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Get on the Artisan!
joined the Essex Manor in
April and bagged my first fish
on my first visit, a 24lb 12oz
c o m m o n . To b e h o n e s t I
thought I was going to do
quite well after that. Well,
how wrong was I on that prediction?
I’m not going to go into detail about
my previous captures, as I want to
save them for another piece in the
future. I’ll go through my little adventure in brief, although it would still be
brief if I told you it all as the Manor
has well and truly destroyed my soul
over the past few months.
If you know me or are friends with
me on Facebook then you will know
about all the banter that has taken
place, mainly in the Dollop City group
which should’ve been renamed “The
Greg Ellis Group” judging from the
amount of abuse I’ve received
through it. It’s slowed down on that
front at the moment, which is good as
it’s only friendly banter but too much
of it does finally get to you. Fellow
members would post pictures and
caption them with comments. For
example Fake Bake aka Spencer
Crumble posted a picture of a skeleton sitting by a lake with a rod and
captioned it with something like
“Greg Ellis still waiting for a bite on
the Manor”. Ha ha, yes the blanking
was getting far too common for my
I wasn’t the only angler struggling
though; there were a fair few of us. I
also had other fellow members,
mainly Locky commenting on my status, saying, “How many you had?”
when I’d say I was fishing, knowing
full well that I was blanking my tits
off. The classic comment though was
one of Locky’s, as he would write it on
anything, fishing related or not. For
example I would write something like
“Having a few beers with my darling”
and then he would throw the classic
“Get on the Artisan” comment in
You’re probably wondering what
Artisan means? Artisan is the name of
the bait company I field test for,
which is owned by a man called Stuart Mullin. If you want to know something about bait then he’s your man. I
was using a bait from his range called
the Alpha Mix, which is a unique bait
in itself, and Stuart has been working
on this particular mix for five years
now. The bait itself is a sweet/savoury
spicy food bait which is designed to
be used all year round. This new
batch I was testing had only the finest
Robin Red added to it though, which
was different from the previous
batches I used. Don’t mistake this as
the reason I was racking up the
blanks, as the other mix was just as
good. It was the Manor carp playing
hard to get and poor angling from me.
I’d lost the bug and just went angling
half heartedly when I should’ve been
giving it my all. Stuart also made me
some matching pop-ups which were
soaked in Talin – sweet and irresistible to a carp.
I arrived at the Manor on 31st
August for a weekend session, which
I hadn’t done for a few weeks due to
meeting Clarissa, my gorgeous new
girlfriend who is very understanding
and loves fishing for carp with me.
What more can a man want? The lake
was busy as you’d expect at 7pm on a
Friday evening, and I had the choice
of three swims up the other end of the
lake. The wind was a steady north-
(Above) My girlfriend Clarissa with a
21lb 2oz common from another lake.
(Bottom) The infamous sausage and
bacon baguettes that served me so
well that session.
westerly blowing down to the car
park swim and the carp were down
this end in numbers, which is why it
was stitched. The wind was due to
turn to a southwesterly the following
day, so I opted for a swim called End
Pads. A southwesterly blows nicely
into the left hand corner of this swim,
hopefully bringing a few carp with it.
I was setting up in no rush as my
heart was not in my fishing any more.
I’d totally lost the bug and due to this
I didn’t get my rods out until gone
10pm, as I needed to sort things out
and tie three new rigs. I set all three
rods up with matching rigs which
consisted of size 6 hooks tied to 8
inches of Korda N-Trap Stiff and
opted to fish snowman baits on the
blowback ring rig helicopter style due
to the stiffness of the hook link material. These were then deployed into
open water with a little scattering of
freebies as it was now dark and I
planned to have a little lead around
and find a few spots the following
morning. I couldn’t help but think to
myself what a waste of time this
weekend was going to be. I was literally driving to the lake expecting to
blank every time I went; I’d totally lost
all confidence in my fishing. I didn’t
see a single fish show in my swim
that night and I slept like a log as
The following morning was a differ-


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