End of year Review

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I think you'll all agree it's been a great year to have fished Ribiere and 2016 is shaping up to be just as good. For me it will also be the year that I'll move out on site. So hopefully I'll be seeing many of you on the bank. I thought I 'd start this newsletter with a review of the year and try to give you all a feel for the way it's gone before quickly looking at improvements for the future. It's not a complete record, more my take as I've seen it when I have been over. So sorry to those who I have missed and I know there will be many of you.

Spring (March – April – May)

We all know that spring at Ribiere can be a great time to fish. If it's been mild the fish are moving and if not you can drop onto big groups of fish waking up and wanting a munch. This year was no exception with many anglers dropping onto large groups and catching big.

The season kicked off big time with peg 7 landing the first 60lb of the season, Little Heart at 61.7. W​ell done to Christian Michels .Then Alex was caught at 71.6oz by Cedric Bass - part of a 20 fish session with other fish to 49lb. Peg 7 was not far behind with two French anglers catching 13 fish with many over 40lb. Matt and Alan Wakelin had one of the first big hits of the year with 42 fish including one of the bigger commons at 48lb. The session included 8 fish over 40lb to 48lb. Dirk Schumaker and his friend Marc then landed Alex, this time at 69.3oz. The fish looking in great condition. Peg 8 then joined in the action with a nice hit of several fish over 44lb and one just under the magical 60lb mark at 59.5oz (The Leather).

May turned out to be the month to fish this spring. With some stunning hits as the weather warmed and the fish got on the munch before spawning. The lake fished well in all pegs. But May belonged to Arion Hogendoorn who landed 3 different 60lb fish in a remarkable 48 hour stint. – 63.3 (The Little Heart), 62.8 (Mr Magoo) and another at 62.8. What a session Arion.

The smaller fish had then started to spawn whilst the bigger fish waited for the weather to heat. So with the big fish not playing ball Tim Oatley’s group managed to catch almost all the smaller fish with 100 fish between 30 – 40lb. Peg 1 did manage to get into some of the bigger fish with two fish over 50lb.

Once spawning was out of the way, the fish got onto it big time and pegs 7,8,9,10 did a lot of fish. Two Dutch anglers landed 35 fish to 60lb spawned out and Peter Boulton landed 22 fish including 9 over 40lb and 1 over 50lb. Not to be out done and, doing well as ever, was our Dutch angler Peter and his wife Marjo who landed 57 fish over two weeks to 62.8lb. This included 11 over 40lb – 2 x 49.6 – 54lb – 58.4lb – 62.8lb. What great fishing and if you build the swim over two weeks you can do this sort of damage. Peter has been coming here for many years and even when it gets difficult he can catch them. Well done Peter, another great year on Ribiere for you.

So May turned out to be quite a good month with 5 different 60lb fish. Oh and did I say Julie was caught at 84lb from peg 5? Mega.

Summer (June - July - August)

The early part of June started well for Dean Marshall with 25 fish up to 63lb. Dean landed 9 different 40lb fish to 45lb as well as some of our stunning young scally fish. Peg 7 had a massive hit of big fish. This included 43 fish: 7 over 44lb, 2 over 55.11oz, 2 over 53lb and one over 50lb. So 5 over 50lb most fully spawned out. Without question many of them will now be close to 60lb. One of my favourite fish, Big Scale, was out at 53lb. So a big well done to Pierro and Jo Vanderweyer.

Not to be outdone was Jasper Berkulo and Peter Hass together with two friends. Between the 4 anglers they caught 122 fish. Lots of 40lb fish and some nice 50lb fish but also another 61lb 3oz fish.

July and August had some of the hottest weather we have ever seen at Ribiere and not surprisingly the fishing was affected. But Dean Kennedy seemed to enjoy the sun. Dean was the man to watch in July landing 23 fish to 53lb in 40 degrees heat. Not ideal fishing conditions. But the fish seemed to be enjoying it and, despite the hot weather, kept feeding. Walter and his son had a great week again with many fish over 40lb but Peter Coeleman’s stole the show with 49 fish to 57.2oz. Well done again Peter.

August continued very hot with the stand out week coming to Kev Lewis who had over 30 fish some stunning long scally fish and some of the lumps to 50lb

Autumn (September - October - November)

The Autumn can always prove challenging and October and November were very weather-dependent this year. After 8 weeks without rain when it came, it came... and came... and came. The water temperature dropped like a stone. I think it took the fish a few weeks to recover from it and then just as you thought the cold weather was coming it went warm again and we had high pressure for 2 weeks in November. Can you believe it. But on the plus side the big fish will always make an appearance and if you want a chance at a lump then you know this is the time.

September started with a bang. Alex at top weight for the year at 72lb part of a lake exclusive week with I believe 4 or 5 anglers fishing a social and catching over 95 fish. Some social. Well done to Ian Porteus as this was a new pb. I felt the lake would kick on from here but the weather put a stop to that with cold easterly winds and rain and then sun and then cold and then hot for a few weeks. The rain dropped the water temperature sharply and the fishing got tough. But along comes Mr Consistent (Peter with his wife) and out comes Alex again this time at 70lb. So twice this year, this fish is out in close succession - this time only ten days between captures. Peter and his wife landed 20 fish this time, Big Scale again and two of the two-tone fish.

Anglers were now having to work hard for the fish. Trying different tactics as the fish started to play hard to get. Good results came to those who thought their way through the week and Jason and Oliver did very well on peg 5 and 6 when the rest of the lake was struggling, landing 3 good fish over 40lb in cold easterly winds.

Towards the end of October the cold winds subsided and the bigger fish came back onto the feed with the first 60lb fish of October. The biggest hit for some time coming to Yuri with 20 fish to 27.5kg (60lb) great fishing.

Another UK angler showing he was a match for the tough conditions was Steve Fielding who had a steady week with a good take of fish over 40lb, a stunning 55lb fish (Black Spot) and The Leather at 61lb looking simply majestic in its winter colours. Steve had over 15 fish for the week and landed some stunning fish including the fully scaled mirror.

November was a month of two halves. If you landed right you could catch them. And to my surprise the fish were still showing and being caught from peg 1 to peg 8 and 9. Staying focused in a tough week was Luke Edwards, a regular at Ribiere. He managed a few fish but as normal got into the big fish landing a stunning and very long 63.5lb fish. This is Luke's 8th different 60lb fish from Ribiere, he can catch them. Well done mate. His fishing partner also managed a nice big chunky 48lb fish and a 51lb fish - nice result.

The last week of the season proved to be a truly bumper week. With over 30 fish caught. Six anglers on a lake exclusive bagged some very nice 40lb fish. The man doing the main damage was Gary Covell and the group landed 9 fish over 40lb to 48lb plus a stunning 53lb fish. So quite a positive end to the season.

I will try to keep better catch records next year but on my rough calculations we had at least 16 fish caught over 60lb with Alex out 4 times - best weight 72lb - and Julie out once at 84lb. But people don't always tell us what they have caught and I don't have photographs off all the captures. I think the future of the fish stock looks good and many of the low 60lb fish are putting on weight and I expect a lot more at 65-68lb in the spring. We also have a group of fish in the mid 50lb range who are coming through now. So it's looking good. Alex, I feel, has more to come and I think can get close to 80lb.