Living in the carp fishing Mecca of Essex, I am fortunate enough to be slap bang in the middle of some awesome lakes and rivers. In my opinion timing is a key part in my fishing. One evening in late July during the mid-summer heat wave, I was walking my spaniels around the historic Quarry Fishery, although day ticket it had once been a very sought after syndicate. As I loaded the mutts in the truck and began the drive out of the Quarry, I came across two characters. I wound the window down and asked how they were and if they were fishing. I then found out after a lengthy conversation that these two characters were, Stewart and Lee, the new owner of The Quarry and his right hand man. I left them to go about their duties and after heading home, I did the obligatory check on Facebook and soon knocked out a friend request. Long story short Stewart offered me a position on his fishery’s team and a chance to be part of an eighteen man working syndicate. Having never really enjoyed the Quarry as a day ticket and going off past stories from good friends about the syndicate days, I ripped his arm off.
Being in a fortunate position to only work four days a week I thought this would be a great chance to catch what was left of the few Quarry originals. My plan was to put the Coconut Common on hold from the Bayeswater Syndicate and make the most of this small syndicate.
At the start of August The Quarry was a done deal for Stewart, and I felt humbled to be part of it. On Friday 3rd August I received a phone call from a good friend at work, explaining how the firm that we worked for had gone into liquidation and the bailiffs were coming in. I was very shocked and a bit upset. I was uncertain what my next port of call would be. Donna my good lady, said to me, ‘We are in a fortunate position, why don’t you have a few months off fishing?’ Any carp angler will know this is like a golden ticket, a full pass from the real boss. Stewart the new owner of The Quarry, was soon on the phone and he said he had a proposition for me and how did I fancy helping him out with running The Quarry, working by day and fishing by night. Somehow things had done a full circle.
The Quarry had always been a lake that was close to my home, but I never really showed it any love or attention. The few trips I had done there, the lake hadn’t dropped its guard for me and I scratched a couple here and there. I was due to begin helping Stewart on Monday the 13th, so I had a week to play with and try and learn a bit about the old Quarry. After a few laps of the lake and viewing areas, I opted to drop into a swim known as The Pallets. Due to the weed I took no chances with the kit I decided to used. GT-HD main line, with Invisi-Link hook links and my favourite Covert Dark Mugga’s or the new Rigga BCR hooks were the order of the day. The Long and short of it, in four nights I had fourteen bites. Thursday the 9th was a true red letter day. I’d been baiting hard all week a caught a few, but in the final 24 hours I had 9 bites. At times it was madness with double takes and no rods fishing at one point.
Thursday morning began with a early morning wakeup call from a immaculate 27lb 6oz common, which little did I know was going to become a regular visitor to me. At 8.30am Big Lee and I we’re having a brew and putting the world to rights, when the middle rod signalled a take. This resulted in a big boat battle and landing the fish two swims up, which turned out to be a 26lb 6oz mirror. I moored the boat up and went to get my unhooking mat and accessories from my swim. When I walked into the swim I was greeted by the hanger on my left rod buried into my buzzer and the rod hooped round. I ran back to the boat, secured the fish in the margins, stole my pals net and set sail again. After another long deep battle in the weed my net was soon filled with a low thirty original. The fish turned out to be the very sought after ‘Hoover’ weighing 31lb 12oz. What a carp and potentially 45 years old. I took some pictures and returned both fish. A brew was well needed.
During the afternoon I managed another four bites, landing two and losing two. The two I landed were both around 25lb and on dark I had another low twenty. Four nights of angling well was very tiring, but I have learned in the past it is good to be greedy, so I tied another rig and got the rod back out in the zone.
At around 3am I had a take on the left hand rod and I somehow managed to land this one from the bank and I’d kind of written it off as a stocky. I got the essentials ready to carry out the standard fish on bank procedure. I broke the net down and went to lift the net and thought it was snagged and after a closer inspection it turned out to be another fish just under thirty. Understandably I was very pleased. Controversially some people say it’s a fish known as The Dolphin and some people say it’s a fish called Flip or Flop. Who cares what the name is? It was another Quarry carp. This time I wasn’t greedy and the rod went back on the buzzer with the hook in the eye. I was exhausted.
I was up around 5.15am and I had a steady pack down reflecting on my first decent session at The Quarry and what I had learnt and could take away with me. People seem to frown upon others doing time, when the old saying ‘time bandit’ is used. Is this jealousy and envy? Do they complain if you do time and don’t catch? Would they catch as many if they did the time? All food for thought, but in my eyes whatever time you get, you need to be angling at 100% and have total faith and confidence in what you are using and what you are doing.
All the best