FREE-LINE 01.pdf - Page 101



Manor Madness Exclusive
I
t’s good to be back writing
for Big Carp after Rob rang
me to ask if I could give you
the readers an update on
my fishing over the spring
and summer, and it’s been
a particularly interesting and fruitful
six months. If you have been following my on-and-off quest over the
past few years on the Manor, and in
particular my pursuit of two of the
lake’s finest specimens, The Northern Linear and Stella, you will know
that these fish are both around the
low to mid-40 mark, depending on
the time of year. They are both I feel
destined to be 50lb-plus fish in the
not too distant future, eventually taking over the mantle of the big girl in
the Manor, which is a much older
fish. I don’t know if you are like me,
but once you set your sights on your
target fish you just have to have it.
You have to be dedicated and single
minded in putting that fish on the
bank. In previous seasons I have not
been able to give the water the
attention that it deserves to be able
to put my targets on the bank. Whilst
I felt I had been relatively successful
for the amount of time I was spending on the water, and having had
some truly cracking fish this last
summer to mid-30’s, I hadn’t got
amongst the bigger specimens, in
particular Stella and the Northern.
It was time for a change of tactics;
I had managed to get bites by using
quite a bit of bait, the Monster Tiger
Nut had caught me some terrific fish
at all times of the year, and I was also
using quite a bit of particle to complement the 10mm’s and 15mm’s in
my mix, sometimes putting in a
bucket of spod over the three rods
each night. All was fine, but I felt
something was missing from my
approach, as I hadn’t completed the
jigsaw yet. Whilst working one of the
shows last winter, I think it may have
been the Brentwood show, I got talking to a friend of mine. He had had a
truly tremendous year, catching his
target fish on two different venues,
and it was evident from listening to
h i m t h a t h e ’d c h a n g e d c e r t a i n
aspects of his fishing. He’d really
thought about how to target these
bigger fish, and more importantly he
had formulated a plan and stuck to it.
I realised then that I had to come up
with my own plan and stick to it no
matter what. Previously I had chased
the fish around, but this year I would
target swims where the two target
fish had been caught from between
March and October.
Stella visits the bank probably
three times a year, if you are lucky –
once in the spring when she is at her
heaviest weight, maybe once after
she has spawned, and then again in
the autumn if you are lucky. The
Northern likes to visit the bank a lot
more frequently, probably five or six
times a year. Looking back at past
captures in my diary, it seemed that
Stella liked the area in the middle of
the lake, and two swims would give
me the best chance of catching her
in the spring, The Middle Pads and
The Garden seemed to be her
favourite haunts, in particular The
middle Pads, which was somewhere
she seemed to slip up in the springtime. The Northern on the other hand
liked a few different swims, usually
at either end of the lake – The Rope
a n d M u m ’s b e i n g f a v o u r i t e s ,
depending in what direction the new
wind blew. This indicated to me that
she was one of the shoal fish, as the
shoal tended to get straight on a new
wind. Stella on the other hand
seemed to be very territorial; she had
her select feeding tables and I was
sure I knew where they were.
I also had the chance to use a new
bait, Dynamite’s Fresh Fish boilie. I
The plan was starting to work
FREE LINE 101

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