Bailey Payne

Mixed Morning Session

With the weather being a bit hot and bright recently and the Rivers not Fishing very well at the moment, I opted to go to my club lakes. Hockley Angling Club have a lovely set of lakes with a nice range of Fishing, however they do stock Barbel in all the lakes, so really wanted to nab one or two!

I started on the top lake (featured Image) which has a huge head of Carp averaging around 3-4lb and a lot of Barbel just a bit smaller. This is the type of lake you can Fish and catch over 20 Carp easily in a morning session with some Barbel mixed in. However with the weather and knowing it had been heavily Fished recently I weren’t too sure how it would be. My setup for today was simple, using a small link with a flat weight attached, quick change bead and a speed stop hook length attached and was using Bio Baits boilles and bandems.

I was just flicking my bait out along the spit to my right about half way down. I noticed a lot of the Carp were just cruising on the top, and had a lot of liners, was clear the Carp weren’t on the bottom, a day on the Waggler you would’ve bagged up. After a few minutes the tip eased round into my first bite of the day, after a bit of a fight when the Fish surfaced first noticed I had a Barbel straight away, this was only a small Barbel, probably just over a pound, was happy to get my target Fish, well, I was almost happy, as it pinged off by the net! My luck seemed to be continuing!

I dropped a few of the boilles under my platform by mistake as I was drilling a few and setting up, and after the Barbel pinged off noticed a lot of Carp in front of me on the surface, so carefully dangling my bait in front of a few of them I ended up mugging my first Fish on the Limino 1 Bio Baits boille, a thin long mirror, with some lovely scales, bit of a dark photo though!

I went back out along the spit after letting some offerings I through in settle from the initial storm of Carp, it wasn’t much longer before I got a proper bite and was into my 2nd Carp of the day. A bit bigger and a lovely little common this time on a Bio Baits Amino Krill bandem.

Carp 2

After just under an hour, I decided to swap lakes and go down to the middle lake and have a better chance of a Barbel, the Carp weren’t really having it as normal so I thought I would go were the Fish are a bit bigger and more mixed. I know what your thinking, two Carp in under an hour is good and why move after that? The Carp weren’t on the bottom and I didn’t expect to catch as many as I can up there without a Waggler today.

Heading to the middle lake I chose what’s known as the Barbel swim. Each margin holds Barbel up to about 5lb but they are very tight to the edge and the snags and are known for smashing people up so it wasn’t going to be easy.

I started on the left side and went back to my trusty Limino 1 boille and it wasn’t long before something tried to pull my rod in! After a fight and struggle to keep it out the snags ended up landing a lovely dark mirror carp with beautiful scales down it. Probably around 7lb so no giant but a lovely Fish to catch.

Carp 3

The rest of the day was slow, and had to go the snaggier right side, however this is where the Barbel live, and someone was definetly home, after two tearing bites and struggles to eventually be snapped off one time seeing a Barbel of around 4lb, was a bit like it popped up to see me before it decided to dart back into the snags! Was disheartening to lose the two Barbel here and the one from earlier, however there is always more down there so there was still a chance!

Towards midday when I knew my session was ending I had another aggressive bite, and instantly feared losing it to the snags again, somehow managed to ease him out of the first obstacle of the margin he was quickly under me trying to get under the platform, but eventually surfaced to be swiftly netted. A lovely little Barbel, my first for a little while and was a lovely Fish to catch!


For the rest of the session I had a few weird little knocks which never led to anything, occasionally trying to strike to them, but just as I was about to call it, a slow nervous wrap round lead to another Fish on, again trying to go for the snags, was excited for possibly another Barbel! After navigating the Fish from the snags I soon saw the green body break the surface and managed my first Tench for a some time! Was great to see and catch! Always puts a smile on my face catching a Tench, one of the best freshwater species you can Catch!


I certainly went into this session expecting to catch a lot more Fish, most of them being Carp, however, this was the most enjoyable session I have had for some time, catching such a mixed bag. These sessions can really build the confidence for the next few weeks and hopefully there will be a lot more Fish! Until next time!

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