The Graviers Dijon.... Winter breaks usually around early to mid march in the Dijon area, although there's no guarantee! we have seen snow as late as May here!..and on the other hand, Spring like conditions as early as February some years.
The water levels in the lakes are at there highest after all the rain and snow of Winter, but will start to slowly drop as the weather warms up through April, May and into June.
The water levels can fluctuate considerably during the year, with differences of over 1 meter, depending on the levels of the regional water table. Winter into Spring the level is at it's highest, and the back end of the Summer at it's lowest, then slowly filling up again going into Winter.
The signs of Spring appear all around the lake, and in many ways...
The early willow buds, and first Spring flowers are amongst the first visual signs that the Winter is now history, and a brand new season is beginning. The hibernators, and migrators re appear and join the already abundant Winter birds, and appear to cerebrate the arrival of Spring, as loud as they possibly can.
Tadpoles and frogs, and all sorts of various insect hatches immerge from the newly forming weed beds and contribute to the annual natural food harvests for the fish and other residents of the lakes as the Spring period develops. Small fish rippling on the waters surface on a calm evening, and increasing signs of the carp as the first "show biz" fish take to the air! All are signs that life and activity is kicking back in under the surface as the water temperatures slowly rise.
If your fishing the lake in early Spring, there is always the water temperature factor to think about. Some of the carp will switch on very early, when the water is still quite cold, and start their feeding before the other fish have evan realized it's Spring. (It may pay to rest with the Winter type baits during this time, if the water is still cold). They will then be joined gradually, by the rest of the carp as the days pass, and temperatures rise, and will all be feeding very well once the water has entered into the ideal temperature band, for their efficient digestion, which will contribute to their energy and condition, and activity.
Your choice of baits increases also, the carp will be running at full rev's by mid April, and will be efficiently eating and passing substantial quantities of food, although I would still strongly recommend a decent freezer bait over anything else.
After that it's going to come down to you finding them while your here, and keeping them interested! They should be fairly easy to catch, if they find your bait and you have enough of it to keep them interested.
I usually advise people to allow for a minimum of 1kg per rod, per day, as a rough guide through out the year but, if your here when they are all feeding, you could easily use up to and over 3 times that quantity, no problem!
You must remember also, it's not just carp that eat bait! the other fish of the lake are just as hungry, something to consider, ....Hmmm.
The Spring months are always very popular with the anglers, and are always the first to be booked.
The bigger, so the female carp are all at very high weights at this time, mainly down to the egg mass they are carrying, that they have been busy working on all Winter. They will be preparing for spawning, and as huge as they are, and as hard as they fight, they remain extremely delicate at this time!
Extreme care is taken at all times when any of the carp are caught and handled of course, but prior to spawning anglers are expected to be extra aware of the fishes condition, and handle them accordingly, and obviously only lifting them from the water for shortest possible time.
The exact time of spawning in any one year is impossible to predict. Besides from one or two other factors, it's mainly all down to the water temperature as you all know. The truth is, if I knew exactly when they were going to spawn, I would close for a few weeks until they were done! just to be on the safe side.