Bailey Payne Coarse

The Wonder of Crucian Bites!

In today’s blog, I am back at my club lakes; Hockley Angling Club. With my aim catching a few early April Crucians, and also adding a few more species to my tally in the species hunt, which has so far been appalling! However a day catching a few decent skimmers/bream and some Crucians mixed in, would make a good early, very cold April session.

The setup for me was back to the Pole and on my seat box, fish accurately in a spot and be able to react quickly to the small fiddly touches Crucians can give. With the water still being cold, I want to stay accurate, even more than normal, and the keep the small amount I feed, in the same area and keep the Fish tight. And Pole fishing gives me the ability to do this.

I setup and plumbed slightly over depth, it’s always my go to, just by the stem of the float. Bait for today was micro pellets with the special G groundbait dusted over them. And on the hook I was using soft expanders and some dead maggots.

With the weather still being cold, I opted to feed very lightly. You can always put more in, but you can’t take any out. I potted in one golf ball size of the micro mix along with a few dead maggots and some of the soft expanders. Then quick drink break, let it settle a bit, and then first put in, opting for a single red dead maggot on the hook. Wasn’t long before a tell tale bite from a skimmer, with the float lifting right to the body, a lovely lift bite, and the first fish of the day.

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Make sure the species hunt card is in the photo!

Weirdly, the skimmers today weren’t the main feature, normally here it’s mainly skimmers with some Crucians mixed in for good measure. However, this was one of only a few. The lake recently had Crucians stocked in from a young age, along with some more Tench. So a load of small baby Crucians were coming out! It wasn’t long before they controlled the bait and for them to start coming thick and fast. However, their bites showed how shy and small they were, with bites being small sideways movements of the float, barely a touch on the float moving up or down. I introduced a method of lifting the float every 10-15 seconds just to make sure a crucian wasn’t hanging on without giving any indication, a lot of the time lifting the float up did result in the elastic coming out and a Crucian on the end!

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Was a pleasure catching this small crucians, and made for good sport, although the tough bite indication was certainly difficult. However, was good to still be catching them, and it wasn’t soon before a few of the biggers one started coming!

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Great to see how some of the older stocked ones have been doing, some nudging around 1lb!

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However, with all this catching, the bites started slowing down in the open. I did plumb and feed a few over spots, however nothing really came from them, and in this venue, it’s always worth having a look down the margin, a lot of the Bream, Crucians, Tench and even a few Barbel will stay down in the deep margins in this lake, through the day I had been throwing a few micros and dead maggots down the edge in hope of a few better fish.

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And then my float went under for the first, and only time of the day! For a tiny baby barbel!

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The next bite from down the edge, was a lift bite, thinking it would be a bream, however up popped one of the baby tench! Lovely little bar of soap!

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The margin then started throwing up those tell tale bites, float moving sideways, or not even moving, with big Crucians on the end, the Crucian fully took over everywhere on the peg! The margin Crucians were of a much better size than in the open, and really gave a good fight, was a pleasure to catch.

The whole session really provided a good 3-4 hours of Fishing, ending the day with a lovely 21 Crucians! Not a bad haul at all!

Very glad I am now able to go back to this venue with the lockdown travel restrictions being lifted!

For my blog on some basic pole fishing tips (With the next instalment coming next saturday (17th)):

Tight Lines all…

Bailey Payne Coarse

Small Pond Mystery Fishing

There is something about fishing a small local pond, they seem to hold a bit more mystery than other venues, mostly due to a lot of Fish being re-homed in them from people who no longer wish to keep them, this really can give a surprising variation of species in one of these little ponds.

This past Sunday I opted to have a few minute walk down to a little local pond and just spend an hour, mainly only an hour because of the strong winds making it a bit chilly! Opted for a simple setup of just fishing on the tip with a light bomb on the end, 15 inch hook length to a size 12 hook, good enough size for anything really. The approach was to fish bread flake on the hook, and feed the reminder of an old groundbait we had lying around.

The pond I fished is somewhere I have walked by a few times, and always seen a few fish topping, mostly looking like Carp, however before I even started fishing a seemingly golden fish topped in front of me, leaving a few questions to what this was, Goldfish? Golden Rudd? or possibly even a Crucian still lurking around in a small pond? Years ago, probably over 20, the pond was known to have a good population of small Crucians, whether they are pure or not with the Goldfish and Carp which have been added over the years, I won’t know until I see one.

On the first cast, it didn’t take long before a few knocks on my bread, with the warming water I guessed a lot of smaller fish maybe such as Roach or Rudd where on it straight away, however no bites developed, I did try to hit the odd tap, but to no avail. It took a good 30 minutes, before, in all honestly, I fluked a fish! I was about to freshen up my bread flake, after a few knocks I thought it was sucked off again, however on lifting, a Fish decided to take my bait at the same time! Let’s just say it was an incredibly quick strike!

This led to a full of energy small Carp being caught, lovely little Carp, as perfect as you could imagine.

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The next bite after this didn’t take too long, almost seemingly one set them off, this time a much better pull round. No mistaking this for a Fish, and a certinaly more sizeable, giving a great fight on my light 1oz tip, trying to avoid the logs in the pond and other obstacles. But netted again, a pristine common carp, this time maybe just a bit over 3lb, maybe nudging 4lb.

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Ignore my hair, forgot my woolly hat to control it! The wind made it out of control!

A slightly longer wait after this Fish, but another few taps developing into a bite, not pulling the tip right round, more shaking than anything, however I was in again. This time to the surprise of the trip, up popped a lovely little Brown Goldfish Fantail hybrid.

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What a beautiful little fish, all these lovely pond fish where in perfect knick, not a scale out of place. Lovely to see.

While fishing here too, a guy was fishing on the other side, catching another sizeable Carp for the pond, but also, something which looked like a Crucian from distance, of course this could’ve been a small brown goldfish, however on asking, he did confirm it was a Crucian, whether true or not, certainly spikes my interest in a small pond Crucian possibly! And this little pond will have another few more visits, especially being in walking distance. The venues you ignore can often be the most fun, I would recommend to everyone to have a little look around on a map, to see if you have any small ponds you can Fish.

Tight Lines all…

Carp Coarse Joe Chappell River

‘Chance of That?’

The Half Term Campaign Chapter 4 – ‘Chance of That?’

Last week I had a week off from online school. Me and my friend Jack decided to take advantage of our last free week before the close season to target anything which swims in our local river (except for ducks of course). This the fourth and final blog about our adventure so if you’d like to check out what else we caught throughout the week you can check out the other blogs below.

The day started early, at the same time as our other missions, 7am.  We headed straight to the pipe swim and as it was Jack’s turn to fish, he got his rod in the water armed with a few maggots on the hook. We fed a few pellets and maggots over the top and within 20 minutes a small carp had slipped up. I’m not sure whether the fish was scared, had eaten a lot, or both but it left its stool all over poor Jack.

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It was now my turn to try and catch one. I used the same tactics that we had been successfully using all week but the fish just hadn’t turned up. I think, being the fourth day in five that we had been fishing the river, the fish had been hammered at this spot and grown wary. After an hour or so without success, we baited up a little more and headed upstream to the tunnel swim.

It didn’t take long at the tunnel before my float disappeared. I was on my phone calling a friend and struck late, into nothing. I got the bait back out and then missed not one but 2 more bites. I decided my hook was too small and upped from a size 16 to a 14. I got the bait out and after 5 or so minutes waiting for a bite, I finally hooked one. The result was a small chub of under 2lb. The fish had a big dent / scar in it’s skull, my guess is that this little guy had survive an attack from a bird of some sort. I’ve seen kingfishers, herons and white ibis so it could have been any of those.

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After I caught that chub, Jack had a go in that spot but wasn’t too confident. He left me and went for a wander downstream. Just as he got back, I hooked into a little mirror. It gave me a good run around before spitting the hook and shooting back off into the depths of the river. We decided it would be best to give the tunnel some bait and a rest before heading back to where Jack caught the carp.

After my catastrophe missing 3 bites and losing a carp, I let Jack have the first cast after we moved. Unsurprisingly it didn’t take him long to catch one. It was another little common, typical of this river. I definitely think the fish were becoming wary because within the next hour, we didn’t have another bite from that spot. Consequently, we moved back up to the tunnel.

Just like usual, it didn’t take long to get a bite after giving the swim a rest. Funnily enough I missed it, AGAIN! Fortunately, I was given another chance and hooked into a little common. We persevered by the tunnel but the fishing had died off and in an hour of trying, we caught nothing. On our way to the pipe, we decided to give a few different spots along the river a go, trotting maggots about a foot under the float. In one spot, Jack managed a little roach and in another spot I managed a little chublet and a little roach, the other spots proved unsuccessful.  

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Once back at the pipe, it was Jacks turn to fish. While he was fishing, I had a wander along the river through thick brambles and brush. I found a few ok looking spots and just ahead of me I could see a perfect looking meander. It was then that I heard my name being called by Jack, he’d managed to catch a small but beautiful chub.

I really wanted to see what was upstream so I headed back through the brambles to the meander. After nearly falling down the bank, I heard my name being called yet again. Jack had managed another chub from the river. I headed back to Jack to take some pictures for him in the sun. We fished a little longer by the pipe but the fish had obviously spooked so we decided to head back to the tunnel.

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It was my turn to catch one but bites were slow. After half an hour of trickling in maggots, my float shot under like a bullet and I struck into something which felt big. The fish was holding in the deep water by the entrance of the tunnel and not showing himself. The fish felt heavy but wasn’t swimming around frantically like a carp, more slow and steady. After what felt like an age, the fish popped to the surface and I slipped the net under it. We weighed it and it weighed in at 3lb on the nose, it was a new PB chub for me.

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After taking some celebratory photos, Jack had a cast. It only took 15 minutes for him to catch one. On closer inspection, we realised it was the same chub I had caught that morning. It had the distinctive scar on its head. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing, the fish had miles of river too swim around and it had stayed in the danger zone we had caught it from. We slipped the silly thing back before heading to the pipe for the last hour of the day. Jack stayed behind and chatted with a couple of anglers fishing a neighbouring lake while I headed to the pipe.

It didn’t take me long to hook another fish, this time it was a bream. I left her in the net and gave Jack a call. After he came, we got the fish on the bank and realised it was the same fish I had caught 4 days ago in the snow. It had a black mark on its shoulder about the size of a pea and after comparing photos we realised it was the same fish. What are the chances?

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Despite fishing for another half an hour, we caught nothing and it was time to leave the river behind us. It will likely be the last time we fish the river before the closed season due to online lessons resuming, schools opening soon and me being busy with working at the garden centre. I think we’ve near enough completed the river now, Jack’s caught a 5lb chub and 10lb carp from the river and I’ve caught what we believe to be the only bream in there along with a good number of carp, chub and other species. I hope you have all enjoyed reading this series as much as I did fishing the river. Don’t forget to check out our social media links below.

Carp Coarse Joe Chappell River

‘The Day for Firsts’

The Half Term Campaign Chapter 3 – ‘The Day for Firsts’

This is the third part in a mini-series of blogs I’ve written this week about fishing a small local river with my friend Jack. If you haven’t already, I’d suggest checking out the first couple of chapters. They can be found here.

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

We gave the fish a break on the Tuesday before heading out at 7am on Wednesday for our third session on the river. We didn’t think it could get any better but boy were we mistaken. The morning which followed was spectacular.

The previous night, I had prepared some bait which I think made all the difference that day. I liquidised a few slices of brown bread and added some sweetcorn and crushed up Baylys Baits God’s Gift boilies. I then gave the whole mix a good dose of glug before leaving it in a warm cupboard overnight to get the mix active and the bread fermenting.

As soon as we got to the pipe swim, I sprinkled in a handful of my mix and some maggots before setting up the rod, giving the fish some time to get on the bait. Within 5 minutes of lowering my maggots on the spot, my float shot under and I was hooked into a hard fighting little common. On the cycle to the spot, we had decided to take it in turns fishing the magic spot which we had found the previous day. The swim is only small therefore we thought that this would be the fairest way to fish.

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After slipping my fish back, it was Jacks turn. It only took 10 minutes before Jack had caught the second fish of the session, our first mirror from the river.

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After the second fish, it was my go again. We had put some more bait in after both fish so I’m unsure weather it was a case of overfeeding them, spooking them or both but it took another 45 minutes for the third bite of the day to come. The result was another small common, typical of the river.

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We decided to give the swim a rest and head to the tunnel swim further upstream. Within 15 minutes, Jack had caught our first gudegon of the week and a few minutes after, I caught a little roach.

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As soon as I had slipped the roach back, Jack was into a chub which weighed about 3lb. All the fish caught so far had been on maggots, so I decided to switch over to using some corn on the hook while Jack persevered with the maggots. Neither bait worked in the next hour and after out floats remained motionless, we decided to head back to where we had caught the carp just over an hour earlier in the hope that we would find them already feeding.

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Since I had caught the previous fish in the spot, it was Jacks turn to fish there. I’m not joking when I say within 10 seconds of his float hitting the water it shot towards the middle of the river. He struck and a massive shadow appeared under the surface of the river. The battle which followed was epic with the fish diving for every snag in the swim. We had no idea that fish of that proportion were in this river and so we had only brought small nets. After too long trying to scoop the fish up, I managed to get it in the net.

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We were both in complete shock, we’d only ever seen fish up to about 5lb and caught them up to 3lb. Whatever was in that net was easily twice that size. Luckily, I had brought my scales and the scales tipped round to 11lb 12oz. That meant that the fish was 10lb 10oz due to the net weighing 1lb 2oz and our first double from the river. You may be reading this thinking wow, you caught a 10lber I’ve caught hundreds. If you saw where this fish lived, you would see why we were so impressed. We took some photos before slipping the fish back.

We were in complete awe of what we had just caught. We decided to put some more bait in and head back to the tunnel spot. We gave it 45 minutes in that spot but caught nothing. Still elated from Jacks carp we wanted to head back to the super spot by the pipe and try for another carp. It was my turn on the spot and once again bites came almost instantly. This time however it was a small perch, our first one of the week. We decided not to count the perch so it was still my turn in the swim. After waiting another 20 minutes, I was into a carp for the third time that day. The result was my biggest carp from the river, a 5 1/2lb common.

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After that fish, we returned to the tunnel and ate some lunch. Jack managed to catch a chub of about 2lb which obviously wasn’t too happy about being caught and jumped from his hands back into the river before we could take a photo. After an hour we headed back to the pipe to find someone else fishing there. He’d obviously only just got there and after a quick chat decided to head upstream to a place we hadn’t fished since the summer but knew held fish. We fished a couple of spots but only managed to tempt a couple of small roach.

After an hour or so trying our luck in the relatively new territory we headed back to the pipe to find that the man who was fishing there had left. We jumped into the swim and within minutes Jack had hooked another chub of over a pound.

It was now my turn and within 15 minutes I was hooked into a big chub. It looked bigger than anything I’d caught before and after giving it a quick weigh we realised it was a new PB for me at 2lb 10oz.

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Bites were slow for the next hour but we didn’t want to leave to try anywhere else in case the swims previous occupant returned. Just as it turned 4 pm, Jack had another bite which resulted in his eighth fish of the day. The result was his smallest chub of the week at a still respectable pound in weight.

The swim was mine once again however the following hours fishing resulted in just two rudd. It wasn’t the big carp or chub that I was hoping for but it was my first rudd of the year which meant another point in the Essex Anglers Species Hunt, taking my total to 6 and putting me in the lead. If you’d like some more information about our species hunt, then you can check out the species hunt tab at the top of the page or click here.

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That brings us to the end of the third chapter about my weeks fishing. I hope you’ve all enjoyed it, as always, any feedback is much appreciated. Don’t forget to check out our social media links below.

Chapter 4:

Also here’s the website for Bayly’s Baits (the boilies and glug I used in my mix)

Carp Coarse Joe Chappell River

‘Poxy Carp’

The Half Term Campaign Chapter 2 – ‘Poxy Carp’

This is the second part of a little mini-series of blogs. For me, this week is half term which means no sixth form (online lessons) and therefore, lots of fishing. You can check out the first days fishing here if you missed it.

I’d checked the weather the night before, I think every fisherman does this right? and it looked like it was going to be clear.  My friend and I decided to meet at 7 again and get to the river early. When we woke up it was absolutely hacking it down. We had planned to fish for a while before cycling 10 minutes down the road to the tackle shop to pick up some maggots when he opened at 9. Due to the rain, we decided to leave at 8:15 instead and head to the tackle shop straight after putting a bit of bait in a couple of spots.

I decided to set up my rod with a small pole float and size 14 hook. The previous day I’d used a ledger with no luck while Jack had caught a few on the float. For me, switching to a float seemed the best option. I dropped my float armed with a few maggots on the hook into position and fed a few maggots over the top. I didn’t have to wait long for the float to shoot under, the result was a small chub of about a pound. It was a new species for the year which meant another point for me in the Essex Anglers Species Hunt. After that chub, the spot died off and another hours fishing resulted in nothing.

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We moved to a bridge upstream and I climbed around the precarious ledge, rod in hand and maggots in my pocket. I hoped that I would be able to fish some water which you’re unable to fish from the bank. Considering I nearly fell in, the one little chub I caught wasn’t really worth it. I have a feeling I spooked most of the fish with my monkey business but I guess it’s a lesson learnt for next time.

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After a while at the bridge without much luck, we moved back to our spot downstream. I caught a roach and another small chub however Jack was still blanking. We moved back to the bridge and within 10 minutes of moving, Jack managed to catch his first fish of the day, a nice chub of about a pound. Once again, after our initial success, it died off and after a couple hours without a bite, we moved again.

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We fished in the swim which we had first visited and I caught the chub on my first cast. We were still using a float with maggots however I had switched over to a slightly heavier waggler style float. The river was quite flooded and the tide was coming up meaning the small pole float was just getting washed away. I had baited up in the edge with maggots and corn and was fishing a few maggots on the hook. After 20 or so minutes, my float was away. I struck into the fish and it pulled back hard. I was connected to my first river carp of the year, a hard fighting common. We trickled a few more maggots in before we took some photos and slipped him back a little way downstream so as not to disturb the swim.

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The minimal disturbance obviously worked because within 20 minutes of getting my float back out, I was away again with another carp. This one was slightly bigger but a hell of a lot uglier. It had some carp pox which are harmless to the fish but don’t look too appealing.

With Jack only catching a couple of fish, I felt pretty sorry and thought I ought to return the favour he gave me the previous day when I caught the bream with his float and rig. He dropped onto my spot and 10 minutes later he was hooked into his own little river carp.

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It was getting dark so after that fish, we packed up and headed home. The next day (Tuesday) was meant to be pretty wet and miserable so we decided to give fishing a miss and give the gear a sort out ready for Wednesday when the weather was meant to be a bit dryer. Wednesday turned out to be an even better day than Monday and I’ll talk about that trip in my next blog. Hope you’ve enjoyed reading and thanks for making it to the end.

Part 3:

Carp Coarse Joe Chappell River

‘Snow Bream’

The Half Term Campaign Chapter 1 – ‘Snow Bream’

This week is half term and for me, that only means one thing. Fishing! Although I’m at home all the time at the moment due to online schooling, I still have work to do so I haven’t been fishing much. This week I managed to hit the bank most days so have a few blogs lined up. This first blog will be about my first days fishing a small tidal river in Essex.

I spent the Saturday preparing my gear and bait. I was hoping to catch some of the chub that reside in the river and after talking to fellow blogger Andrew, I decided to make some cheese paste. I wanted to try something different and Andrew suggested adding anything which is bloody or that absolutely stinks so I blended up some lamb liver and mixed it in with the cheese before adding the spices and flour. It absolutely stunk and I had loads of blended liver left over so I mixed it with breadcrumb to use as a groundbait. I made a few batches and added different spices to each including garlic, cumin, chilli and turmeric.

I won’t go into detail on how to make the cheese paste but if you’d like to know more you can check out Andrews blog on it.

With the gear prepared and packed into just a rucksack, I headed to bed.

Me and my mate Jack woke up early on Sunday and cycled to the river, getting there for about half past 7. We started the day by cycling the length of the river to the weir where it meets the saltwater part of the river. We had never ventured this far down river and wanted to give it a scout out to see if there were any deeper parts. We had a look and a lead around and ended up fishing for about an hour. I opted to use my cheese paste on a light ledger and Jack opted to do the same but with pellets. After an hour without any bites we packed up and decided to head to a stretch upstream where we had caught fish before.

The next spot was a stretch of river separate to the stretch we fished before due to another weir pool. The main feature of this stretch is a bridge / tunnel. Unfortunately, you can’t fish the upstream side of the bridge and trot under it because it’s on private land however you can access the downstream side, this is where we were fishing. Jack switched over to the float and opted to fish with sweetcorn in a small eddy just at the exit of the tunnel under the bridge. I fished underneath a small overhanging tree and decided to persevere with my cheese paste on a ledger. We waited a while but we were confident in this spot. Jack managed to hook a fish after about half an hour in this spot but unfortunately it came off. We hoped that it hadn’t spooked the shoal and luckily it hadn’t. After about another 20 minutes, Jack was in again and he was off the mark with a chub of about a pound. After that fish, we gave it another half hour but with no results decided to put a couple of handfuls of bait in and head off to another spot which was about a foot deeper than the rest of the river.

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The first fish of the day for Jack

This next spot is quite a squeeze and can just about be fished by 2 people at once. There’s a pipe running across the river and I took the inside left slack and fished with my cheese paste and Jack fished the right hand side and trotted down the middle. It wasn’t long before Jack had caught another chub. Not long after, I got a bite however missed it because I was checking the weather forecast. I recast to check my paste hadn’t been stolen and waited eagerly. Jack’s float edged under the pipe towards my swim and he apologised for entering my water. It was a good trot, so I told him to leave it and not worry. Well within 5 seconds of me saying that his float shot under and he was connected to something bigger than the rest, it was a nice 2lb chub.

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We thought that after all the commotion, we may have spooked the fish so put a few handfuls of corn in and decided to head back to the bridge. When we got to the bridge, we found someone else fishing there so decided to head back to the pipe swim. At this point, I was losing faith in my cheese paste and Jack was feeling sorry for me.

It was nearly the end of the day so Jack offered to lend me his float and rig and corn for the last half hour. I positioned my rig exactly where Jack caught the big chub and waited. After 10 or so minutes the float shot under and I lifted into the fish.  To my surprise a bream popped his head up. We’d never caught a bream from this river before and only ever thought we’d seen one. I was finally off the mark in the Essex Anglers Species Hunt with this bream. We grabbed some photos and slipped him back before packing up and calling it a day.

We were buzzing for what the next day had in stall for us and rightly so, the fishing was even better. Tomorrow I’ll be posting the second part of this mini series so I hope to see you again tomorrow. Here’s a sneak peek of what the day had in stall for us.

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Part 2:

Carp Coarse Jack and Terry

Species Recap

Firstly, welcome back to another blog, with this year soon coming to a close we would just like to say a thank you to everyone who reads our blogs, we really do appreciate all of the support. <3 

So, once again this week I was hoping to hop down to the river and try trotting again (Still sounds a little weird to me) however with the snow earlier in the week came the enormous amounts of fog! I am not sure how bad it was in Essex but where I live on the Lincolnshire border it was unreal, honestly couldn’t see more then 1 foot in front of you, so unfortunately that put a stop to my fishing for this week. Obviously now as I have written this blog the fog has mysteriously disappeared, typical. 

So, with no new exciting tales to tell you of my blanking record on the river, I have decided to just do a little recap on the different species myself and Jack have caught over the years, this goes hand in hand with next year as I will be on the hunt for as many as possible with the Essex Anglers Species Hunt Title on the line! I have no chance of winning it but the adventure along the way should be fun. 

First, we start with every carp anglers’ favourite fish, the Bream. Whilst admittedly it can get rather annoying whilst waiting for that elusive bite from a carp, Mr bream decides to take your hook bait and give you a good old slimy kiss to your landing net. I somewhat have a slight soft spot for the slimy buggers! Whilst most of them can be annoying I have to admit that when you land a big one the size of a bin lid it’s hard to not be impressed! Myself and Jack haven’t caught MASSIVE ones before but with next year’s competition looming, I hope I can get amongst some of the specimen ones! 

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A Nice Bream for the Guest Lake at Whites Lakes

Next up, one of mine and Jacks favourites, the good old Tench, again most carp anglers loathe them but me and Jack actually really like them, having not fished for them specifically before, next year will be interesting, we both love the colour of them and the good old scrap they put up, I think they are beautiful fish and again can’t wait to get amongst them! 

Here we have a sub-species of carp, the Koi Carp, whilst still part of the Carp family I can’t help but fall in love every time I see one, I am lucky enough to have caught 2 special ones before and have found a lake we have blogged about before that holds some lovely Koi. We will defiantly be heading there next year to get one ticked off the list and just be in awe of their beauty whilst doing it! 

Now we have a fish that I have unfortunately not been able to catch before but Jack has whilst fishing for Carp, Pike, we have never properly fished for Pike before apart from chucking a lure out and retrieving a few times before deciding to pack them away for the carp rods. But next year I will be aiming for one specifically and giving them a good crack with my cousin who fishes for them regularly so fingers crossed! 

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A small ‘Jack’ Pike caught by Jack whilst fishing for carp at a local Park Lake

Finally, we have the power house of the lot, the Wels Catfish, Ive been lucky enough or unlucky depending how you look at it to hook into these beasts on a number of occasions but have only tamed one of reasonable size. In the last year when fishing venues with Cats in I have aimed to have one rod out specifically for the Catfish but seemingly they just love to home in on my Carp bait! My 30lb Catfish pictured was actually caught on a Spinner Rig with a White pop up whilst reeling in from casting to a showing Carp and not being happy with where it landed. For a solid 10 seconds I thought I had hooked into a snag as the rod just locked up, then all of a sudden, a burst of energy and the line was screaming off the reel as I was screaming for Jack in disbelief, these monsters really do give you a fight and me and Jack cannot wait to get onto the Catfish Lake with our new membership at Whites Lakes next year! 

That wraps up this week’s blog, we have also caught countless Roach, Rudd & Small Perch however before finding my love for fishing as a whole rather than just for carp fishing, I never really took any pictures of them. With the Species hunt next year do expect to see a lot more variety in mine and Jacks fishing and hopefully a lot more fish! 

As always,

Tight Lines & Wet Nets,



Coarse Jack and Terry River

Trotting Along

Firstly Hooray I managed the hit the bank this week! Whilst it was only for a short couple of hours, time on the bank is always an exciting time. I didn’t manage to get out last Friday as I was hoping due to the life of being an adult (It really does suck at times doesn’t it.)

I did manage to get to my local stretch of river this Tuesday, with the bitterly cold weather slowly sneaking in, its become harder and harder to convince my wife to go fishing, but in all fairness to her she never says no and off we went!

Following on from my last session to the river and having a talk with the bailiff it was quite clear I had to move up the river more and we proceeded to go to the spot he recommended last time, it has been a few weeks thou so I was hoping we would still get amonst some fish.

As I stated before I am a complete novice when it comes to anything outside of Carp fishing so all and any advice is more than welcome. Once again my trusty fountain of knowledge came to aid me with a few tips, the trusty fountain of knowledge being in the shape of Bailey, he is far to modest to admit it but he really does help me out with anything I ask.

With Bailey’s advice in hand I set my couple hours out to have 1 rod with a basic carp setup as I am itching to get my very first carp out of the river, with the other rod setup up to ‘Trott’. Now admittedly I have never heard of this method before and always believed Trotting is the outcome of a very dodgy curry the night before.

With a list of items that Bailey recommended purchased during the week I was excited to try something new and hopefully get it right ready for the Essex Anglers Species Hunt.

Unfortunately for myself the couple of hours I spent didn’t suffice to anything and a blank was on the cards, however a new skill learnt is always a positive and as long as I get all my choirs done this week I get to go fishing next week! YAY!

With that session wrapped up sadly this is a very short blog this week. Fingers crossed next weeks blog can be that little bit more invigorating and a lot more fishy!

As always,

Tight Lines & Wet Nets,



Carp Coarse Jack and Terry River

First time on the River

So, as the title says I have never fished a stretch of River in any of my fishing, I have always fished lakes and mainly for carp, however with the Essex Anglers Species Hunt coming up soon I thought I would try my hand at other variations of fishing.

I believe I have mentioned before that I sadly no longer reside in Essex, I currently live in Lincolnshire and have never utilised the lakes and miles and miles of river surrounding me, all of my fishing has been with Jack & Family members in Essex, as that is where they all live and its easier to relocate myself then its to get all of them up to Lincolnshire.

With this in mind the current Lockdown seemed to put an end to any social fishing trips, and with myself living well outside the County any chance of me travelling to Essex for fishing is a huge no no.

Now with that, I decided to utilise my local river stretch and join my local angling club. Today was finally the day where I took advantage of my membership and took a long overdue trip down to the river. I have taken a few walks up and down the bank to find a few spots etc but again with my knowledge of rivers being non existent im not too sure what im really looking for.

After finding a spot I liked the look of I set about my day having 1 rod out for carp (Cant take the carp fisherman out of me) and a waggler rod out for anything and everything that would entertain me in preparation for the Species Hunt.

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Todays choice of bait was ye olde maggots (Sorry for the blue tint my wife left a sticker on the new lense 🙄)

Just over an hour into the trip the Bailiff turned up to check my book and have a nice chat, as I stated before local knowledge is one of the best sources of information anyone could ask for, with that in mind I picked away bits of information that I could get, unfortunately it turns out that I was in the wrong place for the day and he gave me some valuable advice that I will take into my next trip which is hopefully next week!

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Lovely sunny weather for the short trip today.

Taking that on board within the next 30 minutes i was packed up and the wife and fishing gear returned to the car, unfortunately there was some very heavy rain last night so the field where you park your cars was a little boggy (Huge understatement!), so obviously the car got stuck and needed a helping hand, this would be fine in any normal circumstances however my wife decided to give the car a lovely wheel spin and gave me a VERY unwelcome mud bath from head to toe! Whilst she found this highly amusing I can tell you I wasn’t best impressed.

So that is the end of this week’s blog, nothing to report other then mud is quite good for your skin. I have a good feeling that next week will be more successful so make sure to tune in for that.

Just a quick side note, we are holding a giveaway over on JT Carpers Facebook page once we hit 1000 followers (Currently at 970+) so be sure to click the link below and get yourself involved!

As Always,

Tight Lines & Wet Nets



Carp Coarse Jack and Terry

Slough House Lake Review

So unfortunately on our last trip myself and Jack weren’t as successful as we would of hoped, we was hoping that we would have enough content to put over 2 blogs as we were fishing for around 50 hours on our last session, thus we had no fish to talk about and the last blog wasn’t as good as was planned.

So this week we have decided to do a fair and honest review on a lake we have visited many times over the years, Slough House Lake which is located in Bulphan just outside Upminster, Essex, as I would presume most of the people reading these blogs are from the surroundings areas you may have heard or even visited this lake, in which case we hope you would agree on our next few points, however if not we would love to hear your opinions on Slough House Lake.

We will be breaking the review down into 3 main points and rating each point our of 5, with a total score out of 15, the points we will be covering are: Cleanliness/Upkeep of the fishery, Facilities at the fishery, the Quality of Fish, now again this review is of mine and Jacks own personal opinions and doesn’t necessarily share the opinions of anyone else.

Shale we begin?


Now as I stated earlier in the blog, myself and Jack have fished here on and off over the last 5-6 years, so we have seen a huge transition within the fishery from the previous bailiff and owners (I believe it was previously owned by someone else) to its current ownership by Hayes Carp Fisheries, We highly recommend checking their facebook page out, they provide constant updates from Slough House Lake and also their other syndicate lakes, We will put their link at the end of the blog.

The Cleanliness of Slough House in our opinion has always been top notch, we very rarely see any rubbish left around the lake and if it does happen the owner/bailiffs do a fantastic job of clearing it up (Which they shouldn’t have to do, ALWAYS take your own rubbish home!). So defiantly top marks for cleanliness/tidiness there!

Upkeep of the lake over the last few years (This is when we believe new ownership may of taken place) has been phenomenal. A new cafe/food bar has been built in recent months, new water pumps have been installed and general maintenance of the fishery has been brilliant, broken pegs being fixed and footpaths being relayed to make sure they are safe. This fishery is genuinely a really well looked after place and we would recommend on visiting it for these reasons alone.

Cleanliness/Upkeep – 5/5

Now we move on to Facilities:

The Facilities here are very good, as we stated before, a new cafe/food bar has been built and is open during the warmer months of the year and only at weekends I believe (This could vary during the year).

The owner runs a small tackle shop out of a portakabin on site which has a very good standard of tackle, including bait for the Catfish, anything you would need for a session, also a few extras from time to time at very reasonable prices. I believe this is open all year round but again i could be wrong and it would be best to drop them a message before arriving if you need to use the tackle shop.

Lastly there are some toilet facilities on site, unfortunately the last time I visited a few weeks ago these weren’t very nice to use so will lose a mark due to that, however this could of changed since then so take my opinion with a pinch of salt, but they do get a point for actually having toilet facilities available.

Facilities – 4/5

Lastly we look at Quality of Fish:

Now again we have been fishing here for a fair few years so have seen a huge change in how the fish are doing, it used to be very much a runs water with every fish being between 5-13lb and a fish higher then that being considered a good fish, however the big Catfish have always been there and are known to go 100lb+.

However this has changed over the last couple of years and in our opinion for the better, the average size of fish now is very good with them mainly going 15lb+, with a very good head of 20lb+ and the lake record carp being out over 30lb+ recently, this in hand with Catfish regularly going 40lb+ makes for a very good days fishing, in addition some of the mirror carp in this lake are beautiful, I have placed some pictures throughout the blog which shows this aswell.

Quality of Fish – 5/5

A 74lb Catfish caught by my cousin Stuart & a 20lb Common Carp for myself.

Now once again, we must stress that this is just the opinions of myself and Jack.

I must add though if you are looking to get yourself a good swim you may want to hire a very fast 100m sprinter for the morning, the race to the pegs of a morning can be quite daunting so get yourself prepared!

So for an overall score of 14/15 based on the 3 topics we have spoken about we would recommend for people to give Slough House Lake a good try and have a crack at the lovely fish.

Here are a few more of our favourite fish from the venue, so i hope you enjoyed our honest review!

As Always,

Tight Lines & Wet Nets



Hayes Carp Fisheries: