Chilling At Fryerning

Fryerning Main Lake in full bloom

Ian Russell has a bit of a result on a guest session to the popular Essex syndicate water.

I had been looking forward to this guest trip for ages. Fryerning Fisheries Main Lake’s reputation precedes it, so who could blame me? The Main Lake is 18 acres with more than 100 lovely carp, of which at least 15 are over 40lb with a good number of them over 45lb. There are also different 50lb-plus carp, two of which are mirrors and the third a common. You get the picture?

Owner Chris Knowles had kindly granted me a four-night guest session with my friend Gary. Arriving at lunchtime on the Sunday we saw very little, so chose swims at the causeway end of the Lake, which was where the last few carp had come from. A wise choice, I thought. Gary chose the Big Double and I went in the swim to his right.

Code Red boilies - Sonubaits' finest
I’ve caught loads of fish on the prototype pop-ups from Sonubaits – the Pineapple & Cream are my favourites!

Having a lead around I found nothing to write home about, so I thought I’d create my own feature with a huge pile of lovely 12mm Code Red boilies! I decided to fish at 20 wraps around the Yardsticks, which was a comfortable distance for me, yet still far enough away from the bank not to cause a disturbance. Out went three kilos of Sonubaits’ finest, and over the top went one rod with my trusty flick rig with a Pineapple & Cream pop-up. The second one was a blow-back rig with a Code Red wafter attached to it, and the third rod was cast way off to my right against an island where a small carp had been jumping about quite a bit. This was also fished with a flick rig and a Pineapple & Cream pop-up. Gary chose to bait with 10mm boilies and placed three rods in a long line. We settled down and put up the bivvies. A few other anglers had arrived by then, so the options for a move, if required, were getting quite limited, but we were where we wanted to be. With the kettle on, Gary and I put the world to rights.

At 1am that night Gary had an absolute flying take only to become disconnected after a few seconds – wounded, eh? Morning came and we started seeing fish quite regularly at the lodge end of the Lake, which incidentally was as far from us as you could possibly get! With all the swims at that end of the Lake taken, all we could do was sit tight and watch – but that is big carp fishing and you have to accept it. Still, we were having a laugh and hoping for a rogue hippo-sized carp to turn up at our end of the Lake.

The flick rig plays a massive part in my fishing

For a further two nights we waited, and on the final afternoon as I’d reeled all the rods in to pop out for a takeaway, a big unit pushed its way out of the water over where the left-hand rod had been. At last there was something to go on! We still popped out for some grub and on returning I replaced all three rigs with new ones. All three went over the baited area, all with flick rigs and Pineapple & Cream pop-ups. I remember that the left-hand rod hit a fish on the way down and I joked to Gary that this one would do the bite. As darkness fell more and more carp began to show over both my and Gary’s areas, so sleep did not come easy that night, as you’ll understand.

At first light the Delkim sang out as the left-hand bobbin hit the deck before smashing into the rod. I leaned into a good fish, which did its utmost to reach the other end of the Lake. After several minutes of nerve-racking lunges under the rod tip, a big linear was safely scooped up. I called down to Gary, who was actually as excited as me by the way. That’s always a good sign when fishing with your friends; the result is shared, no jealous vibes here. So with the cameras set up, I hoisted up the mirror known as the Stripe. I let Gary and another member call the weight and they decided on 40lb exactly, though it’s irrelevant when a fish as beautiful as this one is banked. So, a little film was made and a few pics taken, and back home went the Stripe. With that, my trip was over, but what a way to end it!

It was a great few days with a very good friend, so thank you Fryerning and thank you Chris. What a place – I’m rather hoping I’ll be back!

The Stripe at 40lb has got to be one of the best looking carp I’ve ever caught

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