Having spent a lot of my summer months doing a thorough recce of my new stomping grounds I’ve been able to find some really nice waters in close proximity to my new house.
Having had some success in recent weeks at Pool Bridge Farm I wanted to pit my wits against a better stamp of Carp on a more challenging water.
More by luck than judgement I stumbled upon a small carp water online called Manor Carp Lake which is within a few minutes drive of my house and, due to the quality of the photography, not immediately visible using satellite mapping. How had I missed it?!!
After a quick chat with the owner I was granted permission to do a walk around and nipped down one evening on my way home from work.
The lake is small, but packed full of features and maturing nicely, with reed-fringed bays and little islands breaking up the five swims it can accommodate.
It has a healthy stock of quite large fish for its size too, with a couple over the 30 mark and a good stamp of 20s to go at.
Having seen enough on my recce I promptly booked on for an overnighter a couple of days later.
Having got down after work I was greeted by the site of a couple of cars in car park and I knew I’d have a few other anglers to compete with.
Approaching a new water for the first time is all about observation in my opinion, not being in a rush to get all the gear set up and rods cast out.
Quietly watching the water I waited until late evening to drop a couple of rigs in and see if any action would follow.
It’s a wonderfully quiet part of the world and on still nights the only sounds you can hear is the local wildlife going about their nocturnal business.
Lying under my STI Two Rib Brolly taking in the sounds of the night I must have drifted off to sleep and was awoken at around 4.30am by the unmistakable sound of a big Carp crashing out just a few feet from my baited area. Sitting with my eyes glued to the water I was convinced it would be just a matter of time until a take would materialise.
Sadly time inched along and soon I was packing up and on my way to work, not before a quick call to the owner confirmed that another swim on the lake was available that evening. With a day off the following day I promptly booked the spare swim and, as it was empty for the day, sneaked in around a kilo of Red Crustacean boilies to give the Carp a free taste of my bait.
With the days work done I found myself heading back home with my mind firmly fixed on the overnighter ahead.
I opted to try a few different approaches with the Red Crustaceans including whole 16mm tipped with corn over whole baits and a chop rig fished in a small PVA bag of chops over a scattering of whole baits.
Arriving at the swim it looked spot on and I felt excited about the prospect of another night on the bank.
Something wasn’t right however and I quickly discovered that a fish had been lost at some recently past and was tethered to a clump of rushes which was charging around my swim.
Jumping in the on-site boat I spent the next couple of hours, guided by the owner and some friends on the bank, playing a surreal game of “Whacky Races” but to no avail.
With light fading fast I had no choice but admit defeat and cast out for the evening.
Not feeling particularly confident I cast the rods in position and before I had time to put a brew on or get the Brolly and Bedchair set up, I was away.
However as you can probably guess by now it wasn’t a take but the tethered fish, as I had feared it would, had swam through one of my lines.
Once I’d managed to get the situation under control and get myself organised it was well passed 1.30am so time to get my head down.
Falling immediately into a deep sleep the next thing I could recall was a few tentative bleeps of the alarm followed by a steadier take. Fish on!
After a dogged fight I slipped the net under a pristine mid-double Mirror Carp which on the scales went 15lb 11oz.
Falling to the 16mm bottom bait tipped with fake corn it was brilliant to get the first fish from a new water in only my second night on the place.
Thanks to its closeness to my home I intend to fish this place a lot over the summer and autumn, mainly mid-week overnighters when work commitments and finances allow.
With some much bigger fish present however, I look forward to having more success there on the Red Crustacean.
You can watch a video on this session on my YouTube channel below: