Back in 2006 we introduced the first fish to our three empty lakes. They hadn’t been empty when we’d seen them prior to buying Les Fragnes (apart from one lake which had been drained and so was even empty of water!) but when we became the proud owners of them just over nine years ago, they were completely fishless. So we put in carp and catfish, one of the latter in each lake.

I’ve hunted all over to find a photo of the catfish as it was going into Notaire’s Lake as I know I have a pic somewhere of it curled up in a plastic box about to be put in the water. He wasn’t very big, twenty pounds or so we think, possibly less, but look at him now! Eighty-eight pounds, almost forty kilos.

jess catfish

Angler Jess Hay of Morley finally got our catfish out of Notaire’s Lake and onto the bank. Plenty of anglers have hooked into him but lost him so it was only last week when he made his first appearance on dry land in nine years! Jess had come prepared with a catfish rod and all the trimmings, but she caught him on her carp rod on boilies hand-rolled by husband Jordan.

Jordy helped Jess get the catfish, which she has named Big Bad Barry, out of the lake and their two sons Luca and Ashton were there to help hold BBB for the photos.

Needless to say she was thrilled, and so were we. I missed the event as I was out with Rors, but I saw video and all the photos. And I got to give Jess her well-deserved champagne.

jess champagne1

I wonder how big he’ll be next time he’s caught…