The carp in Lavers Syndicate, Essex have been on my radar for a while. It contains some really nice carp and isn’t too far from home in Hertfordshire. I was looking for somewhere that I could drop onto for short sessions, either very early morning or evening and this venue fits the bill perfectly.
My first trip there was in spring of 2017. I literally only popped up there for a bit of a look around. Of course I had some mixers with me as it was a very hot day. I wandered around the lake, polaroids on, looking out for an opportunity. I knew my stalking outfit was in the back of the car if needed!
I approached the first swim. A guy was in their fishing on the deck with all 3 rods. I could already see a few fish out in the middle of the lake cruising around. I was told by him that they ‘don’t take floaters in here’. He said that you would chuck in a few floaters and the fish would simply disappear. I was sure they would take floaters, after all they were just carp!
It’s not a huge lake, maybe around 6 acres, so it didn’t take me long to walk round to almost opposite to where I had spoken to the chap earlier. It was along this bank that I found a more concentrated group of fish. I threw in a few floaters and to my surprise they were straight on them! In fact it didn’t take long to get them competing for the food. I dashed back to the car and grabbed my stalking gear. When I got back to the swim I re-introduced more floaters to keep them interested whilst I set the rod up with the required tackle.
The fish had drifted out from the bank slightly. They were feeding confidently and within 25 minutes of being there I was attached to my first Lavers carp and it felt like a decent one! There was a bit of marginal weed and so I had to be very careful whilst playing the fish on fairly light tackle but after a 15 – 20 minute fight I had a beautiful mid 20 linear sitting in the net. On the scales she reads 26lb and a few ounces .
Wow, what a start! A cracking linear and a big frame is hoisted up for the camera.
The other side. 26lb of lovely Lavers linear – Essex carp fishing at it’s best. Carp Lavers Essex.
The fish were still having it out front of me, however, I had other commitments and really had to leave. I walked back to the car, past the bloke that I spoke to on arrival. He was standing in his swim clapping his hands and told me that he’d never seen anything quite like it. Maybe I got lucky, I don’t know, but I had been there for less than an hour, bagged a fish and was now leaving. To put this in context, there was a guy a few swims up who had been there for three days waiting for his first fish. I’m not ‘bigging myself up’ here, I’m just stating facts and highlighting how important it is to locate the carp first, then think about the fishing situation and fish for them with the appropriate method. I am pretty confident I could have nicked another fish that day, maybe two.
Obviously I was keen to get back, but work was busy and I had to wait another couple of weeks before I could find the time. Again, I only had a few hours available but it was a hot day and I was keen to see if I had just been fortunate on my first trip and wanted to see if I could do something similar again.
As before, I just took a bag of mixers with me as I walked around the lake. There was clearly fewer fish on the top than last time but unbelievably I found a few in exactly the same swim as last time. I put out some mixers and sure enough the fish did drift off. Maybe the guy was right after all, and maybe had just got lucky on my last trip. Experience tells me that if it’s a hot day and you’ve located the carp if you keep introducing the bait regularly in small quantities eventually they will have it. So this is what I did. I was putting out lots of mixers, feeding off birds and geese and after about an hour a few fish started to take the odd mixer. Over the next hour a pattern started to form. They would go 10 – 15 minutes or so without taking much, but then suddenly have a feeding spell that lasted just a minute where a pack of fish would move in and pac-man loads of them. I had never seen this before but knew that during that 1 minute frenzy I had to get everything right. The wind was pushing the mixers towards me and some of the fish were actually taking quite close in. If ever I get the opportunity to remove the controller and freeline a floater I take it. About 2.5 hours after arriving eventually one of the fish in the margins slips up. When stalking fish close to the bank it’s important that your clutch is set properly. That initial run when you hook them would simply break the line if the clutch isn’t sorted. Once hooked the fish flew out into the middle and after an epic battle a stunning dark mirror sat in the bottom of my net! I had done it again. This time I had taken a few hours but it proved to me that the fish can be caught like this. It wasn’t a one off and was a great short session tactic for some beautiful carp.
Another stunning floater caught carp of 21lb from Lavers Syndicate. Carp Lavers Essex
Unfortunately I knew that I would not be back for a while. The river was going to open for business in June and I had some targets on there. I also wanted to get amongst some more monsters over at Fryerning. I have had a few fish over there however still feel that there is to come. Watch this space!