Lee Tompkins banks George's from the Essex Manor!

Lee Tompkins has spent the past year fishing on the Essex Manor, and he landed his target fish when he banked this cracking mirror.

The fish known as George’s isn’t the biggest in the lake but is one of the most sought after due to its looks, and Lee managed to catch it at 46lb 4oz along with another called 373 – due to its scale pattern – at 28lb.

Lee only has limited time to go fishing, as he explained: “As I’m sure most weekend anglers can appreciate, turning up late on a Friday afternoon is not the ideal time to start your session on pressured lakes like the Manor!

“Watercraft often goes out of the window and you just try to get as close to the fish as possible, so I did a quick lap around the lake and decided to go in the Garden Swim as I saw two fish show next door where someone was already set up.

“Recently zigs had been producing well and conditions looked good for it so that was my favoured tactic, but the next morning I realised that I’d made a mistake when I photographed a fish for the chap next door and realised that he’d caught it off of the bottom.

“I was aware of an area close in that had produced a few fish, so with as little disturbance as possible I under-armed a couple of rods out to my right on this spot, and another to my left, and slackened the lines off as much as possible and then baited with 100 freebies over each rig.

“Two hours later the line tightened up and the change of tactics produced a lovely floppy tailed Aveley strain fish of 28lb.

“I had an upper-double during the night and by the time first light arrived it was obvious to me that the fish were up for it, so I topped up the area with a couple more kilos of bait and put out fresh hookbaits ready for the morning feeding spell.

“It didn’t take long to get another fish of 28lb but then as morning became afternoon I didn’t really fancy my chances as afternoon bites are rare on this water, but I decided to stay on a bit longer than usual anyway, and I’m glad that I did as one of the rods tightened up and I immediately knew I was connected to a better fish.

“There was virtually nothing in the way of snags in front me and the Heli-Safe had instantly got rid of the lead, so I patiently tired it out for the next 20 minutes and was blown away when I netted George’s!”

Lee offered a wafter hookbait on a size 6 Kaptor Kurv Shank hook to a 2ft long 15lb Dark Matter hook link and 20lb fluorocarbon main line.