By Chris Jefferys, MAD Baits
Let me tell you about this unreal 24 hours on the bank I had recently – Due to starting a new job imminently I wanted to make the most of the free time I had remaining and what better way than a 24 hour session at Manor Farm Fishery, specifically Winters Lake. I have fished most of the lakes on the complex but never tackled the one with the big girls in so I was keen to give it a go. I arrived at the lake for 3 pm to get the chance to have a walk around and see if I could spot any showing fish. I spotted some activity on the far side of the lake in front of a small island. That was my mind made up – I quickly set up the rods and flicked a marker float out to see what the bottom had in store for me, surprisingly it was rather clear in front. On my first rod I tied up a solid bag and landed just underneath the overhanging tree. The second rod was cast to the left hand side of the island.
It didn’t take long until I started to get a few liners and at approximately 19:15 my right hand rod ripped off just as the kettle finished boiling! I struck into it and instantly felt a decent weight on the end, the fight was touch and go especially when the hooked warrior made a beeline for the reeds but I’m very pleased to tell you all I slipped the net under a stunning mirror and finally after almost 20 years of carp fishing I had caught my first 30lb+ fish, a previous trip yielded a 29lb 15oz chunk and that 1oz had been playing on my mind. Weighing in at 33lb 2oz I can’t begin to explain how good I felt, I will never forget that mirror. With the time only 20:00 on my first night I sat down with hopeful optimism I might be able to sneak one more out on notoriously tricky day ticket water.
The alarms stayed silent for the night and I did not get much sleep, laying in my big snooze eyes wide open just replaying that capture from earlier over and over again. I must have dozed off around 3am but as always up early on the bank, a recast on both rods followed shortly after by a bacon sarnie and the first brew of the day.
By 10am I started seeing a few carp in the upper layers. I took this opportunity to plumb the depth and stick a zig right out in sitting back down just waiting for it to rip off with an angry carp attached; unfortunately nothing came of the zig it seemed the carp just fancied a bit of sun they weren’t too fussed about eating.
Once again silent alarms for the remainder of the morning and early afternoon so at around 3pm I changed back over to a solid bag and tried the margin, around 10 minutes later I started to see my bobbins rise slowly, then fall back down, then pull a little bit of line but after witnessing carp cruising in and out of the margins I put this down to liners. With the time coming to an end I started to pack my gear away and with the majority of the tackle already packed up on the barrow, with 25minutes to go, I tied up a simple hair rig topped with a mad baits boilie a bit of fake corn. I decided I would stick both rods on the island and pray to the carp Gods, I fired out around 30 mad boilies over the top and rested my rods on the bank as the alarms went in the rucksack.
Just as 15:45 rolled over my left hand rod was going nuts, the beautiful sound of the reel clutch ticking over hit my ears and I struck into my second and last fish of the session, when I finally caught a glimpse of this one I knew I had hooked another of the lakes big residents this time a stunning common weighing in at 31lb 2oz. Truly this was the best Fishing trip of my life and I can’t wait to hit the bank again soon.