Manor Magic!!

Sunset over Manor!!!!

The Awesome "Zip" at 30.02.

Looking out over Manor!!

24.10 Stockie "A great start"....

One of the Manor "Originals" at 29.02....

18 July 2007

Due to an encounter with numerous traffic jams it wasn’t until around 9am that I pulled in to the Manor/St Johns car park. I hadn’t decided on what lake I would be fishing, although I quite fancied the idea of Manor or Hardwick, both waters I had read a lot about but not wet a line in. Hardwick and Smiths really appealed to me, clear margins, egg boxed lake bed and an awesome collection of thirty pound scaleys, “Proper Oxland Carp”! Manor also did something for me, as well as some stunning old carp the lake held a certain buzz when on its banks, why I don’t know, but it definitely existed.

As I was down on “Work Shadowing”; part of my college course, I suppose it was time to give Chris a call to let him know I had arrived and was ready to work! Handshakes were exchanged and conversations turned carpy. I had already done a brisk lap of Manor and from the height of the embankment between the Float Lake and Manor a few swirls and shadows of large proportions were spotted on the plateaux’s towards the middle of the lake. Through the Polaroid’s a few more carp were spotted, most of them soaking up the early morning sun. Chris informed me a few fish were coming out of Manor and there were no prizes for guessing which area he was to recommend. As I was working the days and fishing the nights I went back round to the embankment to try and gauge an idea on what the carp were up to.

There were without a doubt some very large fish on these plateaux’s, but they didn’t look in the mood for a munch, more to soak some rays. I decided not to fish on top of the plateaux’s, as well as being only a couple of feet deep I figured they would be moving off when the light disappeared. For this reason I decided to place a few traps at the base of the plateaux’s in deeper water. Thankfully a marker rod wasn’t needed as everything was clear from the height of the embankment, before setting up ready for a days work I scattered roughly two kilos of Vision Baits LT94 boilie between the two plateaux’s. Setting up the bivvy a few swirls could still be seen in the centre of the lake, I was dying to get a rod out but work was calling. Maybe resting the swim was a good idea? I felt the nights would give me a better chance at the fish anyway as I would try and bag them moving as the light disappeared.

Before leaving for work I made sure I had roughly half a kilo of baits soaking in lake water, in theory matching the freebies by the time I had the rods out. I can’t remember what time I returned from work although it wasn’t late as there simply wasn’t a lot to do that day. Before even setting the rods up I decided to go back and sit on the embankment to figure out what was in front of me. There were still a few major swirls and chunky backs breaking the water, I could have sat there ‘till dark watching them but decided I was best get the rods out before night fall.

Over the next hour three rods were spread around at the bases of the plateaux’s, two between and one couple of rod lengths to the side. Not wanting to put all my eggs in one basket one of the rods between the plateaux’s was baited with double paste wrapped 12mm Ocean Protein from Vision Baits, opposed to the other two which were fished with the ever faithful washed out Vision Baits LT94, accompanied with a PVA bag of crumbled down baits. Rig wise I wasn’t using anything special, short hook links made from Stealth Skin were presented with a 5oz Flat Inline Lead from Korda, a little different from the norm but ideal for dealing with fish that see a 7inch hook link and 3oz lead on a clip every day of the week.

Just as planned as the warm sun faded the swirls seemed to disappear, as darkness came I sat outside the bivvy with my eyes glued to the area. Just after eight ‘o clock the tip of the middle rod slammed around the Delkim started squealing my favourite tune, I was on the rod like a shot as the fish powered off. After a short battle she was secured in the net and the usual “coomee ooonn” was bellowed across Manor Farm, I hadn’t looked at the fish in the net at that stage but predicted it to be a low twenty, it was a stocky anyhow but I couldn’t care less, it was my first blood on Manor. On the scales the needle smacked around to 24lb10oz, a nice start and another victim to the LT94.

After a couple of texts were made I knocked up another rig and bag leaning the rod against the bivvy. I could have possibly got the rod back out on the money but it was now pitch black and I didn’t want to risk wiping out the right hand rod, which was only a rod length away from where the fish come from. Considering I still had one rod on the hotspot I decided to sit outside the bivvy for a short while scratching my head at where to place the rod. Right on cue a large mirror popped its head out about 15yards from the bank, “that’ll do me” – I thought to myself. Unclipping the hook link I gave a gentle lob into the ripples which landed with a donk, lovely jubbly! With the hook link clipped on this time the rod was again chucked to the clip and the line left to sink. At around 10pm I retired to the bivvy to get some shut eye.

Twenty minutes later I had my receiver shaking my eardrum with a fast tempo high pitched scream. Dragging my bag with me I leapt out of bed and immediately leant into the fish. At first she didn’t do a lot, just a dead weight being dragged in, that was until she spotted what I guess was a weed-bed! At this point all hell let loose and the clutch started to spin rather fast. Before I knew it her head was in the weed and I was cursing to myself. For a couple of minutes I stood there applying a little pressure hoping she would free herself. A decision was made to put the rod back on the alarm and leave it for five minutes before trying to get the weed bed moving myself. Just as the kettle started to whistle so did the alarm – I was back in action. Round two and I could have sworn I was fighting a different fish, plodding up and down the margins, going on short 10yard bursts every time I got her near the net the fight was a bit hair-raising. Finally she kissed the spreader block and as a sigh of relief “Commme ooon” was again shouted!

Before netting the her I knew I had one of the better fish, its frame was pretty thick and I predicted her to be a tad over 30. First job first, with my foot on the landing net pole I reached behind me to turn off the kettle that had almost boiled dry, and grabbed my scales from underneath my bedchair. On the mat I was reconsidering my guestimations on weight, she looked big but simply didn’t have a gut on her. Not quite making 30lb she went 29lb2oz on the scales. She may not have been as big as I first thought but I was a happy boy to say the least. As there’s a no sacking rule on Linear Waters, and there wasn’t anyone to close to me it was to be self takes again. Thanks to the good old’ wireless remote - the pics come out nicely.

As this fish had again come from the plateaux’s, I tied up a new rig and bag and give it a good whack out landing roughly where the two fish had come from with a nice “donk”. I went to bad a happy lad that night, over two hours I had two fish totalling almost 55lb!

The rest of the night passed without so much as a bleep, a few more fish stared boshing in open water away from the plateaux area. I guessed that they had moved off for the night and would return as the light appeared. I was right, but unfortunately they didn’t stop for a munch on the way. Before leaving for work at 8.15am I went back around to the embankment and trickled out another kilo or so of LT94.

At around five o’ clock Chris let me escape from work and get my rods ready for the night ahead. Just as the night before all three rods were positioned around the plateaux’s, two with washed out LT94 and the one with Ocean Protein wrapped in paste. I have always been confident in both of the baits but having a fish on each the night before left me with no doubts whatsoever.

Back at the bivvy a curry was soon bubbling away in the saucepan, I was staring at my rods when the receiver signalled a couple of bleeps. A split second later the tip banged round and I was bent into an enthusiastic kipper! The fight seemed to last forever, I had her at the net four times before powering off down the right hand margin. To make things worse I had a clear look at the fish the first time I had her near the net, I knew it was one of two, either the Birthmark Linear or Zip Linear. Once in the net I almost collapsed with relief, after shouting my celebratory “cooommee onnn” obviously!

Before even looking in the net I bit the mainline and chucked the rod in the reeds. Looking at both sides of the fish there didn’t appear to be a birth mark, although unsure at the time I settled on the idea it was the Zip Linear which usually rocks the scales around to 29-31lb. Luckily that night someone had dropped in behind me on St Johns, there was no way I was doing self takes of what could potentially be a 30lb Linear. With the net secured, bare footed (ouch) I jogged across the car park to collect a photographer. Back in the swim matey lifted the scales which was hovering a little over the 30lb mark, I was buzzing and the fella weighing her was too! Once settled the needle bounced between the 30lb2oz and 30lb4oz mark, 30lb2oz did me nicely and the fish was soon getting the flash treatment.

Thankfully matey from St Johns did a pukka job with the photo’s and out of seven or eight, four looked perfect. A text to Chris confirmed it was the Zip Linear and the kettle was put on for a celebratory cuppa. The next night unfortunately produced nothing, a friend of mine popped down for a bit of a social and a good giggle was had.

My first session on Manor went superb, I can’t wait to get back there for another bash. As well as the fishing I really enjoyed the work, Linear is a top run fishery with some of he best day ticket carp in the country. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough!

Alex Williamson