All week I had been checking the weather forecast hoping for a low pressure front, wind and rain which would have been perfect, carpy conditions. However, it could not have been any further from that. The pressure was through the roof, no wind and over 20 degrees.
I had already booked a day holiday off work which would enable me to get three nights on the bank and Linear fisheries Manor was going to be my destination. It had been chucking up plenty of fish on zigs in recent weeks but nothing was getting caught on the bottom. Zigs had been accounting for lots of bites but in my opinion the big girls are far too old and wise to slip up to a zig on Manor and chances of a chunk would be minimal on zigs.
I was on the gate early and once opened I quickly made my way round Manor. The lake was busy and quite a few anglers were staying put. It had only produced a few fish over the weekend and was fishing very slow compared to the neighbouring St.Johns which was really kicking off. Despite hardly anything coming out of Manor, there were a number of shows first thing and I soon knew exactly where I wanted to be. The angler in the swim I wanted was off later in the afternoon so I dropped a bucket behind the swim and went for a walk round St.Johns. I set up in Kempies Point but within an hour it was clear there were no fish around, so I packed up and headed back to Manor for a look. Peg 3 was empty so I dropped in there for a few hours so I could watch the water. The Car Park swim came free at 4pm and I dropped in there. The guys in the Car Park swims had no joy, but I knew the fish were there.
After about 15 casts with a marker lead, I found a spot at 90 yards range where the weed was lighter than the surrounding area so that is where I decided to fish. I never found a clear spot but light weed was fine. I started off spombing around 4kg of mix out on the spot. A mix consisting of 10mm Live System boilies, Roasted Nut Partiblend and Sweetcorn.
I decided to fish a Ronnie rig over the top as it had served me well during my last trip to Hardwick. I was using the size 6 Cryogen Curv Shanx as they are mega sharp and incredibly strong and the hook holds are solid. I used a slightly longer Tungsten Loaded boom section than I normally would as I wanted the rig to settle on top of the weed. Hook bait wise I fished a mixture of yellow Northern Special pop-ups and double plastic corn, balanced out with putty to make them slow sinking.
I got the first rod out over the bait at about 5pm and much to my surprise it was away before I had set my second rod up. Once the fish was landed I quickly got the rod back on the spot and before I could set up the second rod it was away again. The next 3 hours were carnage; I managed to get two rods out and had two double takes in a row. I had racked up 10 fish in a few hours and had already nailed a 30Lb 6oz mirror, along with a number of good twenties.
At this point I hadn’t had the chance to top up with any bait. It was starting to get dark so I decided to put another 4kg of spod mix onto the spot. I had a few fish through the night and topped up with the same amount of bait at first light. The fish backed off after spodding and took a while to get back on it. It started to kick off again at 10am and 24 hours into the session I had landed 23 carp! It really was turning out to be a red letter session on Manor.
I then went 15 hours without a bite as the fish backed off and were showing the other side of the lake. During the following morning the fish got closer and closer before one showed right over the bait and 30 minutes later I was away. I ticked over steadily during the afternoon and added a few more to my tally through the night and was away early in the morning, 7am to get into work. It really was a memorable session as I ended up slipping the net under no fewer than 33 carp in 60 hours angling. The average size was incredible with 29 fish over 20Lb with around half of them over 25Lb and the icing on the cake was a fish called “The Other Linear” at 32Lb 4oz.
Looking back at it, the key was the way I fed the bait. In the past, I would quite often top up with a few Spombs after every fish but on this occasion I put in a decent hit of bait and waited until I had around 7 or 8 fish before putting another big hit of bait out. Most times I spodded the fish would back off and take a while to get back onto the spot. The Manor carp are wise old creatures and often back off as soon as the Spomb crashes into the water. By putting around 4kg of bait out and three rods on it, I was able to quickly get the rig back out with minimal disturbance after every fish allowing the carp to get their confidence up and feed for longer periods of time without a Spomb crashing over the top. I am sure that if I had spodded after every fish then I would not have caught nowhere near as many fish. Lesson learnt for me and I will definitely think more and be more strategic with my baiting in the future.
Tight lines, Kev
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