Danny Woodhouse puts in a 'Stella' performance at the Manor!

A decision to brave the rain rather than staying indoors paid off for Danny Woodhouse when he ended up banking one of the biggest fish in the lake.

Danny was fishing the famous Essex Manor when he hooked into one of the ‘A’ team, a mirror known as Stella which weighed in at 46lb 8oz, a new personal best!

He revealed: “I’d checked the weather and seen that there was a massive dip in air pressure forecast, so I booked a couple of days holiday so that I could head to the lake and make the most of it.

“I got home from work on the Saturday and managed to catch the second half of the West Ham game, which as usual meant that by the time it had finished I wasn’t in a good mood! To make matters worse it was raining and was forecast to continue all night, and I was debating waiting in the comfort of home until it passed, but I dragged myself off the sofa and arrived at the lake around 8pm.

“I had a walk round and there were only four other people there, with three of them huddled in one corner, and with the wind due to change and temperatures set to warm up on the Monday, I headed up the other end, where it was shallower, and set up in the End Pads.

“By the time I got everything set up I was soaked, so had to pop home for some dry clothes, and then by the time I arrived back at the lake the wind was hacking into my swim so strongly that I couldn’t accurately cast out, and then had a sleepless night holding onto my brolly to stop it being ripped out of the ground!

“The following day I started to see quite a few fish showing in the deeper water further up the lake, and although a move was tempting I knew the weather was set to change so I sat on my hands.

“Monday morning arrived, and as forecast it felt much warmer, with the wind blowing right into the corner I was fishing, and although I was yet to see anything, it looked really good for a bite.

“That night myself, Matt and Dan were having a takeaway and chatting, and a fish called Stella was mentioned, with Matt saying that it liked the End Pads swim during the colder months from December onwards, and I joked that he could forget December as I was going to have her tonight.

“After we’d eaten I returned to my swim and soon drifted off to sleep, and what felt like only minutes later I was awoken by a savage take and as soon as I lifted the rod I knew I was attached to a good fish, as it was moving slowly and was very determined.

“A ten minute battle ensued and eventually I emerged as the victor as the fish rolled into the net and I could see it was a lump as it was so wide. After having a proper look at it with my headtorch I could see that it was Stella, arguably the most famous fish in the lake. Simon Kenny came round to help me weigh and photograph here. What a buzz!”

Danny caught the big ‘un on a naked chod rig, incorporating a size 6 Choddy hook to 20lb Mouthtrap and a size 11 ring swivel, with a white pop-up fished over two kilos of Red Seal boilies.