It’s July and I’ve been enjoying myself catching carp at the Fryerning Essex. I’ve been travelling light and moving around all the lakes picking off fish including some good ones too. I’d had a number of decent fish doing this and even managed to bag the Valley Lake record at 41lb 3oz. I had turned up at the lakes at around 5pm and was planning to do the night but then pack everything up in the morning apart from a stalking rod and a few bits and go for a wander.
I had a walk around the main lake, as I always do, looking for signs of fish. I found a few right round the other side of the lake in the Last Swim, as it’s known.
Above: The Last Swim, tucked right out of the way, just how I liked it!
It had been a quiet night without much happening. I was up early, just before first light. I always get up early because that’s when the fish give the game away – they will often tell you where they are. After watching the water for a couple of hours I noticed what looked like the odd dorsal fin coming up out the water. It was warming up and unless my eyes where playing tricks the fish had already come right up in the water. They weren’t far out either. The fish were only about 30 yards or so away from the bank. I made the decision to bring in all my rods. A drastic move, I know, but they were on the deck – and these fish weren’t.
I had the option to cast out a couple of zigs but I was much more confident with floaters – right on the top. The whole swim was clearly of any tackle, I wanted the swim to look empty. I then grabbed my stalking rod which was already set up because I’d planned to go stalking that morning anyway. I then sat on the floor behind a clump of reeds. These reeds were off to one side of the swim and just about provided a barrier between me and the fish. I started trickling in a few floaters in an attempt to bring these fish closer. I didn’t want to use a controller that might spook these fish. I wanted to simply freeline my trimmed down cell pop up which would be cast out very quietly at just the right time.
Above: The Last Swim, you can just about make out the reeds I hid behind to the right of this pic.
Everything was quiet and like I say, the swim looked completely empty, like nobody was around. Unbelievably after about 30minutes I managed to get these fish taking a few floaters within a rod length from where I was sat in the reeds. There were maybe about three or four fish. Time to put a bait in the water!
Something I always do is watch how a fish is moving, it’s direction, the path it’s taking. I’m sure this helps me pick up extra fish. I will make sure that I cast a bait in it’s path … not too close to the fish to spook it but where you think it’s going to come across the bait. I put a bait in the path of what looked to be a good fish and the fish approached it and sucked it in …wallop! The rod hooped over and the clutch screamed as the fish headed out into the lake. I let it take plenty of line before starting to assert some pressure. My floater set up is fairly light weight – only 12lb line and a size 10 barbless hook but I know it’s up to the job as long as I’m patient and keep my head! After a hard scrap of about 20 minutes or so a big common rolls over the net and she’s mine – and I think I recognise her!
Above: An awesome creature – The Roundtail Common, caught for the second time but this time she gave a really good account of herself – 35lb 4oz.
Above: So good to get decent day time pictures of her this time. What a beast!
She looked even more awesome in daylight. Such a big frame, great form and nice big round tail 🙂 I get help weighing her in and then it’s on with the waders to release her safely and get her back in the water as quickly as possible.
Above: You gotta love a water shot. Buzzing.
Above: One last snap and back she goes.
Well after that the fish moved out. Amazingly they still stayed in the area and I did have a go for them for a while but it didn’t feel like I was going to be able to take another. I was keen to roam the lakes stalking, as I’d originally planned, so everything was packed away. Could I do the treble? ie a fish from each lake on the complex.
I moved across onto Valley Lake and within 30 minutes I’d stalked a nice mirror from there.
Above: Terrible pic but a quick phone snap of the mirror I caught from Valley Lake.
So, all I had to do was take a fish from the easiest lake on the complex – The Car Park lake, one that I’d caught loads on before! The phone rings and I’m called home … argh! Never mind, didn’t really matter. I’d had an amazing day and was buzzing all the way home.
Above: Roundtail at 37lb. Our first encounter in June 2016, just over a year before we met again!
Thanks again Roundtail. You’re awesome! Carp at Fryerning Essex – get on it!