Kranked Again - Jake Wildbore

Ever since I moved down to Essex, there’s a water in the office that’s forever be-ing talked about; The Quarry. It’s a water steeped in history and for this particu-lar area it has some of the oldest and gnarliest carp around. So, whilst I have no ticket for any particular water and The Quarry has recently turned day ticket, I felt it was right to go down there for an overnight session.

After picking a few brains in the office (which didn’t take long) I roughly knew where I was going, in the sense of the actually getting to the lake and also, more importantly, the areas that have been producing the goods. That all went out the window once I turned up at this simply breathtaking lake. I jumped out the van and trotted around the lake and, like a kid at Christmas, I was so excited. If you haven’t already seen or been to the Quarry, it is a carp angler’s paradise. Large snaggy islands, weed beds, bays littered with clear areas, over hanging trees and carp showing everywhere.

I found the main head of fish tucked away in a shallow bay, so rather than setting up on them and disturbing an angler who was stalking them at the time. I decid-ed to fish in the swim down from them, in open water.

Whilst I could still see the fish playing in the weed, I decided to put my bait out first. Now, this isn’t something I’d normally do, but with the main bulk of fish in the bay, I wanted to set my traps before the sun dropped and they moved out to the deeper water.

I know this might sound a little over the top, but I decided to put out a full bucket of bait, around 5kg to be precise of chopped tiger nuts and hemp. Exactly the same tactics as I used the week before at Christchurch, a simple Lead Clip set up to a Combi rig with IQ2 to Dark Matter Braid, then just a standard knotless knot with a size 6 Krank hook. On the business end, I used a corked out Brazil nut on two rods and on one rod I used a Goo’d up Tiger Nut soaked in Squid Goo, again balanced out with cork.

I put all three rods tight together on a clear area around 70yards out. Even though I caused a load of disturbance in putting the bait and rods out, within an hour they were on me. A flurry of liners going into dark resulted in a small stock-ie, but what a cracker and my first Quarry carp. A fresh rig, a few spodfuls of bait and just at first light my middle rod, right on the bait, burst into life.

After a nerve racking scrap under the rod tips, I finally managed to shuffle a carp and a massive ball of weed into the net. Once I got myself together, I flicked the head torch on and peered into the net to a very long carp. Not knowing the stock well in the Quarry, I couldn’t identify which one it was but it was clearly one of the originals. I knew just the person who could identify it and do the honours with the photos, Rob Willingham. He’s fished the quarry for a number of years and can name any carp that swims, so I sent him a text and he was on his way.

Once he arrived, we set the mat, scales and sling ready in the morning sun and I gently pulled the old girl out from her watery home onto the mat. As soon as I pealed the sling away and revealed a few scales, Rob Instantly said “it’s Chanty”. Now, I know I said that I’m not familiar with the fish stock in the Quarry, I did know about a few of the originals and by looking at the pictures, this one really stood out for me and from Rob’s photos, you can see why! Not only is it over 40 years old, it was a real character with its dotted scaling and tiny tale. It weighed 33lb 4oz, but what a lovely carp and a great morning, which was sadly cut short as we both had to be in work soon. So I throw my wet gear in the van with a smile on my face and ready for the day ahead.