It’s fair to say that summer is my least favourite time of the year to fish and for the last few seasons I’ve put the rods away for a few weeks and swung the golf sticks about for a change, but this year I can’t seem to shake that burning desire to get a bend in the rod, and I find myself constantly working my week around potential trips.

My latest trip was to Essex Carp Syndicates Mill syndicate, a venue that I have been meaning to visit for the last few seasons due to its stunning heavily-plated residents. I arrived around lunch time and did a quick lap of the lake. At nine acres, it’s not massive but every swim seems to fish its own little bit of water and with lots of bays, rushes and overhanging trees, I was spoilt for choice as to where to start. However, that morning a nice strong fresh wind had kicked-in and I couldn’t help but favour being on the end of it. I clipped two rods up tight to some rushes at about 50 yards range across one of the bays, and opted to start on solid PVA bags filled with Mainline Spod and Bag Pellets and Hinders Barbel Bomb ground bait. These two combined make for a brilliant mix that helps to make the bags drum tight. A simple 2.5oz flat pear lead and 4inches of 15lb Dark Matter braid to a size 6 Kurve Shank and a pink Maize Fake Food hook bait completed the setup. I could see the odd shape moving along the reed line and about an hour later one of the rods tore off with a scale-and-fin-perfect 21lb common. Not long after that the wind changed slightly and started blowing into another bay, and with that, I never saw another fish move in my area.

Perfect in every way, and a great fish to get me off the mark.

I moved on them once again, just managing to get the rods sorted before dinner time. As I sat back thinking about what a great start to a new chapter and slurping down my chicken and mushroom Pot Noodle, my left hand rod that was fished tight to my own bank tore into life. A scrappy fight was over quickly and as she slipped over the net, I clearly saw that even though she wasn’t big, it was one of the scalys that I had joined the lake for. The scales read 18lb 8oz but that was an insignificant weight for such a stunning-looking creature. As I finished off my now cold and soggy noodles, thinking that it had been a perfect start, the same rod hooped round again! This time the fight was slightly more dogged and at first I thought I might have hooked one of the bigger fish, but as she rolled over the net I once again was overjoyed to see another heavily scaled, perfect mirror. I felt slightly bad putting a weight on her as she just looked so brilliant laying on the mat, but we all need that number to satisfy our egos. At 21lb 12oz she was mega in every way and I fell to sleep that night totally satisfied.

It’s mirrors like this which got me interested in the water.

Mega in every way!

The next morning I woke early as the sun shone straight into my Tempest Brolly. I sat bolt upright as a good-looking mirror rolled not far from the danger rod, and only minutes later it was away! I played this one with kid gloves as the fish that poked its head out looked significantly bigger than the first three fish I had nicked, but I was soon aware that a sneaky little common had gate crashed the party. At about 18lb it was still a nice wakeup call but with that the wind once again changed and my alarm clock signalled it was time to head for home. I’m sorry boys but for now at least, those golf bats will stay locked up as I have a sneaky feeling I’ll be back on the bank as soon as I can!


Last one of the session for me, but I’ll be back – that’s for sure!

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