with a big Bin el Ouidane common

Oliver hits another screamer on twin waddies

I had opted to pioneer a new swim, the French ramp, and it delivered on Tuesday morning with a magnificent brace of commons at 45lbs and 32lbs.

Morning brace of 45lbs and 32lbs

What a fish 45lbs of Bin el Ouidane perfection

A beautiful looking 32lbs that came from the same spot as the 45lbs

Peter Kent had opted for the Hotel Bay river gulley and had his PB on Monday afternoon, a fine 32lbs common.

Peter with his new PB common of 32lbs

I didn’t know it then but the next 24 hours were going to be radically different.

The storm turned and blew me away

Tuesday afternoon saw a change in weather as a nasty looking storm blew in, the water temperature dropped 3 degrees and the wind was gale force, I was pretty worried. The French ramp swim is situated on a long rocky spit that delineates the start of hotel bay. I had pegged the bivvy down as best I could on the rocky and unforgiving ground, but at around 3am the storm decided to change direction and the wind started howling straight into the door mouth of the bivvy.

pounding 3 foot waves a howling wind - scary

It was a scary night but I had managed to drop off to sleep even with the Nash double top taking a pounding. I don’t remember much but it was like being in a car smash, one minute sleeping contentedly the next in the air and hurtling towards the stony ground. To be honest I don’t remember a thing, just waking up and having leads and bed chair and all sorts of other stuff clattering around my head. I think we rolled a couple of times and I remember thinking at least I’m not in the water and trying to find the door out of this bivvy wreck.

Nash double topped after the storm

I made the best of things as the rain lashed down and the wind blew the guts from my destroyed camp. I managed to drag everything under the bivvy and peg down the sides with rocks as best I could. Crawling inside I clung on for sunup.

Bin el Ouidane 1 Nash double top 0

By Friday we were back to normal weather conditions but the storm had put the fish down and all swims were fishing slowly. Javier and Oliver decided to move to the sheltered Tortuga Bay and managed a brace of commons of 36lbs and 23lbs plus lost 3 more fish, one of which was a biggie.

The first fish from Tortuga Bay 36lbs

There were plenty of fish showing in the bay but they didn’t seem interested in the maize, the two carp captured were held in a sack for 5 hours so we could examine their faeces and both carp unsurprisingly left the sack full of maize and seed. A similar experience occurred on snake spit and the island, the carp were there but few of them were getting stuck into the beds of corn.

It seems the closer we move down the bank towards the area fished by Belgium Mark the quicker and easier the fish accept maize. Twin waddies for example seems to be an instant swim perhaps as the fish are patrolling around the headland and into Marks area, an area that’s seen heavy maize baiting for the last 2 years. The further away we go from Mark’s area the harder the fishing. The Carp in these new virgin areas show every indication that they are interested but they don’t get their heads down. It’s a question of time and bait I suppose.

Friday night was a great evening, our first Morocco Carp social.

Beachcomber John, Ebro Dan, Pete and Phil had driven down from Spain and we invited all the anglers up to the Morocco Carp Hotel roof terrace for a Berber feast. We started with Harira soup, the traditional soup that breaks the fast each day during Ramadan, followed by some delicious fried Perca Sol, freshly caught that afternoon by Oliver and Javier.

Fried Perca Sol make a delicious appetizer

The main course was kebabs of wild boar that Hamid had hunted the week before cooked over charcoal by Chef Mohamed with a tagine of fresh vegetables to accompany.

Some great local wine from the Meknes region of Morocco and even a drop of good Spanish Cava brought along by John to finish. A great night and the first of many such evenings I hope.

The Carp’s diet in Lake Bin el Ouidane

Some more thoughts on the food source

I’ve been enjoying some good smokey socials with Oliver and Javier and we have had some interesting conversations. I think I’m leaning away from the water snail theory. The shore line is awash with small white snail shells and the obvious thought is that these water snails are the main diet of the Bin el Ouidane carp. On closer inspection of the beach areas and the great tides of snail shells, most of them appear undamaged, empty but not crushed. I feel that if a carp was going to eat a snail it would crush the shell with its throat teeth and the remains would be like a white course sand when it passed out the other end, 90% of all the snail shells are intact.

We have also noticed thousands and thousands of small holes in the silt, I thought perhaps these were of the snails making but on digging into the silt we have found nothing.

Oliver was observing the Perca Sol in the margins and they hover, transfixed over these holes in the silt, as if waiting for a worm or lava to pop its head out.

I need to rig up some sort of underwater video camera, Oliver suggested a fish tank in the margins with the video camera inside and focused on one of the holes, see if we can capture on video what is actually making these holes and perhaps providing a rich food source.

Another point of note, Oliver caught a fish that was leaking sperm, the date is the 20th of September, a one off? or are the Carp breeding multiple times?- probably the latter which would explain how the lake developed such a huge population of fish in such few years.

Catch report for the week of 20th September 2007

Peter Kent – Hotel Bay

32lbs common maize/pukka

28lbs common maize/pukka

Lost 1

Oliver and Javier Twin Waddies and Tortuga Bay

22lbs common

35lbs Linear mirror

28lbs common

42 lbs common

21lbs common

20lbs common

35lbs common

35 lbs common

23lbs common

29lbs common

29lbs common

10lbs mirror

3 small carp and 7 more lost


45lbs common popup snowman opal/pukka

32lbs common popup snowman opal/pukka

Lost 1

The Truth WareHouse Blog

Video Catch reports Morocco Carp