On A Roll

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Every now and then you get spells when everything goes exceptionally well with your fishing.  Just recently I had a one of those spells over the course of a few weeks and had some great catches culminating in landing a very special fish, and one that I had been hoping to catch for a long time.

Last year after a chance phone conversation I managed to get on the waiting list for the Essex Manor along with my good friend, fellow Academy member and International superstar, Dave Springall.

Ghost Linear at 32.8

I had fished the Manor quite a few years ago and landed my first forty there, the Annie or Amphibian as she was known then.  After a tense wait we finally got our tickets and were both really looking forward to getting out fishing and trying to catch some of the large Carp that inhabit the water. Unfortunately due to work commitments I couldn’t get there for the start but was able to fish for two days the following week. On arriving at the lake I found Dave fishing in the ‘Rope’ swim. After a quick look round I settled for the ‘Steps,’ a swim that I had some success from in the past. I had a quick look around and found some likely looking spots amongst the silk weed which covers most of the marginal shelf that runs around the lake. The best spot was directly in front of the swim and it was on this spot that I placed a white pop-up on a slow sinking Chod.

Baby Stella at 36.10

Dave came round for chat and while he was in the swim the rod directly in front ripped off, the baits had only been in the water for half an hour and I was into my first Manor Carp of the new season, magic. After a really good fight we got a glimpse of the fish as it turned in front of us, it was the Ghost Linear, a fish that I had last seen on the bank at 22lb a few years ago. This time though she tipped the scales at 32lb 8oz – a great start to our Manor season. That was to be the only fish of the session but I was more than happy.

A good looking 24.10 Mirror

The following week I was back for another two days. When I arrived the lake was a bit busy but the Steps was once again free so I set up in there and got the rods out onto the spots that I had found the previous trip as quickly as I could. I couldn’t believe it when the same rod went off again shortly after casting out and I landed a fish known as Baby Stella at 36lb 10 oz. Later on that evening I landed another chunky Mirror of 32lb on the nose followed by another good looking Mirror of 24lb 10oz the following morning just before packing up and heading for home well pleased with results once again.


Things were going really well so the following week I booked a couple of days holiday and headed back to the Manor. This time after looking round and seeing a few fish I settled into the ‘Middle Pads’ swim. Nothing happened that afternoon or overnight but I had seen fish rolling about during the night directly in front of me so I decided to stay put.

Not much happened on the lake during the day but at midnight I was woken up to a ‘one toner.’ This fish was absolutely mental and at one time I gave it up as one of the large Catfish that are in the lake as at one point a huge bow wave went across in front of me – I was convinced it was a Cat and I was really surprised when a Carp surfaced in the torch light. On the scales it was 34lb and was a fish known as the ‘Baby Northern.’

No Name at 36.4

There was no more action during the night but once again the following morning while getting the gear together I had another take and duly landed another thirty, this time a fish known as ‘No name’ who weighed in at a healthy 36lb 4oz.  I was really on a roll so once again I booked two more days off for the following week. This time I was back in the Steps and once again I received some action straight away with lovely fish of 34lb. The lake was being very kind to me and at 5am the next morning I was off again this time landing the ‘Bream Common’ – the biggest Common in the lake at 38lb 2oz, awesome.


Bream Common at 38.2

Later that morning I had a bit of a disaster and lost two fish due to the weed that was growing up.  After the second loss I changed the rig and cast out once again. I then catapulted (check out the new Prodigy Skata Pults) out half a kilo of fresh fish boilies and almost immediately received another bite, this time after another mental scrap I managed to land the fish down in the next swim, it was yet another thirty at 38lb 8oz. What a great session! Unfortunately that was it on the Manor for a while as I had to fly up to the office the following week. Even though I had a ticket for the Manor I still fished regularly on a Saturday at Layer Pit near Colchester. Layer is a one off, it is a day only water and contains some lovely Carp one in particular that everyone who fishes there, me included, hope to catch and goes by the name of Vanessa.

Vanessa at 40.8

Vanessa is a gorgeous looking Linear Mirror and, as I mentioned earlier was a fish that I had been hoping to catch for a long time.  After a week away from the fishing I was mad keen to get the rods out again so, on Saturday I got myself down to the Pit as I felt that if she came out at this time of year she could well be over the forty pound mark. Well, to cut a long story short that evening I managed to at last catch her and at a new lake record of 40lb 8oz and she looked absolutely stunning. I have posted a more detailed account of her capture on my Chub & Greys Academy page if you wish to read it. The capture of Vanessa ended what was for me a remarkable few weeks fishing.  I’m on a roll, will it continue… I hope so. I will let you know at a later date.”

Thanks for reading

Kevin Benham

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